Centering Prayer: Intuitive Wisdom in the Aftermath

Oh God, unto whom all hearts lie open. Unto whom desire is eloquent and from whom no secret thing is hidden. Purify the thoughts of my heart by the outpouring of your spirit, that I may love you with a perfect love and praise you as you deserve. Amen

The Cloud of Unknowning

The discomfort you face, will lead to enlightenment. In the moment, when you feel such pain, try to remember this.

It is easy to let the ego win over and turn to anger, find solace in addiction or self-soothing that is going too far vs. taking care of the self. Ego wants to control the suffering but this is only a tease, a way of making you feel as if you are receiving justice. Ego gives you nothing but more pain, more time with the negative energy, more space in the connection with that bad occurrence, person, because you are unwilling to let go. Because you don’t want to let go of whatever you struggle with. Did you realize this? Your pain only lasts because you allow it to last. The minute you focus on letting go and letting God into your life, the pain will subside. You will grow. You will attain enlightenment.

Seven months ago, I began a devoted practice to centering prayer. It can also be called contemplative prayer. I learned about this on Insight Timer. I read the book “The Cloud of Unknowing,” who’s author is unknown. I read the book by Father Thomas Keating, “Open Mind, Open Heart,” which teaches centering prayer and explains what this is all about.

Open my heart, awaken my mind and cleanse my soul

A daily prayer that I offer up before meditation

The devotion to this practice is sitting still for 20 minutes – 2x/day. You are listening for God, you are sitting with God, you are still and silent. What do you hear? Probably nothing. Maybe birds singing, a lawn mower in the distance, people talking on the street, chattering or racing thoughts going through your head. You say a word “Truth,” “Love,” “Justice,” “Intelligence,” “Help,” whatever word you choose to help bring you back into this space when your mind loses the silence. Jon Kabat-Zinn would say, when your mind wanders off a thousand times, bring it back a thousand times.

It does not matter that your mind wanders off, your body is still, you are quiet – in the sense that your body is not moving or doing anything, you are in a place of contemplation. If the thoughts come up, there is something there that God wants you to listen to and do something about.

Twenty minutes, two times a day seems so great to many. How much time do you waste on the computer? You have children but yet you still make time for this. If you are on the computer for 20 minutes or more, you have time for centering prayer. How much do you spend working out? How much time do you spend reading a book, listening to music, cleaning your house, etc… etc… If you have time for all of these things, you can make a space for centering prayer. Your life depends on it.

When you struggle with society, the chaos of the world, the Babylon which we have turned into – a hedonistic community of people who think of nothing but themselves. Fear, anger, torment, trauma, anxiety, frustration, feeling unloved/unwanted, without a consistent faith in some spiritual cleansing practice; you are nothing. You cling to a need for fantasy and self-soothing that will take your mind off of things and give you this delusion that you are happy and content. That your self-centered needs are being met. When we focus on just ourselves and are in denial that life has a timeline and that there is an end and that we have a responsibility to others, as well as ourselves, you get nothing. Maybe a few moments of pleasure but ultimately nothing but pain and emptiness inside.

Devotion to centering prayer gave me a place to go to, when I was in a dark place last year. No matter what, I continued. I made a promise to God that I would never give up, no matter what. In the aftermath, my life began to change. It wasn’t in the twenty minutes, nothing earth shattering has occurred – so far. By this I mean, I have had no conversation – as one might imagine you are seeking. I have had some experiences, but this is not something to explain out loud. I did ask once, for God to show me that He was there, by giving me a sign in meditation. My right arm suddenly became so heavy, I could not lift it. It wasn’t until I said “Thank you,” that it then began to go away. I didn’t say that though for a long time, because feeling it gave me such pleasure. In that moment, I needed to have some tangible experience and He indulged me.

If it weren’t for that dark place that another he, a more troubled soul, who is devoted to himself and his pain – if it weren’t for him pushing my buttons and twisting my heart around and then punching me in the gut (metaphorically), I might not have come to this place. Often, we go to God when we are in peril. I am grateful for the lesson I was given last year. This pain and suffering woke me up. I had been in a deep slumber for forty some years, in reality, my entire life. I had assumed that I had been awake a few other times, when I felt I had finally gotten it. Then another lesson would be put in front of me and I realized I was still asleep. Still following the same path, dissociating in life. If it weren’t for pain, how could we ever reach enlightenment? Not that you search for it, believe me, you will get it one way or another. Now, though, I have asked God to bring my lessons through intuitive wisdom.

And, this is the aftermath of centering prayer. In my awakened life, outside of those twenty minutes, I am speaking positively, openly, affirming, attracting goodness. I have prosperity, balance, love, friendship, abundance, wealth, health, and happiness. Most and more importantly than all of this, I have Intuitive Wisdom. God speaks to me through this wisdom as He is showing me things that I need to see and learn. Sometimes they are painful realizations about my past relationship and sometimes they are insights to share with my clients. Sometimes, I am just sitting still with others and not looking for things to upset me. Sometimes, I am listening to my listening of those around me and guided when to speak and when to not. I have never not felt loved or alone.

I love the Lord who listened to my voice in supplication. Who turned an ear to me on the day I called. Return my soul to your rest, the Lord has been very good to me. For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I shall walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

Psalm 116

Walking with the Lord, with my God, my unknowing, my patience and unconditional love and support, is my favorite line of all.

I surrender.

Note: There is an app for centering prayer that you can download and set up. I chose these quotes from the Cloud of Unknowing and Psalm 116 for my featured prayers to begin and end. I created my own individual prayer, which I mentioned here, so that I had my own voice to offer up to God. I do not claim any religion. I follow a solitary spiritual path, based on my study of World Religions, that has encompassed my entire adult life. Prior to that, it began intuitively but not consciously.

Manners, Morals, Faith and Values: A Decline in Current Civilization

I blame my own generation for the current downfall of manners, morals, faith and values. We stopped paying heed to these rituals and rules to continue rebelling and punishing our parents for corporal punishment and other frustrations growing up. However, this decline is seen generation after generation, due to wars which caused society to shift from a state of depression with the loss of sons, brothers and husbands, but also economic changes as well. The decline also has suffered due to relocation of families, who are no longer near grandparents, uncles and aunts. Of course now we have social media, cell phones, texting which all correlate to a decline in the above as well as religious practice or even spiritual beliefs as well. Will we ever go back, I certainly hope so but it is highly unlikely. People get lazy and just as their ancestry or cultural background is watered down from the old country to the grandchild, the same has occurred for manners, morals, faith and values.

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Misinformation & The Death of Personal Responsibility

Once again, I am submitting a reblog from Dr. Rod Hoevet as I think his words are inspiring and raw. It is important to hear the truth in others and to reflect upon this in ourselves.

Rod E. Hoevet, Psy.D.

We are witnessing a tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Seemingly every day, the world is abuzz with the latest controversy, which these days seem to almost invariably be about who is responsible for sharing so-called “misinformation” and who is responsible to moderate it. This is a terrifying trajectory that has no good outcome. 

As of the writing of this article, Joe Rogan – former MMA announcer and immensely popular podcast host – is public enemy number one. Musicians and others are protesting his podcast and its host alleging that he is spreading “misinformation,” specifically about Covid-19. Within the past few weeks, the tragic anniversary of the Capitol riot occurred and the US was abuzz with commentaries and opinions about what happened, why and who was responsible. As one example, this story, heard on NPR on January 5, 2022, included an interview with Craig Silverman from ProPublica and his investigation…

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The Survivor of the Narcissistic Parent Meets the Narcissistic Partner

I write what I am learning. I teach as I grow. I make the same mistakes as anyone else, only my skills show me how to coach people based on what I have uncovered. I am not right, I just write what becomes aware to me as it happens. When I have been in relationship to men, I have hidden behind them and not been my true self. I have been afraid, just as my clients have been afraid, because we were taught to be. When it is over, I reflect and feel the guilt and shame of not having said what I should have said. Of not standing up for myself. Of not really being the partner to them because I was too busy trying to make them love me. This is what happens when you are the survivor of the narcissistic parent. You meet the narcissistic partner and dance with them using the same song you were taught as a child. I will make you love me, no matter what it takes. When you do, I will finally succeed in having the love I have always wanted. Because, if I can make you love me, I will have finally turned this wrong into a right. Jeannine Vegh, M.A., I.M.F.T.

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Contemplative Prayer brings Persistence to Faith; Integrity to Self

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad and Boldog Karacsonyt

I love saying merry Christmas in different languages but these cultures represent a different part of my heart. I have used my blog to create a new format this year as I begin to transform into this new person that I am on a creative and spiritual level. If you look back at my blog post from December 24, 2020, called “The Dawn of a New Era,” you will see the astrological meaning in the transformation that was to begin in 2021, for all of us. It started with the Christmas Star that hadn’t been seen since the Age of the Renaissance and I reflected on what this meant in that post as I talked to people about this then. Now, I would like to read a piece of scripture that I think is poignant for this year and this post.

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Taking Responsibility Rather Than Blaming

In our society today, all we hear is the term “victim shaming,” blaming, and apologizing. We never, ever hear anyone just taking responsibility for the situation. We don’t hear enlightenment. But, then this would not be sensational. People who are self-aware do not often get drama or excitement from the press or social media. Not unless you are in a Yoga, New Age, Spirituality, or Meditation forum or app.

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What is God?

What is God and how does this fit into my life? Firstly, we must look at what “it” is not. God is not a man, a woman, an it or any new fangled plural you want to add here. God, Goddess, Gods are not a human being. It is interesting that I said “What” vs. “Who.” A Who would indicate a person. A What indicates a thing and object and even this is not correct. I look at God as an entity. A higher power, a supreme being, a non-mortal. So, first, I want to put it into this context as I am speaking here.

When the Bible says that Adam was made in God’s image and Eve in Adam’s, it does not mean that God looks like Adam and Eve, it means that he made them pure, honest, and true; two innocents, as they were not God but yet they were in his image. We are all God, or rather one with God and God is in us. Like Alanis Morissette’s song “What if God was one of us?” And, he is all of us as her video so aptly displays. God is also the animals, the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the grass, any object that is on Earth, even those that are man-made. This is God because he exists in all of us, our energy is in all of these things and so it is all God.

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Blessing in Uncomfortable Situations

I think this blog post really captures the pain and suffering that we go through by honoring our individual timelines. We shouldn’t “get over it” until we are ready. Otherwise we have missed out on deep introspection and growth.

MIRACLES EACH DAY

“Eventually, the soul that is truly committed to awakening does not flee uncomfortable situations until it believes it has fully extracted all the wisdom that it can. . .In short, when there is just a quiet sense of peace, and you can look upon the players in the experiences you have had with perfect equanimity and see them as perfectly innocent, and you detect that there is nothing in the body that is not at peace—the heart is not racing, the shoulders are not tight—you truly understand that you are not in fear, then it is time to move on.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 17, Page 213)

If we are in an uncomfortable situation, this passage says that we ought to just stay there—not try to distract ourselves, not try to flee or to escape—for this uncomfortable situation has something to teach us. Of course…

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Healthy, Authentic Love: Is this You and Your Partner?

Tonight, I had two mallards (male and female) that appeared on my front lawn while I was grooming the flower beds. The male was very aware of his position in this animal kingdom. He was dutifully watching over his lover as she nested on the grass. They moved their seats when I got up to cart the weed barrel, down to the road, for the garbage men tomorrow. The male moved carefully behind the female, keeping an eye on her that no one would disturb her. As she foraged under my fir trees, he continued to gaze on her and make sure she was taken care of. What a beautiful sight to behold.

Healthy, authentic love is exactly this. Two people taking care of each other, watching over one another, doting on each other. More is written online about unhealthy, abusive, narcissistic love – it would seem, than healthy, loving relationships and with this, it causes negativity to shine over couples. As a result, they are always picking on one another based on what they read. How can we expect couples to succeed if they don’t know what good honest love looks like?

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Running Away from the Relationship: No one Wins

This morning, I had a client confront me about being uncomfortable with me in the room. It was so hard for them to do this and they spoke in a roundabout way that it took me a minute to realize it was about me. I had the utmost respect for them that they would confront me in this situation. I began to realize how terrifying it was for them to say this. I acknowledged all of this and set about to make the situation more pleasant for all. I was successful because I approached them with respect and honor. The interesting part of this is that the person was not even going to come in today. They told me that they had planned to just run away and hide. This made me even more grateful to know that they were so brave to come in to session. We ended with both of us having a renewed respect for each other. I could see they were very grateful for having taken a stand as well.

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