Every Tuesday, All Saints Church,  Pasadena,  offers an on-line Centering Prayer meeting from 7:00 to 8:00pm. 

What is Centering Prayer?

Centering prayer is a form of contemplative prayer that is rooted in the Christian tradition and the wisdom saying of Jesus, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to God in secret. And God, who sees in secret, will repay you” (Mtt 6:6). It is a discipline of intentional silence, where the individual in trusting faith, empties their self to become entirely receptive to God’s divine love. This is a prayer of surrendering life as lived on our terms to receive the indwelling love of God given to us.  Each person chooses a word to help them keep focus and as a reminder of their intention to remain open to God’s love. A commitment to the practice of sitting in silence for a period of 20 minutes, twice a day, is best.  You might start with 10 minutes and slowly build to 20 minutes.   Just following the arc of your inhale and exhale while in a seated posture, with eyes closed or gazing downward, can be transformative. This practice can be done alone or in a group.

For more information about the on-line Zoom Centering Prayer meeting, contact:


Union with God is not something any of us needs to acquire. It only needs to be realized. By way of intentional silence and self-surrender into the practice of contemplation the illusion of separation from God is dispelled.

Martin Laird, OSD

Centering Prayer Online  Meditation



April 2023

O Wisdom Come

By Joan Englander

O Wisdom come

And take my words


Bring deep silence as

You kiss my heart with

Your glance

And your grace.

Trample on my


Make the mountains

Sing and live within my


Make the orchards

Clap their hands with


And make all suffering


Shekhinah, mystic voice

Of heaven

Open wide the door

Of my heart that I may


Melodies of spheres

I cannot see

Angelic voices in the 

dark of me

Guard my life

From the prince of


Garland my life

With fragrances of



into my Soul

Come now O Wisdom

Help me choose Life

As the hours roll by

Remove resistance

Fight fear with your

Arrow of love.

Grant patience

To greet each new event

In the calm arena

of your Beauty.

Ignite your flame of Love

That I may experience

holy assurance

Sacred surrender

and know that these

are mine blooming 

with your grace.

When I cannot decide

O Wisdom be my thought

When I am lost in loneliness

Be my joy

When restless, give me your

Softest word

When ill, your divine comfort.

When excited, your prudence.

When discouraged, supreme


When I see no way out

Be my holy rest

Be my gateway to

Divine peace.

O Wisdom come

Guide me in whatever happens

To bear fruit by your presence

Kindness as cherry trees

Blossoming pink on the waiting


Be my flowering til the day

Of my death.

O Wisdom, come.

—Inspired by Proverbs 4

Joan’s website:




March  2023

I sometimes forget

That I was created for Joy.

My mind is too busy.

My Heart is too heavy

for me to remember

that I have been

called to dance

the Sacred dance of life.

I was created to smile

To Love 

To be lifted up 

And to lift others up.

O’ Sacred One

Untangle my feet

from all that ensnares.

Free my soul.

That we might


And that our dancing

might be contagious.


February, 2023

We awaken in Christ’s body

as Christ awakens our bodies,

and my poor hand is Christ.  He enters

my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully

my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him

(For God is indivisibly

whole, seamless in His Godhead).

I move my foot, and at once

he appears in a flash of lightning.

Do my words seem blasphemous? - Then

open you heart to Him.

And let yourself receive the one

who is opening to you so deeply.

For if we genuinely love him,

we wake up inside Christ’s body

where all our body, all over,

every most hidden part of it,

is realized in joy as Him,

and He makes us utterly real,

And everything that is hurt, everything

that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,

maimed, ugly, irreparably

damaged, is in Him transformed

And recognized as whole, as lovely,

and radiant in His light.

We awaken as the Beloved

in every last part of our body.

St. Symeon the New Theologian (949 - 1022)

December, 2022

One Day

      —Isaiah 40:4

One day the mountains will abandon ambition

and settle with simple stones in the pockets of children. 

Even the Everests and Kilimanjaros of this world

will weary of explorers who defy

but do not love their slopes.

They will see how rock tumbling

downstream is worn smooth

to be cradled in small hands.

One day, every mountain

shall be brought low.

One day the valleys will abandon

shame and shoulder off the shadows

clinging to their banks.

Even the chasms

where no light shines

will catch hold of sun shafts overhead

like climbing ropes, and hand over hand

lift themselves out of the deep.

One day, every valley

shall be exalted.

One day the crooked roads

that swerve at every hindrance

will catch sight of the horizon

and abandon fear. 

They will heave out boulders

and tunnel through the hills

to make a highway, 

even and unbroken.

One day, the crooked ways

shall be made straight.

And one day may I be ready

for my heart to be laid low,

to leave off naming

which mountain should be cast down,

which valleys lifted up.

May rough roads in me be leveled

and covered in soft branches,

prepared for the Glory

whenever and however

humbly and quietly

it comes. 

Mary Anne Berry, 2022

May 10, 2022


Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another,

with a community,  a work,  a future.  To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or

do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to

live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.  

To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body

and in the world:  to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that ofter already exist, 

with things we find we already care deeply about:  with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with

an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on.  Whether we stay or whether we go - to be

 courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.

David Whyte

April 5, 2022

Synian monk, Isaac of Niniveh

Many are avidlly seeking but they alone find who 

remain in continual silence...Every man who

delights in a multitude of words

even through he says admirable things,  is empty

within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence.

Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God

and deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence

will unite you to God himself...


Thomas Merton

More than all things love silence:  it brings you a fruit

that tongue cannot describe.  In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent.

But then there is a born something that draws us to silence.  May God give you an experience of this

 "something" that is born of silence.  If only you practice this, untold light will dawn on you in consequence

...after a while a certain sweetness is born in the heart of this exercise and the body

is drawn almost by force to remain in silence.

March 29, 2022


Over the vastness of space

We have observed

The power of gravitational forces

That also impact 

The oceans on Earth

And some biological functions.

Over the minuscule distances

We have discovered

The existence of nuclear forces:

The weak force and the strong force.

There is a fourth force,

The electromagnetic force,

That holds all atoms together

And is also basic to most of 

Our technological breakthroughs.

These four fundamental forces of Nature

Are active everywhere in the universe,

Not only in the present time, but also

Throughout the eons of the distant past.

There is however a fifth force

That can be of momentous importance

For humans, animals, and plants,

ALso powerful over distance and time.

It is frequently described

And commonly referred to as ---L-O-V-E.

by Juliana Christy,  Astrophysicist

California Institute of Technology


March 21, 2022

I see You in the morning dew and in the noontime sun.

I see You in the evening glow and in the starry night.

It is You I have been awed by in rainbows and rainstorms.

It is You I peer into when dawn and sundown show me colors that defy my naming powers.

I glimpse You growing in flowers, trees, and all green things.

I meet You moving through seasons.

It is You who are making every being in the world translucent.

If in the snow I were to look for you, I would peek at Your countenance in the crystals, each one

new, the You of so many faces.

If in a mountain I were to look for You, I would already be gazing at the outline of Your

immortal body.

May I keep meeting You without meeting, only uniting.

May I find You without finding, only feeling myself being folded into Your Heart.

May I embrace You without grasping, only losing myself in Your arms that never stop holding me.

by David Richo in "Everything Ablaze"

March 1, 2022

"In Centering Prayer you merely practice and practice the

core kenotic motion; "let go, make space, unclench" - 

thought by thought by thought"

Cynthia Bourgeault


this year

this day

this hour


This moment!

In this moment, I can come home.

I come home to my body, my heart, my inner wisdom,

my unknowing.

I come home to Life breathing me, beyond all

comprehension and understanding.

I come home to the infinite Love that connects, sustains,

and upholds.

I come home to Presence without seeking or judgement,

without hidden agendas or to do lists.

I come home to enoughness, slowness, gentleness.

I come home to what is

To what is in this moment.

To all of this 

I come home.

 by Joslyn Walker


January 18, 2022

New Year Prayer: Forgiveness

I name the New Year, Forgiveness,

For all the travesty heaped upon us during the Pandemic

may we choose love and not hate.

For the greed, cruelty and disregard

for the sacredness of the earth

may we choose love and not hate.

For all the neglect in caring for elders

orphans, refuges and prisoners

may we choose love and not hate.

For all our mistakes, putting self above other,

for lying, meanness or ill intent

may we choose love and not hate.

For acting habitually, forgetting to be

kind, tender, thankful, generous

inclusive of those different from ourselves

may we choose love and not hate.

In this New Year let us walk boldly

determined to live with integrity

purpose, harmony, goodness in our

speech, our families, friendships, jobs.

In this New Year a new world is born.

May we do our part to sustain, nurture, 

protect, cherish and speak truth with love

for all that is not right in our old world.

May we go forth now in radiant joy,

healing in our wings,

hope in our singing


the fountain of our new lives.

by Joan Englander


August 31, 2021

The Unbroken

There is a brokenness

out of which comes the unbroken,

a shatteredness.

There is a sorrow

beyond all grief which leads to joy

and a fragility

out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space too vast for words

through which we pass with each loss,

out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound

whose serrated edges cut the heart

as we break open

to the place inside which is unbreakable

and whole, 

while learning to sing.

By Rashani Read


"So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than

any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do.  You must think that

something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you;

it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.  Why would you want to exclude

from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't

know what work they are accomplishing within you?"

Rainer Maria Rilke


June 15, 2021

I Have Learned So Much




So much from God

That I can no longer

Call Myself

A Christian, a Hindu , a Muslim,

A Buddist, A Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself

With me

That I can no longer call myself

A man, a woman, an angel,

Or even pure


Love has

Befriend Hafiz so completely

It has turned to ash

And freed 


Of every concept and image 

My mind has ever known.

Poem by Hafiz


April 20, 2021

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,

Then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,

Go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like a flame

And make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Don’t let yourself loose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.

You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Book of Hours: Love Poems to God


April 13, 2021

River Flow, by David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God

or many gods.

I want to know if you belong or feel


If you know despair or can see it in others.

I want to know

if you are prepared to live in the world

with its harsh need

to change you. If you can look back

with firm eyes

saying this is where I stand.  I want to know

if you know 

how to melt into that fierce heat of living

falling toward 

the center of your longing.  I want to  know

if you are willing

to live, day by day, with the consequences of love

and the bitter

unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have been told, in that fierce embrace, even

the gods speak of God.


February 9, 2021

Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”

What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as “play” is perhaps what He Himself takes most seriously.  At any rate,  the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance.  We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of the game, and of that dancing.  When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our heart; or when like the Japanese poet Basho we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all value, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.

For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast.  The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and despair.  But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.  Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.

Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds, and join in the general dance.

January 19, 2021

All I’m saying is simply this: that all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated,

 and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,

tied in a single garment of identity.  Whatever affects one directly,

 affects all indirectly. 

 For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. 

 And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be

 - this is the interrelated structure of reality.

-Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,



Even if I don't see it again - nor ever feel it

I know it is - and that if once it hailed me

it ever does-

And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction

not as towards a place, but it was a tilting

within myself,

as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where it isn't-

I was blinded like that - and swam

in what shone at me

only able to endure it by being no one and so

specifically myself I thought I'd die

from being loved like that.

by Marie Howe


December 15, 2020

The Body is Like Mary

The body is like Mary, and each of us has a Jesus inside.

Who is not in labor, holy labor? Every creature is.

See the value of true art, when the earth or a soul is in

the mood to create beauty;

for the witness might then for a moment know, beyond

any doubt, God is really there within,

so innocently drawing life from us with Her umbilical

universe – infinite existence …

though also needing to be born. Yes, God also needs

to be born!

Birth from a hand’s loving touch. Birth from a song,

from a dance, breathing life into this world.

The body is like Mary, and each of us, each of us has

a Christ within.

– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi


A Prayer for the Evening

In the quiet of this place, 

in the dark of the night,

we wait and watch.

In the stillness of the soul 

and from its fathomless depths 

the senses of our hearts are awake to you.

For fresh soundings of life 

for new showings of light,

we search in the silence of your Spirit O God.

from: The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer


December 1, 2020

by Sam Perkins

Dear Deepening Ocean and

Ever-Expanding Universe;

Secret Silence, our Original Womb

Who bears all sound into being;

Patient Parent, Whose Presence 

and appetite for infancy 

keep You ever-younger than we --

We who fear and fret and forget

the ever-present Flow of Love,

One that lifts and languishes and liberates,

connecting constellations 

of difference and distance 

which deserve our deference --

We thank You for this gift of life,

of pain and pleasure,

of feelings, flaws, and failures

that furrow the fallow

holy ground of our being,

making sacred spaces

for seeds to rest

and take root.

Give us grace

and courage 

and kindness

to embrace 

all things 

as fertile 

soil for our 


Help us notice and nurture

the nutrients we need 

to let go or transform

whatever we don't.

Free us from filters that limit

Self-knowledge and Evolution.

Enrich us with

rituals that

regulate our


Bless us with breakdowns

that make us true

to the Self

we forsake

in the race 

of days.


may our wounds

make us open 

as we break 


both dying 

and sprouting

wholly into

the Creative


of Love

that is 



September 22, 2020

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals

that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to,

worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.  Once we believe in ourselves

we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous  delight

or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E.E. Cummings

Guest House

by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A  joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crown of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent 

as a guide from beyond.


August 25, 2020 


by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it 

as the Jew considers the Sabbath-

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love-

for better or worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

The Lord’s Prayer - Aramaic Version

Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

May Your light be experienced in my inmost being.

The fullness of your realm approaches:

Let Your will come true ~ on the earth below

just as in the universe above.

Give us the wisdom we need each day.

Detach the fetters of faults that bind us,

and help us let go of the guilt of others.

Let us not be lost in superficial things, 

but let us be freed from that 

which keeps us from our true purpose.

From You comes the all-working will, 

the enlivening strength to act,

the song that beautifies all and 

renews itself from age to age.

In trust, faith, and truth

I give you my entire being.