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:

carol@centeringprayer.org

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 Meeting Meditation

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June 15, 2021

I Have Learned So Much

I

Have

Learned

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

Soul.

Love has

Befriend Hafiz so completely

It has turned to ash

And freed

Me

Of every concept and image

My mind has ever known.

Poem by Hafiz

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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 lose 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

abandoned.

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 eys

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.,

_______________________________________________

Annunciation


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

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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 Spiri, 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

souls.


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

rhythms.


Bless us with breakdowns

that make us true

to the Self

we forsake

in the race

of days.


And

may our wounds

make us open

as we break

through,


both dying

and sprouting

wholly into


the Creative

Mystery

of Love

that is

You.


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

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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

Pandemic

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.

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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.

Amen