RESOURCES FOR CENTERING PRAYER

Centering Prayer is one method of silent, contemplative prayer that members of our community have found helpful in deepening their spiritual life.  Because of its inclusive, heart-opening nature, we are pleased to offer a few simple instructions here on our website.  Be sure to visit our interfaith reading room at Arkansas House of Prayer for more resources on prayer and meditation.

“We can sit to meditate with the intention to let it all go, inspired to explore what lies beyond self.

We sit deliberately, with noble posture and noble attention.

We breathe. Progressively, we free our awareness from sensations. We free our awareness from the ‘I’ we imputed upon the sensations and the ‘mine’ with which we tried to claim them. We relieve ourselves of all of our mistaken identifications, loosening our attachments to them, letting them go.

We liberate ourselves from illusions and, cleared of all that congested weight, the burden of being a self, we surrender, entering awareness that is spacious and quiet and uncongested.

We just die into silence. Die to the past. Die to the future. Die to the breath. Completely let go. The silence reveals itself as refuge, as awareness that can be trusted, tenderly loving and resounding with the majesty and the mystery of the sacred.”

From “Living in the Light of Death” by Kathleen Dowling Singh, Oneing, “Ripening,” Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 42-44

Centering Prayer

Paraphrased and quoted from Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart

  1. Choose a sacred word. This word is a “symbol of your intention to consent to the presence and action of God within.”
  2. Sit with eyes closed in a comfortable position and “introduce the sacred word.”
  3. When thoughts distract you, “ever-so-gently” return to the sacred word.
  4. At the end of your prayer time take some time in silence for a few minutes to transition back.

Find Centering Prayer Locations in Central Arkansas where Centering Prayer is taught and practiced.

For more information on Centering Prayer, see Contemplative Outreach.

Dedication Prayer

Leslie Singer – Member of Temple B’Nai Israel, Little Rock.

Lord,

We thank you today and tomorrow and for all the times now to come for the blessing of this house and for the blessing given to us by those whose compassion conceived it, whose talents designed it, whose skills built it, whose generosity paid for it, and to those who will now bring their hearts here to use it.

Help us remember that the earth we are mixing together and asking you to bless today, has already been blessed by you with its billions of wonders.

There is a Hebrew prayer that some Jews say before they eat and partake of the Earth’s bounty:

Baruch atoh adenoi elohano melech a’ olam, hamotze l’echem min h’aretz.

Blessed be the Lord our G-d, king of the universe, who gives us the fruits of the earth.

Amen

Today we are celebrating this beautiful new House of Prayer. A place for each of us to find peace, comfort, refuge and wisdom not so much within its walls, but within its emptiness.

It is called simply a House of Prayer, not a church or synagogue or a mosque or any other special name just a house, a home, a quiet place where we can be ourselves. To pray, meditate, to think, or just quietly listen to what G-d and his universe wants to tell us.

A Partner in Our Interfaith Mission

The Interfaith Center at the Institute for Theological Studies at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church hosts frequent workshops, seminars, and interfaith discussions in the Little Rock area.  In the words of its mission statement, “The goal of the Center is to reduce the hatred and fear among the world religions.”