Practices to Experience Joy

Practices to learn to quiet the mind and experience the joy of the moment:

Part 9 of 9.

One of the practices that I like a lot and allows me to maintain a state of tranquility during the day is the Centering Prayer. This post will explain the details of this method.

Centering Prayer is a method of prayer/meditation promoted by Thomas Keating which does not intend to suspend other forms of prayer or contemplation but rather to add to our daily life a break from morning activities that are accompanied by emotional and mental activities and thus allowing us to experience union with the Peace of the Divine.

This practice invites us to rest in the presence of Peace or God while we relate to this aspect of the divinity of our being.

There are several simple points to consider before having the experience of performing the centering prayer.

-Be certain that the divinity and the presence of love is always present and available to commune and unite with us.

-Have the will to stand firm in holding the prayer, leaving aside any kind of doubt or thought that could be an obstacle.

-Enter in prayer without any expectation, request or demand. We give ourselves in prayer to experience Peace and Presence not to ask for Peace or Presence.

-Enter in true humility recognizing that God's will for us is complete peace and complete happiness. Leave the desire aside to impose our own will.

-Allow us to enter into prayer in a state of not knowing. To understand that we do not know what is our best interest because if we knew for sure we would not be experiencing any obstacle to joy, peace, happiness, union, and non-judgment in our life. Recognizing ourselves completely dependent on love is the first step in recognizing our greatness.

-Deliver us knowing that everything that happens is always for our highest good even if we do not understand it. We leave aside the desire to understand during our prayer process.

-Detach ourselves from the results of form and appearances.

-Decide to stay present. It is not necessary to go to the past unless it is to correct our mistakes and transcend them. Neither is it necessary to go to the future and try to figure out things to come on our own. It is about being in the present knowing that the Divine meets with us here.

-Be willing to practice centering prayer in solitude and silence. It is through allowing us to enter the state of silence where we can begin to hear the song of prayer and communion with the Divine.

-Be willing to enter into prayer with our whole being in an attitude of silence in our mind and as much as possible without other sounds around.

-Find a place to sit comfortably to allow us to pray.

-The practice is usually 20 minutes twice a day. In the morning when we woke up and in the middle of the afternoon. 20 minutes are enough to enter a deep state of prayer and eventually contemplation.

-Have in mind 1 or 2 words that will serve to keep us in the purpose of being in communion and in silence. For example: Love, I Am, God is, Peace or any other word that returns our attention to our main objective. We can always ask for inspiration to choose a word.

-Then we close our eyes as a symbol of voluntarily renouncing external to internal distractions and getting ready to start the practice.

-Calmly and slowly we introduce our word that symbolizes our union of giving ourselves in prayer and immerse ourselves in the experience allowing us to observe without judgment, repulsion, attachment or expectation any thought, feeling or emotion that comes to our consciousness.

-Every time our mind is distracted by any thought, feeling or emotion and we have allowed ourselves to observe, we slowly remember the word that we established at the beginning, returning to our intention.

-We use the word in complete smoothness and not as a tool to fight, deny or reject any thought, sensation and emotion that comes to our conscience.

-We can select an alarm with a gentle tone to let us know when 20 minutes have passed. Then we gently allow ourselves to return to our morning activity carrying with us the fruits of prayer.

Carrying out this practice without expecting results is beautiful and allows us to grow in our state of presence. We know that the fruits of prayer are manifesting in our lives as we observe ourselves joyful, in trust and constant communion with the Divine. We also invite you not to evade the practice or resume it if we see that we are leaving the record. The idea is to maintain and welcome the love and peace in our lives knowing how important it is to keep them as our goal to experience the joy of the moment.