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Centering prayer

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Tallguy88, May 14, 2013.

  1. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Anyone here have experience with centering prayer? I've read that it's based loosely on the meditative practices of the desert fathers and is somewhat similar to hesychasm.

    I haven't tried it myself, but am interested and curious if y'all have any insight.
     
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  2. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    I've not heard of this. You care to offer a brief explanation of what it's about?
     
  3. 27B6

    27B6 Veteran

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  4. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    Centering prayer:
    Source: http://www.centeringprayer.com/centering_prayer.html

    As to it's history:
    And how to actually practice centering prayer:

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centering_prayer
     
  5. 27B6

    27B6 Veteran

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Interesting...
     
  7. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    This type of prayer is an attempt to get to a state of being – but the Jesus Prayer is about dialoguing with a Person. “Jesus” = “YHWH saves” – we don’t pick any random word, we use His name because it means we are asking for salvation. Centering prayer is about relaxation, just like Hindu or Buddhist meditation, but the Jesus Prayer is the most active activity there is. Elder Sophrony says 7 hours of physical labor is equal to 3 hours of mental activity which is equal to one hour of prayer, in terms of effort exerted. We do not relax in prayer because our bodies are an integral part of our personhood which need salvation. Also, the Jesus Prayer is not about getting rid of thoughts, but about having only one thought - Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
     
  8. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    This.

    And I personally would prefer to continue in the Jesus prayer because I know it leads to Truth. I don't know what this "centering" prayer leads to.
     
  9. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    I would also be wary about focusing on a single attribute of God, rather than on Himself as He is. the idea of hesychasm, as jck pointed out, is dialogue with the Creator, not repetition of something I like about Him.

    it also seems, that the self is central to this kinda mediation. it's YOUR word that YOU choose, and it does not seem, at least from what is posted, that there is any spiritual father direction with it.
     
  10. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

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    I can't comment from experience, but from what I've read, the word isn't repeated like a mantra. It's just a starting point and an anchor to return to if your mind starts to wander.

    As to the actual point of the practice, it seems to be to empty your mind of all thoughts so it can commune with God on a subconscious level.
     
  11. AvilaSurfer

    AvilaSurfer Well-Known Member Supporter

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  12. AureateDawn

    AureateDawn Love & Peace

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    Thank you for this explanation. It made things clearer to me! However, does this mean that centering prayer, or that general form of meditative type of prayer into a state of being, have a part in the life of an Orthodox Christian? And if so, is there a distinction between it being meditation, or specifically prayer?

    Really? Explain? Somehow I've not known this, but it's neat!
     
  13. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    there is nothing wrong with internal stillness, and the state of mind that comes from it. I think the difference is that in hesychasm, the Jesus prayer is what has been handed down, and it is never done without spiritual direction, so as to avoid demonic delusion which can happen. we don't just pick a word that makes us feel good or we think points us to God, we were given what points us to God, if that makes sense.

    Jesus is the Greek version of the name Joshua, which translates into YHWH saves, savior, the Lord saves, and prolly some others I don't remember. it's one of the reasons Christ was given that name, because it's Who He is.
     
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