One of the effects of meditation and centering prayer is purification.
On the spiritual path we often prefer peace and bliss rather than purification and discomfort. Perhaps all of these qualities arise during meditation and prayer. Yet, truly for our good, purification is necessary.
What is meant by purification? Thomas Keating describes purification as the “emptying of the junk in the unconscious—that is, the emotional damage that has been done to us from the moment we were conceived until now.” 1
Ah. Viewed this way, purification sounds like an essential and desirable process.
People in therapy understand both the difficulty and the relief of healing painful emotions. Similarly, people who meditate and pray experience “the spontaneous evacuation of . . . emotional garbage” 2 which, though painful, provides great relief.
So why would people endure the uncomfortable elements of emotional and spiritual cleansing?
Well, there are practitioners of centering prayer in Albuquerque and Edgewood who have experienced both the difficulty and the relief of this cleansing.
One person who has been practicing centering prayer for several months says that “monkey mind” 3 has made his practice challenging. He also says that “like many things in life, there are gifts in challenges. I have increased calm in my life and, dare I say it, feel more centered.”
Another long-time practitioner claims that his practice has illumined the “paradox of seeking and not-seeking at the same time. Intention and focus (seeking) are necessary while at the same time listening and removing obstacles to the listening (not-seeking) are essential.” He then quotes a medieval adage, “Seeking God is an insult to God,” and explains why it is an insult: “She’s already here!”
As these assertions demonstrate, purification can also bring curative gifts, clarity, and illumination.
Purification opens the meditator to the divine presence which permeates all life. As Keating states, emotional pain and damage need to be “emptied out before the experience of divine union can be fully achieved and the true self can begin to motivate us rather than the false self . . .” 4 The “true self” to which Keating refers is one’s own true self, the divine presence within.
Join us for more insights into purification from Albuquerque and Edgewood centering prayer practitioners.
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If you are interested in attending a centering prayer group in Albuquerque or Edgewood, please call (505) 281-7542.
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1,2,4 Intimacy with God, Thomas Keating, A Crossroad Book, Snowmass, Colorado, 2009, page 100
3 For more on “monkey mind,” you may enjoy this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bj-gallagher/buddha-how-to-tame-your-m_b_945793.html .
To read the previous articles on these centering prayer group discussions, please begin here: http://pingroof.com/spirituality-in-albuquerque/centering-prayer-albuquerque-and-edgewood , and http://pingroof.com/spirituality-in-albuquerque/centering-prayer-albuquerque-and-edgewood-ii .