This week we continue to hear from the Cloud of Unknowning written in the late 14th century. Our Centering Prayer Meditation words come The Heart of Centering Prayer by Cynthia Bourgeault, writing on The Cloud as we reflect further on the theme of love is at the core.
Father Thomas Keating, in the 20th century, re-awakening the Christian contemplative tradition, was often quoted as saying, “Centering prayer is done not with attention but with intention,” but that generally fails to register…so he says, “rather than engaging the powers of focused attention on breath or mantra it involves the release of thinking attention more attention of the heart, extensively described in Orthodox Christianity…a Tibetan Buddhist would recognize it as objectless awareness.” These words are intentional. It’s a time to experience where and if any word or phrase stands out for you. Take what you need of them into your silence as your centering prayer.
- First we must withdraw our attention from all ‘creatures’ or objects of attention, wrapping them picturesquely in a ‘cloud of forgetting’…a companion cloud to the cloud of unknowing so to speak, or as Thomas Keating puts it when we recognize that we are engaged with a thought and we promptly let it go. Nor is it profitable to even think on the kindness and worthiness of God, yet it is far better to think upon the naked being of him and to love and praise him for himself.
- And second. Of God himself no man can think. By love he may be gotten and held, but not by thought. With a joyful, devout and pleasing stirring of love, try to pierce the darkness above you. And strike upon that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love and do not leave whatever may befall.
As you begin to relax now in body and mind, slow your breathing, and enter your meditation, centering your prayer, your in-most being on your will and intention…know that “naked intent direct to God” is deeper, ultimately, than even the most dazzling perception of clarity.
Love and every blessing
Cynthia Bourgeault, The Heart of Centering Prayer: p 2, 147-154.
We are using this app to assist at other times to meditate
Remember to watch an introduction to Centering Prayer Meditation with Kathryn. You can see it here
Let us know how you are finding this time – we always like to hear from you😊
Peace and health at this time
Irene & Damien