During centering prayer, we have our candles lit and the lights dimmed.
There is an attitude of quieting oneself, our thoughts, our actions, and in general our movements.
We are focused on our breathing, letting it go.
We are focused on our tension, letting it go.
We clear our thoughts of all the issues of the day by letting them go.
There is a thought picture. We are sitting on the bank of a river.
We see a boat, a passing thought. It is so attractive. It has such wonderful details on it.
We acknowledge the boat, but let it go.
The rule is no swimming after the boat.
So when someone unwrapped a cough drop, it sounded like a fog horn in the silence.
We hear every crinkle and twist from the wrapper. A personal experience is remembered, working with developmentally disabled adults. There is one who knocks on the table for attention and he is able to derail the whole team from the task we are on.
Centering prayer gives us the tools and develops the mindset after a time to let go and not be dragged down the river.
The Rule of Silence
There in the darkness and in the silence
the small sound of unwrapping
the small sound continuing to penetrate into the silence
Seeking to let go
but drawn like a moth to the fire
And after it stops the thought
caught in the undertow
carrying me down the river
I think of the rule of silence.
I think of the client who knocks on the table.
I think of the penetration of silence which has
so easily caught hold of me.
So it is with my thoughts
So it is with my actions
Caught in thoughts
Caught by actions
Tom Cooner is a participant at Colonial Church's Centering Prayer gathering. He writes poetry to describe his experience in Centering Prayer.