The term “Unloading of the Unconscious” refers to the process of inner healing and transformation that can take place as we practice Centering Prayer.
In this video recorded at the August 5th Zoom Workshop, Mark Rodel and Jody Reis Johnson explore this oft-neglected topic with insight and sensitivity.
by Jody Reis Johnson
Each year, at the beginning of Advent, I pray for eyes to see the Holy Child wherever He may appear. I believe my first sighting came early this year, the first weekend of the season, at our Advent Centering Prayer Retreat. A middle-aged couple introduced themselves to the group on the first evening by telling us that they had moved here from another part of the country seeking better services for an elderly and disabled parent.
Gathered by Christine Eaton, attempting to capture the collective movement of the Spirit
From the introduction circle
on Friday evening:
Gratitude, peace, yes, wow
Welcome, blessings, compassion, joy
Oneness, kindness, stillness, spirit
Quiet, still, nature, seek silence
Open, listening, community, presence
Hope, grace, love, overflowing
Thank you, all is well, abundance
Multiplication, and Beloved
From Pamela's opening talk:
Spaciousness, freedom, chosen, known, goodness
And from the closing conversation:
Delight, courage, heart, strengthening
Faith, faithfulness, wisdom
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability--
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father/Mother,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through God's grace,
encourage your hearts
and strengthen them in every good deed and word.
Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
God will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.
I dedicate and consecrate this day
to the work and the will of God.
And may I remain
in the heart of the Mother.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
In preparation for the "top-down" practice of Centering Prayer, we are encouraged to cultivate and integrate bottom up practices – movement, touch, breath, affirmation, sound. Trauma gets stuck in the body – “the issues are in our tissues” – so integrating bottom up with top down really helps us get "unstuck." In addition to Welcoming Prayer, we used the following two Vestibule Practices – Grounding in Gratitude and Grateful Heart - as introduced by Dr. Christine O'Brien at the 2019 annual conference of Contemplative Outreach International, which met in Denver in September.
Presence & Action Blog
MN Contemplative Outreach publishes articles written by, and for, practitioners. They are designed to deepen understanding of the Centering Prayer Practice and its power to change lives.