- Reflections by Bob Garbett
Be Still: Centering Prayer
We mostly live on the fringe of our own lives. We mistake edges for essence, we skim the surface of things and somehow think or hope that we have plummeted the depths.
We live in a world that begs, borrows and steals our time with endless distractions and instant headlines. We spend most of our lives living on the surface of things. Yet somewhere inside are untapped, unscathed and unchecked caverns and deep reservoirs calling out for us to 'come home'. Someone once said, “we need more, and more of what doesn’t work” and so we end up on endless quests for meaning for something that will stick, something that will remain - yet it always feels so elusive. Our lives are characterised by a quiet desperation. Even our spiritual quests are completed through a maze and haze of activities that we hope will bring some other dimension into view or some other story into play. One that is different from the one well-worn story that always seems so void of actual meaning. We read our Bibles, we go to Church, we pray: yet nothing seems to change. We pursue the same means, always hoping for different outcomes, yet the changeless nature of our 'un-changeability' remains. Where do we begin? And indeed, how, do we begin? Perhaps we need a practise that will help us to see better. Because it is the very things we see that will change the way we see. We need to learn how to deeply see into life. We need to see beneath the surface of our own lives. We need to see things as we are. The gospels are actually filled with references as to how we can do this: Once such practise is Centering / Contemplative or Silent prayer. This sort of prayer helps us to get in touch, and to tap into, our own essence or the ground zero of our own being. For far too long we were taught what to see and not how to see. This practise will take us to the depths and in doing so we learn how to see, as if for the first time. We develop, so to speak, night time vision as we begin to tap into a different way of seeing. Our each and every day vision is not needed here as this practise trains us to begin to see deeply.