Foundation Of Contemplative Living: Audio Sessions

Exploring foundations of Contemplative Living
A Retreat with James Finley 

April 29-30 and May 1, 2016
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Contemplative Outreach Northeast Ohio (CONEO) had the privilege to work with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio for the retreat Exploring the Foundations of Contemplative Living led by Dr. James Finley on April, 29, 30 and May 1, 2016. Chuck Herbruck, from the Centering Prayer group at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, made this event possible through over a year of behind-the-scenes work. Over 350 people attended.

In keeping with Dr. Finley’s wishes, the audio files were made available to upload on the CONEO website. Click on the blue link at the beginning of each numbered item, below, to play an MP3 audio file.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Path to Inner Peace: Freeing the Mind and Heart through Spiritual SobrietyIntroductions and thanks by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

  1. TRACK033 — Introduction by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
  2. TRACK034 — Dr. Finley speaks on how the 12 steps can help all of us to be set free from habits of the mind and heart that perpetuate suffering.
  3. TRACK035 — Questions and Answers.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thomas Merton and Teresa of Avila.

  1. TRACK036 — Introduction by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
  2. TRACK037 — Dr. James Finley on Thomas Merton, Part I
  3. TRACK038 — Questions and Answers, Part 1
  4. TRACK039 — Reconvene after break, a note from Sarah Widener, River’s Edge
  5. TRACK040 — Dr. James Finley on Thomas Merton, Part 2
  6. TRACK041 — Dr. James Finley calls for questions (laughing!)
  7. TRACK042 — Questions and Answers Part 2.
  8. TRACK043 — A note from Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies
  9. TRACK044 — Dr. Finley on Teresa of Avila, Part 1
  10. TRACK045 — Questions and Answers, Part 1
  11. TRACK046 — Reconvene after break, a note from Josefina Fernandez, CONEO
  12. TRACK047 — Dr. Finley on Teresa of Avila, Part 2

May 1, 2016 Sunday

  1. 05 01 16 JF — Dr. Finley’s Homily at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

    FinleyRetreat_StPauls

Emptiness and Non-Attachment, by Carl McColman

“Last week I wrote about the difference between how Catholics understand meditation and contemplation, based on material found in the

Catholic Catechism. A reader left the following comment on that post:

We rest in God. But we do not empty our minds. We are always in communication with God. Prayer is focusing on God and we praise him for who He is, we intercede for others, and we put our requests to Him. We align our wills with His in prayer. Never do we make our minds a ‘spiritual vacuum’ for something else other than the Holy Spirit to fill it.”  Read more.

Catholic Meditation and Contemplative Prayer: What’s the Difference? by Carl McColman.

A reader of my blog wrote to me and asked this question:

What do you see is the difference between Catholic meditation and contemplative prayer?

It’s a great question, made complicated by the fact that words like meditation and contemplation can be used in a variety of ways, especially in society at large. Read more

Practices for a Deeper Commitment To the Contemplative Life

Notes on “Practices for a Deeper Commitment To the Contemplative Life” 

a weekend retreat with Mary Dwyer
by
Nancy Moran
 
     What a spiritually enriching weekend it was with Mary Dwyer presenting on “Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative Life” on October 2,3 and 4.  This retreat sponsored by CONEO at River’s Edge Retreat Center in Cleveland focused on Deepening Centering Prayer, The Welcoming Prayer, The Forgiveness Prayer and Integration and Transformation.
     I had never heard her speak before last weekend and I was delighted to discover that Mary Dwyer is a spiritual leader who embodies and transmits the wisdom of Father Thomas Keating, Mary Mrozowski, the originator of the welcoming prayer, and Mary Dwyer’s own wisdom teachings on spiritual practices.  All of us present at the retreat were invited to learn with our hearts as well as with our minds.
     There was so much to learn but I will jot down here just a few notes and quotes from Mary over the 3 days.  For more information on the Spiritual Practices themselves and how to do them please go to contemplative outreach.org.  There are books, pamphlets and listings of retreats available to learn about and experience these practices in depth.
Centering Prayer:
       – The deeper you go the more there is to learn.
       – As Father Keating says, sit in the chair every day 2 times and be quiet.  The more you show up to the chair the easier it gets to go to the chair.
       – God is waiting to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
       – There are no rules because who is doing the prayer?  God’s spirit in us is doing the praying.
       – We have 4 simple guidelines for Centering Prayer – but we never know what God will do with us
       – Simple practice…..Profound results.
       -The present moment contains all we need to be happy, no matter what the psychological content. God is present…..All is well.
 
The Welcoming Prayer:
       – We need a second engine to lift us off throughout the ordinariness of our daily lives. The Welcoming Prayer helps us actively let go of thoughts and feelings that support the false self system.  It helps us embrace painful emotions rather than avoiding or suppressing them.
       – The Welcoming Prayer helps us while stuff is happening…..Consent on the go…..
       – Experience, not intellectual understanding is where it all begins.
       – I can only do work to the level of consciousness I am at now.
       – Some things take years.   The 1st moment is the process of seeing it.
       – A meditation practice is foundational for these other practices to take hold.
 
The Forgiveness Prayer:
       – We need the Forgiveness practice for what is still “sticky” after Welcoming.
       – St. Theresa of Avila, “A contemplative can have many faults except the inability to forgive.”
       – Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation.
       – Forgiveness practice needs a lot of safety and safe space.  The practice is done in our own time and space.
       – Sometimes the forgiveness process takes years….. and sometimes this process takes minutes.
       – Forgiveness does not mean we are allowing it to happen again.  Forgiveness changes things….. making things conscious…..so it is less likely to happen again.
       – We do the Forgiveness Practice after Centering Prayer when we are in a space of open heartedness.
 
Let me end this with gratitude for Mary for her time, teachings, presence and authenticity and for helping all of us to let our light shine a little brighter. 
       

The Centering Prayer Introductory Program Brochure

New resource available        (Original communication from CO, Ltd)

To all worldwide Contemplative Outreach coordinators, contact persons and presenters:Centering Prayer Introductory Program brochureOn behalf of the Centering Prayer Introductory Program Service Team, I’m pleased to announce a new brochure for the Introductory Program.  The Centering Prayer Introductory Program brochure was developed as a result of input from many of you. It is intended to be given to potential host organizations and participants of all faith denominations interested in the Introductory Program.   You may order it in packages of 25 from the online store (color) or it can be downloaded and printed from the website (black & white).

Traditionally, Contemplative Outreach has used our dear Father Keating’s six video presentations for the Continuing Sessions. For those of you who still have that set (which is no longer being produced), it is still a viable alternative.

The resources listed in The Centering Prayer Introductory Program brochure are new alternatives that you can fashion to fit your particular needs. For example, there is the multiple DVD set produced by Sounds True, “Centering Prayer: A Training Course in Opening to the Presence of God” as well as another option for those in 12-Step Programs.

The Resource Guide: Options for the Continuing Sessions  is geared to presenters and facilitators of the continuing sessions. It presents these resources in much fuller detail and also offers options for scheduling the sessions. This was introduced in the fall of 2014. (Note: To access this link, you must be logged in to the website and have access to the Leadership Resources page.  Please reply to this email if you experience access problems.)

We listened to your ideas and needs through the survey of coordinators in 2013. Thank you for your invaluable help which guided our work.  We want to keep listening and partnering with you in the development of future Centering Prayer Introductory Program materials.

We hope and pray that these new resources will help guide newcomers to transformation by deepening their relationship with the Holy Spirit through Centering Prayer.  One of our team members will be following up with you directly about using these new resources and any questions you may have.  Or, you can contact us directly by emailing Ruth Hofmann or calling +1.412.445.5055.

In humble service to you,

Ruth Hofmann
Team Leader, Centering Prayer Introductory Program Service Team

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