“Close your eyes and try to think of nothing. Be silent in your mind. Gently push all thoughts and images away,” encouraged a thoughtful facilitator teaching the Spirited Life staff how do to the Centering Prayer.
What? Leave all my thoughts behind? But then I’ll be left with…with nothing. I closed my eyes and practiced. The silence was uncomfortable. The discomfort came from my own restlessness and my unease with quieting my heart and mind. I don’t know how to rest.
This ancient Christian practice was humbling and focusing.
If you are looking for a place of spiritual renewal and enrichment, I invite you to think about attending one of the fall offerings from The Lydia Group, located in Statesville, N.C. The founder, Ann Starrette, has a passion for ancient spiritual practices. Her life’s work is devoted to teaching and sharing these spiritual practices with everyone, especially clergy in need of renewal. The Lydia Group, named in the spirit of Lydia from Acts 16, provides individuals and organizations with spiritual growth workshops, retreats, and resources. Their focus and main desire is to nurture transformation in Christ through the ancient spiritual practices.
This fall’s spiritual enrichment program includes practice in welcoming prayer, centering prayer, and lectio divina, as well as quiet space days and a clergy renewal and formation opportunity called School of the Spirit. The retreat house is also available for rental.
I hope this falls brings opportunities of reflection and silence, drawing you all closer to our Triune God.
Photo by Flickr user Jim Nix/Nomadic Pursuits (via Creative Commons)