Questions and Answers
The intention of this section is to assist you in your practice of Centering Prayer by attempting to answer questions you may have as a result of your learings over time. Much of the information contained herein for the answers to questions will be taken from Fr. Thomas Keating's writings but not limited to his writings. We hope this is helpful to you.
What is the prayer of contemplation, or what is contemplation?
Contemplation is that prayer in which the inspiration of the Spirit is given directly to our spirit without the intermediary of our own reflections or acts of the will. In other words, the Spirit prays in us and we consent.
Does the practice of Centering Prayer differ from other forms if meditation such as the practice of Buddhism whose focus is to reach nirvana?
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the indwelling of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. It tends to build communities of faith and bond members together in mutual friendship and love.
Source: Open Mind, Open Heart Fr. Thomas Keating
In the practice of Buddhism there is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that the human life is one of suffering, and meditation, spiritual and physical labor and good behavior are the ways to achieve enlightenment, or nirvana.
Source: Theosophical Society of America