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4 Oct 1999 –13 Nov 2003 Victoria, BC –
from Transcript of Audio Recording of Cynthia Bourgeault’s Commentaries on:
Living Presence by Kabir Edmund Helminski

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The memory of Thomas Keating is much on my heart this day as we say our final farewell to his physical presence in this material realm of space and time. I am struck by the rich and fruitful collaboration that took place between Keating and his student Cynthia Bourgeault.

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Recently I received an email from a student in a Study of Religion Class asking me “to answer some questions about contemplation and the Christian faith.” She may have got a little more than she bargained for as my reply to her questions exceeds 1,000 words.

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There is no such thing as a prayer in which “nothing is done” or “nothing happens,” although there may well be a prayer in which nothing is perceived or felt or thought. 46

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4. When we sit in silent prayer, we are expressing our heart’s deepest desire to be open to God and to live with an awareness of God’s presence.

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3. Centering Prayer is the practice of putting aside all those things in our lives that fill up the “clay jar” and prevent us from being aware of our true treasure, the presence of God. We call this putting aside “surrender” or “letting go.”

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So, what if a child should express an interest in learning about silent prayer? What are we to tell a child or young person who might ask about our prayer practice?

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Here are two more skills that might encourage children we influence to adopt a meditation practice.

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The importance of modelling for children if we hope they might grow up to choose a meditation practice, means two things for adults who might feel inclined to guide children towards silent prayer:

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I was asked in a comment to a recent blog post: “Is there a way that you could suggest to begin teaching children this ‘centering’ form of prayer, instead of the usual reciting of prescribed prayers?”

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