25 June 2006

The 4th Dimension

I'm going on a centering prayer retreat this week at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. It is called an 8-day intensive in centering prayer. I have practiced this ancient form of Christian prayer for the past two years and have found it to be transformative.

Here is a quote from a source book for centering prayer, Thomas Keating's book, Open Mind, Open Heart:

The union established during prayer has to be integrated with the rest of reality. The presence of God should become a kind of fourth dimension to all of life. Our threedimensional world is not the real world because the most important dimension is missing; namely, that from which everything that exists is emerging and returning in each micro-cosmic moment of time. It is like adding a sound tract to a silent movie. The picture is the same, but the sound track makes it more alive. The contemplative state is established when contemplative prayer moves from being an experience or series of experiences to an abiding state of consciousness. The contemplative state enables one to rest and act at the same time because one is rooted in the source of both rest and action.

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