Week 8: Share My Path Series.
What Share My Path has shown—even in its infancy—is that every person’s path is unique. Being able to present a variety of practices can only be of service to others searching for their own path.
On this tone of variety, I’m excited to present Jaimie Schultz’s path: one of following the practice of centering prayer. In addition, I present another format: question and answer.
What brought you to your practice?
I have long understood that within each and every person is a light, an inner divinity, a soul that is innately connected to something far beyond our own physical world. I also have known that trying to connect to this place within can be filled with challenges and obstacles of many kinds; hence why I spent most of my life disconnected from this place within myself. I was scared of what it may look like and what may be stirred up inside.
When I was in my early 30s I found myself with an overwhelming desire to bridge the gap between the outside world and my own inner divinity. It became so strong that it soon outweighed any fear or anxiety about what I might find.
I shouted to the Universe, “It’s time!”
I was introduced to a woman in the community; her passions were my passions. In our first meeting I poured out all my fears and my desire for growth. I explained to her that I wanted this relationship with myself, but I had no idea where to even begin. She smiled and stated, “Centering Prayer.”
I spent the next couple of weeks researching and reading everything I could find about this ancient, mystical meditation. The more I read the more I could hear my soul calling me to centering prayer’s doorstep. This was my way. I knew it in my gut. I’d found the way to mesh my soul with my life.
What was your first experience with centering prayer like?
Centering Prayer is an ancient practice of completely silencing the mind and body in order that you can open your heart to the presence of the Divinity which lives within you.
The ultimate purpose is to get comfortable in the presence, so that you can actually step into it. This allows you to lead a more contemplative life. The goal is to drop into silence at least one time per day for duration of 30 minutes.
As for my first session, let me just say this: Don’t choose a location like your bed in the wee hours of the morning to do your 30 minutes of silence. You will fall fast asleep shortly after the process begins.
Note to Self: Set alarm, wake from bed, move into prayer space, and sit on yoga mat.
What are struggles you’ve faced with your practice?
Finding time to stop your life and drop into silence is the biggest struggle with anyone practicing Centering Prayer, but they are struggles only found in the early stages. You realize rather fast that the world will not come to an end if you take 30 minutes to stop and focus on yourself. You see, with each session you learn something new for the next time.
Once you are able to make time for the practice you find that your noisy mind is the only opponent between you and your inner divinity. Let me tell you, your mind works very hard on keeping you distracted and disconnected from yourself. But, just like any opponent in life, once you realize what you are up against and what the opponent is made of, you can more easily find techniques to conquer it.
If in one session your ego wins, don’t give up! Keep at it, as eventually your opponent will bow out.
What keeps you practicing?
Every time you leave the company of a dear friend, you walk away feeling uplifted and better. That, my soul shakers, is what continues to bring me back to the practice of daily centering prayer. Every session leaves me uplifted. Every session leaves me better. Every session leaves me with a deeper understanding of who I am as a person. Every session grounds me more and more in who and what I am as a person.
I am amazed at the daily sense of peace and calm that overruns me.
My faith, hope, love, and trust in self has grown leaps and bounds and only leaves me coming back for more. I have never in all my life, found a better way to grow spiritually and to grow closer to my own soul shine.
Share My Path would love to feature your path! e-mail usShare My Path is an archival experiment seeking to build a repository of the paths taken by practitioners of meditation and is hosted here at elephant journal. If you’d like to have your path featured and made part of the archive please e-mail or find us here for more information. Your time will be rewarded in knowing you’ve shared with others and perhaps helped someone find their path.
Last weeks installment of Share My Path: Meditation for Recovery: YouTube as Teacher
A list of all previous weeks: Share My Path
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
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