Celtic Christianity Today #3 Rev. Dr. George Cairns discusses Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Silent Prayer and Father Thomas Keating
(Photos by Greg Peterson)
(Munising, Michigan) Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, Indiana discusses Centering Prayer and the environmental crisis facing the human race in this series of videos recorded on November 9, 2007 in Munising Michigan.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer and Silent Prayer are basically the same thing with very subtle differences, Cairns explained.
A licensed centering prayer instructor, Rev. Cairns learned his techniques from the world’s foremost expert on centering prayer, Dr. Thomas Keating.
A professor with the Chicago Theological Seminary, Rev. Cairns encourages everyone to experience the benefits of Centering Prayer, and for those who are afraid they won’t do it right, he says it’s impossible not to do this (Centering Prayer) right.
There is no such thing as a bad period of Centering Prayer said Cairns adding one of the difficulties of achieving Centering Prayer is allowing oneself to be distracted by other thoughts.
Centering Prayer is very gentle,very quiet, very simple and very difficult, Cairns said.
The Scotland-based Iona community is a good example of a group of people “who are unified by a covenant, worship together and who engage in very effective political action to change structural evil.”
Rev. Cairns said “centering prayer” and “participative consciousness” are techniques of deep meditation he learned from Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and teacher. (Trappist refers to a branch of the Cistercian order of monks known for an austere rule including a vow of silence.)
“Silent meditation is a powerful tool to open ourselves to one another and to all creation which is what this participative consciousness is all about,” said Cairns, TIP co-founder and board president.
Cairns said the intense form of meditation helps eliminate the “internal dialogue” or “chatter that’s going on all the time” in people’s minds.
“I found out how much of my life was consumed by internal dialogue,” said Cairns, research professor of theology at the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Centering prayer allows “us to open our hearts to a deeper relationship with God and an increased openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives,” said Rev. Cairns, admitting it’s an easier technique to teach than for people to learn and practice.
“The technique to doing it – is simply to rest with God. It’s not easy to do, it’s easy to teach, but very difficult to do,” Cairns said.
In fighting the world’s evil, Cairns said “we can’t get their with just our hearts – we need our heads and something more.”
email Rev. Dr. George Cairns, Founder of Celtic Christianity Today
Related websites and information:
Celtic Christianity Today (Below):
Turtle Island Project Logo (Above)
email Turtle Island Project to get messages to Dr. Cairns
Centering prayer/contemplative prayer & Father Thomas Keating:
Photos of Father Thomas Keating in Texas by Marion E. Melchiorre aka marimelch on flickr
Photo by Marion E. Melchiorre
Marion E. Melchiorre is an artist, living in Los Angeles, who gave Celtic Christianity Today permission to use her photos.
Contemplative Prayer or Centering Prayer:
Father Thomas Keating:
United Nations definition of genocide:
Native American Genocide then and now:
American Museum of Natural History survey on Ecocide:
National Survey Reveals Biodiversity Crisis Scientific Experts Believe we are in the Midst of Fasted Mass Extinction in Earth’s History: Crisis Poses Major Threat to Human Survival; Public Unaware of Danger
ABC News Special Earth 2100
The Sixth Great Extinction: