by Ella Rozett
Ideally you meditate daily, once for maintenance
and twice for healing and growth. But any time
spent with your inner self and your higher power
is a wonderful seed planted.
Each step can be done separately or they can
all be done in one sitting. Use whatever steps
work for you on any given day, in any order,
for any length
Step 1: Notice your breath in your body…
Without judgment, notice whether it’s
deep and relaxed, shallow or tight… Accept
it just the way it is, which includes allowing
it to change if and when it wants to.
Step 2: Accept yourself just the way you are,
which includes allowing yourself to change if
and when you want to.
Step 3: If you notice tension or discomfort
in your body or in your being, let your breath
touch the place where it is the most intense.
Just be with that place, not trying to change
or analyze it, nor engaging its story. (The
sooner you allow the experience of it, the sooner
it’ll change.) If it’s too scary
to go into that place alone, ask your higher
power to come with you.
Step 4: Imagine you are like a great mountain.
Thoughts, feelings, sensations, sense perceptions,
and events drift by like clouds. The mountain
does not hang on to them or try to shoo them
away; it simply notices them coming out of space,
sticking around for some time, and then disappearing
into space. Even if storm clouds envelop the
mountain for a few days, it doesn’t worry,
because the mountain knows that it is not the
clouds and that they will pass without it having
to do anything.
Step 5: Every time you loose all awareness
of your breath (which will be countless times)
ever so gently and patiently remember it. It
may help to count your breath for a while. Count
10 breaths over and over.
Step 6: When you get bored, rejoice: you’re
almost there! Notice boredom (and whatever else
arises) without judging it as, good or bad,
without needing to do anything about it. Then
it will change into deep peace.
Step 7: If it’s meaningful to you, remember
that the Bible says, God created us by breathing
his own breath into us, so that our breath may
also be God’s breath. Notice how you feel
about God possibly being as close as your breath…
Notice how much room you’re willing to
give God inside of you… Tell God…
Step 8: Listen with an empty, open mind to
see if God has a response.
Step 9: If there is a curiosity about God or
a willingness to consent to God’s presence
within you, ask your heart if there is a word
that would summarize and symbolize those feelings.
Listen with an empty, open mind until a word
Step 10: Let the word echo in your being and
repeat it over and over, until God draws you
into a silence that is deeper than even one
word. At that point follow God into silence,
letting go of your word.
Step 11: When you notice that you got distracted,
ever so gently remember your “sacred word”.
(From then on, use the same word during every
Step 12: When you feel done, end with a prayer
from the heart.
Technically, only steps 9-11 are "Centering
Prayer" as taught by the Trappist abbot
Thomas Keating. For a full explanation of this
technique and its background read his "Open
Mind, Open Heart" or "Invitation to