Beginning Meditation – A Simple Breathing Exercise

Prepare yourself by recalling that you are about to be present to the presence of God.   Decide how long you will give to this (at least 10 minutes).  Then:

→ Give attention to the place where this encounter is to take place;

→ Use a meditation stool or sit in a chair that will hold your back firmly but in a relaxed manner;

→ Allow yourself to be present to the place you have chosen;

→ Close your eyes, or gently focus on a special object that will hold your attention and not let your mind wander (e.g. a candle).

→  Breathe deeply – three times in honour of the Trinity – allowing the breath to deeply enter your lungs and gently exhale.  Notice the effect;

→  Allow yourself to breathe, slowly and in a steady manner, and ‘watch’ your breath enter your body.  Stay with it!  (To help focus this exercise you may find counting your breaths to be helpful);

→  Imagine God gazing upon you with deep compassion and allow yourself to be present to that gaze;

→  Distractions will come and your mind will drift off.  That’s OK!  When you are aware you are thinking about something (no matter how enticing!) gently let go of the thought (or feeling) and return to the exercise;

Ÿ  At the end of the exercise, simply give thanks for the time you have spent and, gently, re-connect with your life.  Glory to God, source of all Being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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PRAYER THAT MAY BEGIN A PERIOD OF CENTERING PRAYER (based on Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich)

May this silence be a power to open my heart to the compassion of God,
in love and peace, justice and human dignity.
May the beauty of the Divine Life fill me.

PRAYER THAT MAY END A PERIOD OF CENTERING PRAYER (by S. Ignatius Loyola)

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You have given it all to me
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.  Amen.