Unexpected spots for Centering Prayer

I was delighted to find references to Centering Prayer in two unexpected places this week.

The first was from the always-interesting Jason Miller – a really interesting esoteric writer I read regularly. Jason’s perspective keeps my attention because of his interesting spiritual background (I gather he started in Hermetic magick, got trained in Rootwork, got initiated in Bön and Dozgchen and somewhere in there was ordained an Independent Catholic priest), but also because I find his views pretty mature, integrative and balanced.

Jason’s been answering questions from regular readers recently (via Formspring, a practice I’m shamelessly imitating) and one reader asked whether Jason thought that Centering Prayer was valuable to sorcerers. Jason’s response really interested me – not only did he strongly affirm CP’s value, he added that he finds it “is very nearly the Christian equivalent to Dzogchen”.

I’ve found a long-time affinity with Dzogchen teaching and I love Centering Prayer, so to hear that the two things have significant similarity from the perspective of a practitioner delights me.

The second place I’ve noticed Centering Prayer show up is on The Baptist’s Head. Various people I respect have been telling me to follow Alan and Duncan’s writing for a couple of years and I listened to an impressive interview with Alan a few months ago. On something of a whim (if such a thing exists) I found myself at TBH a few days ago and started reading through some of the basic tutorial material.

Like most folks in the Western Mystery Tradition, Alan and Duncan insist that getting intimate communion with the transpersonal entity usually known as your Holy Guardian Angel is a non-negotiable part of the path. Unlike most folks, they don’t send you off to Crowley’s Liber Samekh or one of the translations of The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. They recommend something they call the Core Practice.

As those initials suggest, if you read Alan closely you notice that he’s recommending Centering Prayer as the “direct path” to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. They note that in order to be useful you need to add the other practices of divination and dream work so that the Angel has a few modes in which to communicate with you, but the jewel in the crown is Centering Prayer.

The best demonstration of the effectiveness of Centering Prayer is your experience of the practice itself over the long term, but it’s been interesting and encouraging to me to see people from slightly different traditions give the practice some respect.

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