Centering Prayer and Young Children

Q:  I am based in the U.K. and about to launch Centering Prayer into the local junior school (children aged 4-11). The school head and deputy head are very keen for this to happen and we will be basing what we do with the children on the Journey to the Heart book. I have my own daily practice and although I am used to facilitating groups for adults I have no experience of doing so with children. Any advice or direction would be much appreciated.

A:  This will be a wonderful project.  I suggest that you do an outline of what you present to the adults and then fill it in with images and stories – they do not need anymore examples.

I also would suggest you reproduce the booklet and leave out the pictures.  Have them take the time after you give the information to draw on their own and then each child can share and explain the drawings with the class. Then come up with a community drawing where all make a contribution. Let the art work speak to them.  At the end give them the book as it is with the publishers drawings and then see what they say. In the meantime, in each session let them do centering prayer according to their age – 4 year old do 4 minutes etc.

Closing session could be Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina on the beggar crying out  – Lord Jesus have mercy on me etc.


Fr. Carl.