Restlessness During Centering Prayer

Q:   I do Centering Prayer two times a day, first thing in the morning and then as the last thing at night. During my evening prayer I get very restless after about 20 minutes. I usually like to pray for about 35-40 minutes. It gets very hard to sit for the last 10-20 minutes. Should I stop when the restlessness starts or have I just hit some emotional snag that I need to sit through?

A:  I suggest that when you begin to feel that restlessness after 20 minutes,  get up and do a contemplative walk for a few minutes and then return to your prayer space and continue the prayer. All you may be experiencing is a need to move some of the energy around and let it go.  As you walk, pray your breath prayer or active prayer sentence and use it as an opportunity to move the prayer into movement. See what happens. Thank you for your faithfulness to the discipline of Centering Prayer; it is in the discipline that our love is truly expressed and then flows out into our lives.

-Fr. Carl