Ego Elimination?

Q: What Centering Prayer method is used to eliminate the ego? The Buddhist method is to meditate on emptiness.

A: Thank you for your question. In truth all our contemplative practices are intended to free us from the bondage of ego (if by ego we mean ‘I’ as the center of Universe). In 12-Step programs, ego is referred to as “Edging God Out”!

Fr. Thomas taught that the false self’s center of gravity was self and that the true self’s center of gravity is God ( the Divine Indwelling).

For most of us who live in the top three inches of our heads, the courageous act of practicing Centering Prayer twice daily is a radical step in freeing us from ego domination. The Welcoming Prayer is another tool that supports us in daily life when our emotional programs for happiness are triggered. Our Forgiveness prayer practice right sizes our ego in releasing our resentments and owning our part in relationships.

All this being said, we need a healthy ego and sense of self to fully embrace this path. The German Benedictine, Willigus Jaeger, points out, “it takes a strong ego to die”. So it isn’t out of low self esteem we let go, but in the fullness of love we consent to be who God created us to be.

Hope this helps answer your question.

Mary Dwyer