All who serve seek to be attuned to the needs and concerns of the whole community, whether individuals, small prayer groups, or local chapters.
– Contemplative Outreach Guideline for Service #4
“How does your Centering Prayer practice affect your service?” During a recent meeting, this question was explored by members of our Contemplative Outreach (CO) Global Team, a group of long-time volunteers who serve our organism in South Africa, the U.K., Iceland, Austria, Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. and Canada. Since first forming in 2018, this team has made a practice of starting their bi-monthly meetings with this type of ‘connecting’ question, and the sharing that follows is often deep and meaningful. The sharing was so inspiring; perhaps you may wish to use the question to explore some of your own experience related to Centering Prayer and service.
First, several members talked about how the prayer opens us up to the unexpected, the opportunities that ‘just show up’, rather than only engaging ourselves in things that have been planned ahead of time. Related to this, one member talked about a clear sense of being guided in her priorities and not worrying so much about the outcome of her efforts. Another spoke of how the prayer has resulted in less doing and more spaciousness around the activities she does — a gradual process of simplifying her efforts over time. Two participants also spoke about how the prayer has given them courage to take on things they had never dreamed of doing and having more confidence and contentment with whatever it is they are able to do. And finally, there was a strong theme of how the prayer moves us from head to our heart in the way we serve. One participant put it this way: “I have changed from a person who listens (head involved) to a listening person (heart involved)”. Another spoke of “following the prompting in my heart” while a third spoke of how the practice has opened him to serve from a place of “shared being” with others.
Such profound wisdom from this group: one can only imagine with deep excitement where the Spirit will be leading us next in this worldwide network of service! And if you are interested in knowing more about how to get involved as a liaison for countries not yet involved with our ‘Global’ team, please contact either Elizabeth Norton Amor (South Africa): firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Jane Yates (Canada) at: email@example.com.