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Abide in the Mercy
May 26, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - June 1, 2023 @ 12:00 pm$800
The Mercy Center Centering Prayer Program presents:
Abide in the Mercy: A Silent Wisdom** and Centering Prayer Retreat
“As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love.”
– John 15:9
In many of Jesus’ sayings we can find an invitation to a deeper contemplative way of being, so relevant for our Centering Prayer. ‘Abide in my love’, for example, can also be translated as ‘abide in mercy’ (rachma in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke). This is the Mercy that surrounds, nurtures, encompasses, and streams through us, bringing us alive. The Semitic root for this word is womb, like a mother loving completely, flourishing and encompassing. So in our Centering Prayer we are invited to abide, or rest deeply, in that generative compassion. The word ‘abide’ in Aramaic, ‘qevah’, can also mean to wait, hope for; even to continue, to endure. But in typical Aramaic fashion where multiple levels of meaning can be found in one word or phrase, it also means to collect, to bind together. This collection can be done in our own being, binding together as an integrated person, willing to remain fully present in an embodied way, in whatever state we find ourselves. And it can also refer to our collection as a group, gathering to practice together.
Join us in person at Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA where we will gather together and allow silence, Centering Prayer, and Jesus’ own language of Aramaic to open us to the limitless depths of Jesus’ invitation. We will also include some wisdom practices of chanting, movement, and guided meditation that will help to deepen our Centering Prayer.
This retreat is suitable for people with a long-time practice of Centering Prayer, and will also provide guidance for those relatively new to it. We are planning a spacious schedule so that you will have time to walk the beautiful Mercy grounds, and to do other deeply relaxing practices that we’ll talk about. Bring a journal and pen if you like. There is a lovely craft room at Mercy Center but bring additional art supplies if you prefer.
**“ May the next years see the increase of Centering Prayer, and the creative addition of other wisdom aspects that might enhance what we are doing, or at least help us to do what we have learned out of our tradition, with complete commitment.”
—Thomas Keating, in A Life Surrendered to Love
**For more information on the Christian Wisdom Path, see Cynthia Bourgeault’s book: The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart.
Joy Andrews Hayter, Ph.D. is a spiritual director whose offerings include Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices of the Christian Wisdom tradition. These practices encourage us to lean into the Love that is constantly being offered within a relational web of Sacred Unity. As a scientist she sees in the physical world an expression of that love. Joy regularly offers retreats on Centering Prayer, often emphasizing the incarnational nature of the Christian path, and she regularly responds to questions about Centering Prayer in the Contemplative Outreach quarterly e-bulletin. You can find more about her at joyfulfillment.com
Catherine Regan, Ph.D. is a spiritual director, retired psychologist, and adjunct staff member at Mercy Center, primarily serving on the Centering Prayer team. She has a special interest in participating in the reclamation of the Christian Wisdom tradition and fostering the contemplative practices so urgently needed at this time in our world.
Heather Ruce, M.A. will be supporting our wisdom school experience through guiding us in daily Gurdjieff Movements. She is a wisdom spiritual director with training in a neurophysiology based approach to understanding the nervous system. She loves working with individuals as well as facilitating groups and retreats focused on learning and practicing the Christian Wisdom Tradition.
These are unprecedented times. If finances are an issue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a learning grant discount code. We want to make sure our offerings are available to everyone