|

Centering Prayer at Center For The Working Poor in 2014


December 31st, 2014

Monday evenings you will find a group of 5-12 people sitting silently, with eyes closed, in the living room of the Center For The Working Poor. Centering Prayer, a meditation practice rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition, was developed by Fr. Thomas Keating, a Benedictine monk. His organization, Contemplative Outreach, teaches Centering Prayer through classes and retreats worldwide.

Although the practice is rooted in Christianity, our group has been blessed to have attendees from various faith traditions, and we value the interspiritual perspective. Our meetings typically start with a community dinner and 20 minutes of reading from a book about spirituality or contemplative practice, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and an open time of sharing our personal experiences and resonating with one another. We have a small but committed core as well as many random attendees- you never know who’s going to show up at Centering Prayer. Mark Infusino and former Center resident Susan Lawrence in particular have done much to sustain the group and help keep it running.

In the past year, we have also started a monthly trip to La Casa de Maria, a retreat center founded by renegade Catholic nuns near Santa Barbara. There we have a half-day of silence and Centering Prayer followed by a group outing to the beach or a local cafe. Most practitioners of Centering Prayer tend to be 50 and older, and our group is one of the youngest affiliated with Contemplative Outreach. The women at La Casa are always happy to see “the kids,” as they call us, despite that fact that most of us are in our 30’s.

This fall we hosted a contemplative retreat in Lake Arrowhead where we were joined by some members of Tribe LA, the church that Paul attends. Everyone was grateful for the opportunity to learn and deepen their practice while spending time in the fresh mountain air.

The format for our meetings is based in part on 12-step programs, and we’ve had a few friends of the Center take the format and start groups in other cities. We’ve also brought it back full circle by launching False Selves Anonymous, a new 12 step group emphasizing contemplative practices and interspiritual wisdom. We’ve introduced FSA at Transform and Wild Goose Festival, two progressive Christian conferences, and received much interest and positive feedback. Between the Centering Prayer and False Selves Anonymous formats, we now have people running groups in 6 different cities in the US and Canada.

This entry was posted in About the Center, About the Center, Spirituality & Centering Prayer, Spirituality & Centering Prayer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


2021 CWP Newsletter Summary

December 15th, 2021

There is a big debate among economists about a curious phenomenon unfolding right now called “The Great Resignation”. We have an immense labor shortage because people are not returning to work as the experts expected (common after a recession). There … Continue reading

2021 Center Update: Ring the Bell of Hope… Again, and Again

December 15th, 2021

This fall, in one of my first trips to visit my coworkers from the Ayni Institute in Boston, I stopped by New York City to visit one of my closest friends, Eric Stoner. And I was sitting on his couch, … Continue reading

2021 House Journal

December 15th, 2021

The Center for the Working Poor was founded in 2006, but we didn’t move into our large Victorian house until 2007. Therefore, we have been in the house for 14 years now; and throughout this time, only Paul Engler has … Continue reading

The Story of Community Counseling

December 15th, 2021

Over the last year, we have started beta groups for a new model of mutual aid counseling, called Community Counseling that has engaged dozens in weekly small group counseling practice and training. In November, I went to Boston to lead … Continue reading

2020 Center Update: Surrender and Become Attentive

December 17th, 2020

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die …” — Ecclesiastes 3:1 “Surrender to what is dying, and become attentive to what is emerging.”  — … Continue reading

Monasticism, Indigenous Cultures, Burning Man, and/or Kingdom of God?: My trip to Taize.

December 27th, 2019

After being invited to Barcelona, Spain this fall for a chaotic tour of book talks, TV appearances, and radio interviews, I needed a place to recover from all the activity. And one of the greatest realizations of my life has … Continue reading

Are We Cells in a Mystical Body? Center Update 2018

December 24th, 2018

As many of you know, I am a social justice geek. I compulsively read and think about social movements, and have been doing this for a long time, and am now considered a specialist in the field commonly referred to … Continue reading

CENTER UPDATE 2017

January 18th, 2018

The election of Trump was like somebody threw a political bomb into the middle of a crowded room. For undocumented people, it meant fear of losing DACA and being deported. For labor unions and the working poor, it meant losing … Continue reading