Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dangers of Centering Prayer

"I had heard about Centering prayer, but as I was secure on the way God had chosen for me, I felt no urge to try it. A holy woman in my parish involved in prison ministry however, said it was wonderful; she has been doing it some years. But this same woman a year ago said that she now has to pray for protection from the Devil before engaging in her centering prayer. She was having "unpleasant" experiences during prayer, which obviously disturbed her. She did not seem to have good guidance to help her deal with this. Why should a person with a healthy prayer life, and supposedly a good spiritual director, need a therapist? This sounded odd to me--!

I doubt that kundalini phenomena, per se, can be identified with the Christian contemplative path. If this is true, then you have to be careful about pursuing the kundalini dimension of the experience, not only because it might make the attainment of your ultimate goal more difficult, but because the activation of kundalini can take on a life of its own and be difficult to control."

Centering prayer is essentially a form of self-hypnosis. It makes use of a “mantra,” a word repeated over and over to focus the mind while striving by one's will to go deep within oneself.

some of the monks and guests “complained that it was spooky seeing people walking around the guest house like 'zombies.'” They recognized the symptoms but could not diagnose the illness.

A mother wrote to ask me for advice: “In the Catholic school in (name of town), Sister has been using this (centering prayer and use of the Jesus Prayer) in the religion classes. My ten-year-old daughter took to it right away. This was about two-and-a-half years ago. The things she shared with me that Jesus had told her didn't appear to me to be imagination. They made her feel very close to Jesus. About six weeks ago, Kristy started having difficulty going to sleep. She didn't want to stay in her own room and would lie there afraid to close her eyes, until I would let her go into her sister's room and sleep with her. Finally she confided in me that she would see something scary if she closed her eyes. A few days ago, she confided that it laughed. Kristy had used the centering prayer on her own at bedtime for sometime before this fear started.”

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