Thank you for doing this Q&A service it a wonderful opportunity.. x
My question is…i am beginning to realise that i don’t really know anything about “letting go” in-fact my version of letting go seems to be more about clinging on.
in CP i am noticing that sacred word has started to be used as suppressing thoughts rather than letting go of them. A few years ago when i started to practice CP it seemed much simpler.. once i was made known i was thinking i simply replaced that thought with sacred word as gently as i could and rested. But more and more these days i seem to have slipped into using sacred word in a robotic fashion… maybe i am becoming aware of the more subtle levels of “letting go” i am not sure can you help…x
This is all part of the rich turf of Centering Prayer, John. The Sacred Word is neither a mantra nor a thought-suppressor, but more like a wiper blade that gently flicks the windshield clear without calling attention to itself. The trick in Centering Prayer is to keep your consciousness bright, collected, and present, but without recourse to THINKING. Using the word in a robotic fashion is simply a sign that you’ve slipped into autopilot and consciousness has dulled a bit. No crime! You can brighten things up by returning to your basic intention: to sit gentle and alert in the presence of God. For the fact is, the moment you start to do this prayer, you are entering a LIVE relational field, and it is the intelligence and goodness of this field that basically carries everything.
Don’t get too hung up in the mechanics of letting go. It moves faster than mechanics, and your lovely observation, “Once I was made known I was thinking I simply replaced the thought with sacred word” tells me that you already have both the spirit and the letter of the motion. So just keep doing what you’re doing, and relax! Brighten up when you notice consciousness growing dull and keep on making this offering of your own gentle wisdom and generosity.
Thanks and blessings,