Monday, November 24, 2014

Beyond Listening to God, a Relationship With Abba.

From Contemplative Outreach:

 page2image504
An 11th Step Prayer Practice for those in 12 Step Programs

1) Twenty minutes of Centering Prayer twice a day is recommended.

2) If you notice slight physical or emotional pain arising during the prayer, pay no attention and return ever so gently to the sacred word.

3) It is suggested that you join a weekly Centering Prayer Group or find others in recovery willing to meet on a regular basis, to support one another in this practice.

About 12 Step Outreach

The 12 Step Outreach program of Contemplative Outreach was established to offer Centering Prayer to people in all 12 Step fellowships as an 11th Step prayer/meditation practice. We help individuals and groups establish contemplative prayer practices through workshops, retreats and formation programs. Thomas Keating’s recent work, Divine Therapy and Addiction, reflects on the wisdom and the legacy of Alcoholics Anonymous and all 12- step programs. The practice of Centering Prayer has parallels with other spiritual traditions.

The Method of Centering Prayer ***

We are 12-step people who practice Centering Prayer as our 11th step practice and pass it on to others in 12-step recovery.

The purpose of 12-step outreach is to support one another in the process of spiritual transformation through Centering Prayer and our 12-step recovery programs.

Many people are already practicing Centering Prayer and find it very helpful in their recovery. 12-Step Outreach offers retreats and introductory workshops that teach this method in more depth.

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we Understood God--The 11 Step.

You can find information about workshops and retreats offered by 12 Step Outreach at www.cp12stepoutreach.org

For those who live by the 12 Steps found in AA, Al-Anon, SCA, OA, DA, NA, GA, and other programs, a Centering Prayer practice can be a key support system in the process of recovery and transformation. Centering Prayer can help deepen our application of the 12 Steps generally, and the 11th Step specifically, through daily immersion in prayer and meditation. We believe that, when applied as a daily supplement to the 12 Steps, Centering Prayer opens us to the deepest dimension of spirituality.

This pamphlet was put together to help those searching for emotional and spiritual sobriety. Centering Prayer is a method for doing the 11th Step to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power. “Sought through prayer and meditation” deals with our own personal effort to communicate with a Higher Power. Many people in 12-Step programs have deepened their relationship with their Higher Power with the method of Centering Prayer. This is about you and your God “as you understand God.” It is not an attempt to change the instructions given in the Big Book but to support and supplement them.

The http://cp12stepoutreach.org website keeps a list of 12 Step Centering Prayer Groups and 11th Step Meditation Meetings and you may find one in your area. We provide information for starting 11th Step Meetings in various formats that follow the traditions of our 12 Step program.

Thomas Keating, OCSO is one of the founders of Centering Prayer and Contemplative Outreach, a spiritual network that teaches Centering Prayer and provides a support system for those who practice it. He is the author of many books and recorded presentations on Contemplative Prayer. The practice of Centering Prayer, and the spiritual, historical and psychological basis of it, are described and elaborated in several of Thomas Keating’s works, including Open Mind, Open Heart and Invitation to Love

Centering Prayer and the 12-Steps.

From Contemplative Outreach:

A New Freedom

The Guidelines

Effects of Centering Prayer

Whether you have been in recovery for a long time or are just beginning, you probably have experienced a lot of frustrated feelings that didn’t just go away when you got abstinent or sober...problems with relationships, work, anxiety, depression, or feelings of emptiness. These feelings are natural for us no matter what our addiction and the amount of time in recovery we have. But we don’t have to let them rule our lives. The 11th Step offers us a solution!

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.

The positive effects of the prayer are experienced in daily life and not necessarily during the prayer period itself. During this prayer, avoid analyzing the experience, or having expectations such as: continuously repeating the sacred word; having no thoughts; achieving a spiritual experience. It is important not to judge the success of your prayer period. The only thing you can do wrong in this prayer is to get up and leave. You may find yourself getting in touch with feelings of pain, lust, or fear, even remembering feelings or events you forgot about long ago. There is no way to change or repair the damage of a lifetime EASILY or QUICKLY.

Through the simple method of Centering Prayer we can improve our relationship with the Ultimate Power of life. This is true whether we call that power God, Allah, Mother, another name or no name.

4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

This type of prayer has been used over the centuries, but it is different from what we may think of as prayer. It is not the type of prayer we are used to, like praying for something we want. It is simply moving deep within ourselves, in silence, saying nothing, asking for nothing, just being and allowing our Higher Power to be with us.

1. The “sacred word” is sacred not because of its inherent meaning, but because of the meaning we give it as the expression of our intention and consent. Examples: Love, Let Go, Serenity, Peace, Silence, Faith, Trust, Gentle, etc.

Growth will happen when we practice Centering Prayer in the context of the 12 Steps.

For those who are working a recovery program, parallels can be found between the transformation that Centering Prayer brings and the process of growth facilitated as we work the 12 Steps.

2. “Sitting comfortably” means relatively comfortably so as not to encourage sleep during the time of prayer.

Develops in us a nonjudgmental attitude of ourselves and others

2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.

3. When engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.

*thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections

Everyone moves at his or her own pace in Centering Prayer. Just doing the prayer and opening our self to the presence of our Higher Power in silence will encourage you to keep going.

3. By “returning ever-so-gently to the sacred word” a minimum of effort is indicated. This is the only activity we initiate during the time of Centering Prayer.

Emerging capacity to listen and serve others

Enhances our ability to “Let Go and Let God”

We grow in self knowledge which at times may be painful

Nurtures our ability to live in the present moment and just for today 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

JE Wren

Crest of the family of Sir
 Christopher Wren, who gave
the talk at the first meeting
of the Royal Academy. Are
we related? Very unlikely.
It was on this day November 15 that 35 years ago this evening that pop passed on, 10 years after selling his business to NMS Industries.

He'd been fighting cancer for years, but suddenly that summer of 1979 it took a turn for the worst. Much worse.

"Don't worry honey, we're going to whip this," were his last words to mom. She and I and the Smith's and Cearly's were standing around his bed when his breathing changed and then very suddenly stopped all together.

He'd worked hard for 55 years, 9 months, and 5 days. Too hard.

In one of my last talks with pop I asked him why he'd never told me anything about his father, who had died we were told when pop was only 9 years old. "I guess I always resented him. I was just a little guy when he died, and my life would have been a lot easier if he'd fought it a little harder.

John E. Wren in 1969.
Pop married the prettiest, most popular girl in his high school, built and sold a successful business, developed a small shopping center and always earned a good living for him self. He served on the board and then became president of the national trade association for his business (this picture taken for their 1969 annual directory.) He built a house in Amarillo just after WWII which they sold to raise money for the business he started in Colorado. He built a house in Aurora, Colorado, another in University Park, and another in Devonshire Heights. Just before he passed on he and mom built the condo we've just sold after mom passed on to join him September 20.

He had a lot of good  friends, several he'd stayed in touch with since high school. He loved his family, playing catch, going to school events, gardening, especially rose gardening, pheasant hunting, fishing from his boat on Lake Granby, God, his mother and sisters and their families, mom, and he especially loved this great country, the United States of America, where a poor boy from a small town could make something out of his life. He was proud that all 3 of his sons graduated from the University of Denver. He hated paying so much in  taxes, especially inventory tax.

He dreamed of buying an RV and traveling the country with mom, and also of starting a foundation to give a hand to others who, like him, had lost their father at a young age.

Today medicine has advanced and the prostrate cancer which finally spread and took him would most likely be treated for full recovery and he'd have had 30+ more years, who know what he would have accomplished.

May God bless and keep your soul and mom's, pop. Thanks for all the good memories.. I know you fought it as hard as you possibly could.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Are you starting?

If you are starting a new career, a new project or campaign, or a new business check out the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc, (click here for website).

Since 1979 we've been helping people who are starting in a new direction with their work. Since 1727 if you go back to when Ben Franklin started what we consider our first meeting, what he and the others called the Junto, what we call today a Franklin Circle.

For more check out our website (above) or Facebook Page (click here) or Tweet us @IDEACafe .

At any of these you'll see a link to a sample of our online Friday morning The Startup Show, hope you'll mark your calendar and watch live then or visit anytime for a recording of the show.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Colorado's best networking opportunity.

Every two years neighbors gather across Colorado in 6000 or so small meetings to nominate to the primary election ballot. It's the best chance the common person to get his or her voice heard and to make a real difference. That's why so many of the rich and powerful hate the system.  Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News/posts/10152822579832241