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Image by James Coleman


Monks and nuns of most faiths recognized physical labor done with love, is a form of prayer. This developed into physical actions that can help lead into interfaith Centering Prayer. The following are just a few examples.

A labyrinth has a clear path to its center and return.  While walking the labyrinth, one is physically exhibiting the practice of Centering Prayer.  The focus becomes the image of the labyrinth and its center rather than a sacred word.  The movement represents movement to the God dwelling at our center.  It is a technique started in the Middle Ages for those who were unable to take pilgrimages.



When practicing Centering Prayer, we focus on a sacred word or image as a symbol of our desire to be with God. Though the image may be in our mind, it also can be an externally visible image. Many faiths use a sacred images instead of a word. The ancient Christian tradition used icons. The Jewish Kabbalist tradition uses the adjacent Shiviti with Hebrew text in the form of a menorah. As we focus on the image while gently letting go of our thoughts, we eventually close our eyes as the image enters our mind.


Judiam prayer pic on table.png

Prayer beads are used by many faiths to encourage repetition of sacred word(s), which helps lead to entering Centering Prayer.  Some Christians use the rosary.  When praying the rosary contemplatively, the flow of many words becomes our sacred word.  In the Muslim tradition, Sufis use the rope of prayer beads to help with words from the Holy Quran or the 99 names of God.


Quran and Prayer Beads
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