It’s amazing how much of our energy is wasted on distracting thoughts and daydreams. These distractions are habitual, recycling the same thoughts and our same reactions over and over. Habitual distractions of mind are a part-time job for most people—something which keeps us preoccupied for countless hours. This waste of energy halts our full potential.
Once we’re able to still the mind, amazing things begin happening. Old tensions from long ago held in our spine or in our jaw or in our shoulders begin to dissipate and we experience renewed vigor in all aspects of our lives. Our minds get sharper and concentrate more easily for longer periods of time. Our ability to drop pet projects at the drop of a hat and to take up despised projects with the same ease is another benefit of training the mind through Centering Prayer. Tedious projects become more and more effortless. The mind experiences liberation—no longer compulsively drawn to pet projects or repulsed by despised ones. Habitual aversions to cleaning the bathrooms or facing conflict slacken. What freedom!
In the beginning of Centering Prayer, the point is to repeatedly bring the mind back from distractions to stillness and primal silence. This gradually habituates the mind to naked awareness, free from auto pilot stimulus and response conditioning. I’ve heard corporate executives speak of “unplugging” from the frantic pace by vacationing in Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas. But, the ultimate “unplugging” possible is through Centering Prayer, which reverses years of stimulus-response conditioning and enables new levels of awareness and freedom.