“An Hour of Contemplation for our Time” with Mary Anne Best

By Garrison Institute

Mary Anne Best, a practitioner of Centering Prayer, facilitated an hour of contemplation to help bind the wounds and anxieties being experienced right now. She opened with a quote from Fr. Thomas Keating:

“By opening yourself in contemplation, you are praying for everyone past, present, and future. You are embracing the whole of creation. You are accepting everyone, everything, all reality, and doing so with the inmost part of your own being, of which you may not even be aware, namely, the spiritual level of your being.”

Best led us into 25 minutes of silent contemplative practice, followed by the ancient monastic practice of Lectio Divina, which means listening to or reading the word of God. It is often practiced by reading scripture or other tests slowly and meditatively, allowing the words to wash over you while asking: What is the text saying to me? What is being evoked? What is my response? We read 1 Peter 2:4-5, 7, 9 as well as a short reflection on the text.

“Come… chosen and precious in the sight of God

And, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house

… have faith

… you are chosen

… called out of darkness

Into… wonderful light.”

We ended by sharing reflections on our time together and closed with a monastic prayer.

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Mary Anne Best has been a practitioner of Centering Prayer, a Christian meditation practice, for over 30 years. For many years she has served as editor and coordinator for the development of new works by Fr. Thomas Keating. She organizes and leads Centering Prayer retreats, and is a principal writer for online courses and other offerings on the contemplative life.

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Your support matters. Our vision for a more just, compassionate world has never felt more urgent. While we cannot share physical space together, we remain committed to a shared practice of social and spiritual care. We are thankful for the opportunity to create a virtual sanctuary during this time of physical distancing. If you feel called to support our work, we welcome your tax-deductible contribution toward our efforts.

Share your reflections on social media using the hashtag #GarrisonVirtualSanctuary, and if you have any questions about this event or others, please contact us at events@garrisoninstitute.org.



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