During the month of January Contemplative Outreach NM held our first weekend retreat since COVID began. During the past 3 years several of our retreat houses in New Mexico have closed. In response to this loss the Norbertine Community in Albuquerque opened a new retreat house at their Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey. This was made possible through the generosity of donors. 22 folks attended our Centering Prayer retreat weekend. The theme of the weekend was “Coming Home to Ourselves.” The prayer room gave us a splendid view of the sun rising over the Sandia Mountains each morning. We joined together in silence with times of centering prayer, chant, and lectio divina.
During the past 3 years Contemplative Outreach NM has formed a community that meets weekly over zoom. Initially we were uncertain about engaging in this technology for centering prayer gatherings. Through the grace of the Spirit this weekly gathering has become a way of connecting folks from all parts of New Mexico and beyond. (Utah, Colorado, Texas, Virginia and sometimes Maine). Each week 20 to 30 folks gather to sit in silence extending our prayer out to the world.
During this time of isolation zoom opened up a new world to many. We at CONM held several mornings of prayer over zoom. Early morning sits during Advent were particularly welcome as folks were able to join together in silence as the darkness of night turned to the light of day. What a wonderful way to start the day with other members of our community. We held a training over zoom and commissioned 3 new centering prayer practitioners as presenters of Centering Prayer. Through the generosity of the "Deep Living Lab" we held a day long workshop on the Enneagram.
As the restrictions surrounding COVID began to ease we were able to come together in person for days of Centering Prayer. These days were held in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and most recently in Los Alamos, NM. Although zoom has helped us to maintain and nurture our Centering Prayer community here in NM the opportunity to gather in person was met with a joyful response.
As we go forward into 2023 we look to new beginnings. We seek the grace to nurture and expand our Centering Prayer community.
Our true nature is stillness,
The source from which we come……
The deep listening of pure contemplation
Is the path to stillness.
All words disappear into it.
And all creation awakens to the delight of
Just being. “Stillness” Thomas Keating