"Center Down" ─ Discover the Light within and Take it from There!

The Benedictine Sisters, Oblates and guests who were able to attend the most recent Enrichment Series lecture at the monastery gained a new understanding of contemplation based on the Quaker perspective of “centering down.”

Dr. Alan Kolp from Baldwin Wallace University explained how the process of contemplation can be summed up very simply in four words: DISCOVER, ENGAGE, EMBODY and PRACTICE the Presence. By “centering down” we can get in touch with the “Light,” the God within, and be enlightened. Of course, as Dr. Kolp pointed out, “To be a contemplative is to be intentional about being in touch with one’s center.” Everyone can be a contemplative if they really want to be.

The lecture concluded with a period of “centering down”─ an opportunity for all present to move the new information from the head to the heart in a time of silence and stillness. There are no words to really explain how sacred it was; it had to be experienced. Let it suffice to say, it was holy and it was good.

In expressing her gratitude to Dr. Kolp, Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Director of Ongoing Formation, had this to say, “I quote Meister Eckhart, ‘What one takes in by contemplation, one pours out in love.’ Thank you, Alan, for pouring out so simply and for calling us to center down so we, too, can go forth pouring out love and making a difference.”

Giving self to the light within is the beginning of life!
Giving self to the light within is the beginning of life!
Joy flows from engaging the center, the Presence!
Joy flows from engaging the center, the Presence!
The concerns of the day and the worries of tomorrow are let go when I "center down."
The concerns of the day and the worries of tomorrow are let go when I "center down."