Although Heart Intention can be practiced as a path on its own, I’ve found the easiest way for Centering Prayer practitioners to get a sense of Heart Intention is as an approach for integrating Centering Prayer into daily life, by opening to God in unity consciousness.
Heart Intention is a path of active as well as sitting meditation; it can fruitfully be done prior to or after Centering Prayer. Heart Intention can be worked with one-on-one, for healing and facilitating the unloading of the unconscious.
There are two ways of practicing Heart Intention; one that is “spiritual more than religious,” and one that is a more Christian, religious contemplative expression. The spiritual more than religious seeker receives a taste of the essence of the Judeo-Christian contemplative prayer experience, as a benefit for their everyday life, as a grounding in activity and crisis (“for Everyday and the Apocalypse”). This is a blessing in itself. However, some of these folks go on to “download” and practice the religiously contemplative path that Heart Intention comes from.
Whereas Centering Prayer’s primary inspiration in the Christian contemplative tradition is The Cloud of Unknowing, Heart Intention’s primary inspiration is The Prayer of the Heart, the contemplative path from the Christian East that includes the Jesus Prayer. When followed in complement, Centering Prayer and Heart Intention unite two primary contemplative practice traditions, East and West, in the Christian heritage.
Heart Intention complements rather than replaces the essential practices we developed at Chrysalis House 35 years ago for integrating Centering Prayer into everyday life (Lectio Divina, Attention-Intention, Active Prayer, Forgiveness Prayer, Welcoming Prayer) in a singular approach. I have practiced these approaches, along with Heart Intention, for 35 years, and find them all fruitful and complementary.