Using the Collaborative Inquiry Method to Explore the Jesus Prayer

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Abstract

This article describes a spiritual intervention that used the collaborative inquiry method for exploring the Jesus Prayer. A nonclinical sample of middle-aged Catholics was encouraged to learn the prayer in a self-directed way while reflecting on the experience. This method provided abundant phenomenological accounts of the participants’ inner experiences while practicing the Jesus Prayer. All participants reported that the prayer provided them with a sense of calm and tranquility. Some participants had difficulty finding time to pray on a daily basis, whereas other participants could easily incorporate the prayer into their lives and reported several spiritual benefits, including a deeper connection with their hearts and with a Higher Source, and also acquiring a “vital trust.” The collaborative inquiry process revealed that the Jesus Prayer could be a tool for coping with conflict. It also showed that the prayer enhanced participants’ mindfulness skills and fostered a greater connection with their unconscious.

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