I was at a retreat once where they used a pottery wheel to demonstrate how important it is to be centered on God. Participants got to try their hand at throwing clay and keeping it centered on the wheel lest it fall apart.
Another activity involved holding a lump of clay in your hands with eyes closed and forming it into a shape that represented where you thought you currently were in your life.
Another activity involved using paints, paper and other materials to create a work of art that expressed something about yourself and your relationship with God.
This retreat was called a “centering retreat.” I’m wondering if any of these activities had any connection to the dangerous New Age “centering prayer” that has roots in Eastern religions, or if the name is just coincidental. I don’t recall doing any meditation with mantras or anything like that. The emphasis seemed to be about centering yourself on God. There was no mention of “centering prayer” that I recall.
So was it just a nice retreat with an unfortunately controversial title, or was there actually some “New Age-ish” stuff going on? None of it felt creepy.
I’m also wondering about “guided imagery” as a relaxation technique. Not as prayer, but as a cognitive behavioral therapeutic method to calm one’s thoughts and muscles. (Imagining oneself on a warm, sunny beach, for instance). Is it only “New Age” if one uses it as a way to “find the inner god” so to speak?