Cynthia Bourgeault has studied and taught in a number of Benedictine monasteries in the United States and Canada. An Episcopal priest, she is well known as a retreat and conference leader, a teacher of prayer, and a writer on the spiritual life. She is the author of Mystical Hope, Love Is Stranger than Death, and The Wisdom Way of Knowing. In this paperback, Bourgeault salutes Centering Prayer as the key to interior awakening. She has been a practitioner of this devotional discipline since 1988 and considers Thomas Keating as her teacher and mentor. He has written the foreword.
There are chapters on the method, the tradition, the psychology of Centering Prayer, and a final one on how it leads to inner awakening; the latter covers attention of the heart, working with the inner observer, the welcoming prayer, and Centering Prayer's relevance to Christian life. Bourgeault has some thought-provoking things to say about silence, intention, apophatic prayer, self-emptying, and the purification of the false self.
We love Thomas Keating's characterization of meditation as "taking a brief vacation from yourself." We also are buoyed by the observation that Centering Prayer is a passport to freedom. Instead of building up the false self which is always looking after itself, this "Divine Therapy" challenges us to give it all away and empty ourselves. Seeing this devotional practice as a way of nurturing the heart is very helpful indeed.