Father Thomas Keating is one of the foremost teachers of contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition. He was born in New York in 1923 and converted to Catholicism while a student at Yale University in the 1940s. He entered a cloistered Roman Catholic monastery of the Cistercian order. Keating is the former abbot of St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, and has resided at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.
Father Keating, along with M. Basil Pennington, is co-founder of the Centering Prayer movement and of Contemplative Outreach, a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the practice of this Christian form of meditation. He has presented the Centering Prayer method and its related mystical theology to gatherings of non-Christians, Protestants, and Roman Catholics worldwide. He has also taken this ministry to seminarians, priests, lay people, and prisoners. Father Keating also frequently participates in dialogues with contemplatives of other religions.