In the opening essay in this collection about centering prayer, Thomas Keating, the founder of the movement, states" "It seems to me that the Christian contemplative tradition can be compared to a blend of the finest herb teas." He then lists Christian elements that have been integrated such as The Cloud of Knowing, the "Jesus Prayer" of the Eastern Orthodox tradition, lectio divina as practiced by the monastics of the early Middle Ages, being in God's presence in pure faith, and turning to God in love as recommended by Saint John of the Cross. He then quotes Saint Justin Martyr who said, "Whatever is true belongs to me as a Christian." Keating then laments that contemporary believers have not done very well integrating the wisdom of Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, and other major religious cultures.
Other essays include David Frenette's "Three Contemplative Waves" (Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Mary Mrozowski); Justin Langille's "There Is Nothing Between God and You: Awakening to the Wisdom of Contemplative Silence"; Cynthia Bourgeault on "Beatrice Bruteau's Prayer and Identity: An Introduction with Text and Commentary"; and David Keller's "Reading Living Water: The Integral Place of Contemplative Prayer in Christian Transformation." There are also selections in this paperback on centering prayer and contemplation as they relate to theological education, parish life, poetry, and retreats.