Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
— Colossians 3:3
“I want to make it quite clear that the whole essence of contemplative prayer is that the division between subject and object disappears. You do not look at God as an object and you don’t look at yourself; you are just not interested in yourself. That is the real point.”
— Thomas Merton, Thomas Merton in Alaska
More than 30 years ago, in Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Thomas Keating wrote, "Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation, a conversion initiated by God and leading, if we consent to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in this process. A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond to everyday life with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through and beyond everything that happens."
In this, the third offering of this year’s trilogy on Centering Prayer, we will explore how the practice of Centering Prayer evolves into a surrendered life of inner peace and equanimity despite the busy and often tumultuous circumstances of daily life in the 21st century. As the inner room begins to expand its walls beyond the twice-daily practice of Centering Prayer, the Spirit takes over our life more and more, and we begin to accept ourselves just as we are, God as God is, and all reality as it is. From this disposition of true humility, enlarged under the influence of God's grace, we live in the Kingdom of God here and now, which is a state of consciousness ever-attentive to the presence of God in the midst of ordinary life.
You can expect:
- 12 emails over six weeks, sent each Monday and Thursday.
- Weekly opportunities to practice Centering Prayer together via a Zoom video-enabled prayer chapel.
- Q&A with the retreat leaders.
- Links to video teachings from Fr. Thomas Keating, including newer material.
- An exploration of other contemplative practices that support the contemplative life, such as the active prayer sentence and the practice of attention/intention.
- Community connection and support via the online Practice Circle forum.
The first two e-courses in this trilogy are available in self-guided versions:
They are not required prerequisites, though. Thomas Keating's book Open Mind, Open Heart also provides helpful context but is not required reading.
Partial scholarships are available by emailing Donna at Contemplative Outreach.
Monday, September 2 - Thursday, October 10