Centering Prayer is a simple, no-frills form of meditation in the Christian tradition. Since it was first developed by Christian contemplative monks in the 1970s, it has allowed tens of thousands of practitioners worldwide to "return home," developing an authentically Christian meditation practice which not only delivers the healing and quieting of the mind typical of all meditation paths, but also reconnects directly to Christianity's hidden treasury of mystical and transformational wisdom.
As a meditation practice, Centering Prayer is both traditional and innovative. Like all meditation methods, it aims at breaking the vicious circle of compulsive thinking. But it does so not by stilling or concentrating the mind, but simply by learning to release thoughts promptly before they get a toehold. This simple but revolutionary technique has allowed thousands of people who had considered themselves failures at meditation to successfully establish a practice.
In this online retreat you will learn everything you need to know to get your own practice of Centering Prayer up and running — or if you’re an old hand, to learn some new approaches to refresh and reboot your practice.
Cynthia Bourgeault, the retreat leader, has worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating, founder of the Centering Prayer method, for nearly 25 years and is the author of the acclaimed book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, as well as many other books, articles, and CDs on Centering Prayer and the Christian contemplative path. Her teaching closely follows the methodology developed by Contemplative Outreach, the worldwide organization founded by Fr. Keating to further the practice of Centering Prayer, but she brings to this her own distinctive nuances coming from her unique perspective as a student of the Christian Inner tradition and a pioneer in InterSpiritual work.
The Centering Prayer Online Retreat consists of the following elements:
• 12 lessons delivered by email in which Cynthia Bourgeault discusses what Centering Prayer is and what it is not, the value of intention, the four guidelines to the practice, the nuts and bolts of the practice, handling thoughts, the fruits of the practice, and more.
• Audio recordings from Cynthia's workshops.
• Recording of a one-hour teleconference with Cynthia, held in November 2011 when this retreat was first offered.
Whether you are new to Centering Prayer or an experienced practitioner, this Online Retreat and Practice Circle is bound to enrich your practice.
(4 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)