You are here

We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

Articles

Titlesort ascending Series Preview Category
Contrition
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  On a recent Contemplative Outreach silent retreat I had my first encounter with the theme of contrition. I felt a little tickled because I knew that I was being much harder on myself than the Lord, who didn't seem as concerned as I.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Contemplative Service in Hospice
Noreen Tillotson
Voices of Community

Coming from the perspective of someone who has survived cancer certainly puts you in a place to understand, at least partially, what our hospice residents are going through.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Contemplative Outreach South Africa: On Our Regional Retreat and the Passing of Nelson Mandela
Hilary Tyghe
Voices of Community

On the first night Brian, our co-ordinator, asked how each of us were. We all seemed to be in need of rest – both physically and spiritually. He gave us a question from the booklet - “what is of value to you in your life, and what is chaff?”  We would reflect on this in the privacy of our hermitage. We ended the evening with Lectio Divina.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey, Retreats
Contemplative Outreach and Prison Contemplative Fellowship, A New Partnership
Ray Leonardini
Other

Prison Contemplative Fellowship is an affiliation of prisoners, former prisoners, their families, volunteers, and prison chaplains whose focus is the support of Centering Prayer practice in prisons and jails.

Read More.
Prison Ministry
Contemplative Hospitality
Robin Gates, M.A.
Voices of Community

Hospitality

     In contemplative consciousness, one is equipoised, in balance, at the center of one’s house welcoming what arises in quiet hospitality, free of prejudice and attempts to change, possess or reject.  In the silent interior, guests gather, are witnessed, and given respect, acknowledgement and clarity, as they birth into consciousness for healing and transformation.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Contemplative Collaboration
Margaret Benefiel
Voices of Community

At the initiative of Thomas Keating, the founder of Contemplative Outreach, the founders of three other major Christian contemplative organizations were invited to meet with him in early October at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado...

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Father Thomas Keating
Contemplative & Vocal Prayers
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is it possible to experience contemplative prayer and vocal prayer simultaneously?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Concern About Welcoming Prayer and Passivity
Cherry Haisten
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I understand the Welcoming Prayer is about acceptance.  But what about change and action? If your boss treats you bad, your doctor ignores your health, if someone threatens your loved ones? Doesn't the Welcoming Prayer make us passive in situations?

Read More.
Welcoming Prayer
Comparing Centering Prayer and Buddhist Meditation
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am curious about the difference in effects between a Buddhist meditation and Centering Prayer, given that in Centering Prayer there is a large emphasis on consenting to the Divine presence as we are being "worked on." In Buddhist meditation, since there is no such intention to an outside source, does the same kind of "divine therapy" take place regardless? Or are there different effects?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Chapter 2: Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer, Part I
David Frenette
David Frenette

Chapter 2:  Renewing Your Practice of Centering Prayer,  Part I

Let's look in this chapter at how valuable the Centering Prayer basic guidelines are, even for longtime practitioners.  Many of the difficulties encountered by longtime practitioners are helped by returning to the simple wealth of meaning that is contained in the four introductory guidelines.

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Chapter 2: Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer Part IV
David Frenette
David Frenette

Chapter 2:  Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer  Part IV of IV: 
Grounding your Centering Prayer Practice by Letting Intention and Consent Flow into Your Life (con't)

Reconnect to the fourth basic guideline: at the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes. …

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Chapter 2: Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer, Part II
David Frenette
David Frenette

Chapter 2:  Renewing Your Practice of Centering Prayer, Part II
How Your Body Position Affects Your Inner Posture During Prayer

Reconnect to the second basic guideline: sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within. ...Contemplative resting in God can bring physical relaxation. However, resting in God is primarily an inner resting of your being in God’s Being.

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Chapter 2: Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer Part III
David Frenette
David Frenette

Chapter 2:  Renewing your Practice of Centering Prayer  Part IV of IV: 
Grounding your Centering Prayer Practice by Letting Intention and Consent Flow into Your Life (cion't)

Reconnect to the fourth basic guideline: at the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes. As Jane’s spaciness and lack of motivation for the spiritual journey shifted, we turned to her final and most important issue: being “ungrounded in life.” I asked her to describe more fully what she meant by this phrase. She said, “I used to feel invigorated in my life as a result of my Centering Prayer. Now I feel a little more inward...

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Chanting and Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Is it a good idea to listen to soft Gregorian Chant while engaged in Centering Prayer?

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Challenge
Jan Jett
Voices of Community

Having just struggled with my 80th birthday, I resonated with Fr Arico's challenge in the June 2015 CO NEWS:

     Challenge

To BE and not to DO

Experiencing age
Challenge to be and not to do
Against my program...

Read More.
Centering Toward Love: A Pastor’s Journey to Centering Prayer
Rev. Dr. Peter Traben Haas
Voices of Community

As I prayed for extended periods, I noticed my thoughts significantly wandered, overcome as if in a blizzard. I would also find myself dozing off to sleep and feeling guilty for not “praying well.”

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer: A Closer Walk with Our God
Fr. Matthew J. Flatley
Voices of Community

... And so I began the journey in earnest.  The more I prayed this way, the more I wanted to pray.  I love a reflection attributed to The Little Flower, Thérèse of Lisieux, who observes, “Jesus teaches me in my heart without the noise of words.”  This was my experience.  As Catherine of Siena instructs, “Build yourself a cell in your heart and retire there to pray.”  I did just this, as a twice daily practice, and I soon went from believing to knowing. 

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating
Centering Prayer, Unloading and the Nights
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I have been practicing centering prayer off and on for about  18 years and more intensely during the past year and a half or so.  For many yearts I had little discipline, just "exuberant mysticism" with lots of consolation.   I am sure the "unloading" of the unconscious has either not happened at all or is at least not complete.

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer, Boredom and Nothingness
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I attended a one-day Centering Prayer event for people who were experienced in Centering Prayer.  We had three periods of prayer, with some teaching.  At the end of the third session I felt completely empty.  There was nothing, and after the session, as I thought about it, it felt boring and I wondered why I would want to do that again...

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
Centering Prayer is ...
Mark Lybarger-Monson, Ph.D
Voices of Community

Centering prayer is cuddling with Christ.
Centering prayer is taking out the trash of the subconscious.
Centering prayer is releasing a handful of helium balloons; a heart-full of joy.
Centering prayer is laying in a shallow stream and allowing His waters to rush over us.

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer During Times of Unrest
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Extreme injustices and inflicted cruelty are buried in people's lives.  When these experiences arise (often unexpectedly) as a response to the asking participation in one's own spiritual journey, it is advised to slow down the evacuation process.  How does this affect a daily Centering Prayer practice?  We cannot take away another's hurt or suffering.  When one can't even quiet to sit for Centering Prayer during these times of unrest, from the contemplative point of view, what can we suggest? 

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and Young Children
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I am based in the U.K. and about to launch Centering Prayer into the local junior school (children aged 4-11). The school head and deputy head are very keen for this to happen and we will be basing what we do with the children on the Journey to the Heart book.

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and Tinnitus
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I was meditating/doing Centering Prayer for many years. However, ... [I] now severe tinnitus or ringing in the ears. ... I find meditation and Centering Prayer to be very difficult, if not impossible. I feel a longing to return, but whenever I start I get discouraged and frustrated because of the noise in my head. Do you have any recommendations?

Read More.
Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer and the Nights
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

A few months ago, I seem to have woken up during Centering Prayer in terror over not being able to find God. I had been sensing that this night of the spirit might be coming, but nothing I had read prepared me for the next few months. … It seemed to be that I ended up on one occasion in a place of such deep sorrow that all I could do was cry, and cry, and cry...

Read More.
Centering Prayer and Speaking in Tongues
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Please help me understand how Centering Prayer and the charismatic or Pentecostal belief in speaking in tongues as a sign on baptism in the Spirit are related?  Can they abide in the same person?

Read More.
Centering Prayer, Spiritual Journey

Pages