Live and Self-Guided Online Courses for Individuals or Groups

The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ in one another through the practice of the Centering Prayer

The Way of Silence Series - 2015

Image ©The William G. Congdon Foundation, Milan

Fr. Thomas Keating and Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler recorded a special blessing and encouragement for the new year,  especially for those who are joining this year-long program, an excerpt of which can be found here (about 2 minutes).   A longer message from Fr. Thomas for the yearlong series subscribers is available as part of the Word of the Week offering (see below).

We invite you to join with us in making 2015 a time to reboot and reinvigorate our individual and community practices, all the while connected to a worldwide community of spiritual companions practicing and consenting to the contemplative life together.   

We are also excited to be featuring the art of William Congdon throughout the Way of Silence online retreat series, because he had a deep, inspired relationship with Christ, dedicating his work to God for over 30 years of his life, even living near monasteries in Italy for over 20 years.  Through this inspired art, our online community will continue the practice of Visio Divina, gazing and "listening" for transmissions of the Spirit that inform and inspire our personal journeys.   

The year-long subscription series for $150 includes the following retreats and community opportunities

If you are not interested in the year-long series which includes the Word of the Week, you may sign-up for any one of the three individual retreats above.  Just click on the individual links to sign-up.

An Online Retreat for the Welcoming Prayer

The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a "letting go" in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life. It helps to dismantle the emotional programs of the false-self system and to heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored - in the body. The online retreat will consist of 12 emails of the course content, as well as video & audio teachings and daily practices.

To find more information, or to register, visit the Welcoming Prayer e-course page.


Lectio Divina - Introduction

This online retreat focuses on learning the method of Lectio Divina and incorporating this contemplative way of praying the Scriptures into daily practice. Click here for more information or to register for the Lectio Divina on demand course.


Lean In, Lighten Up and Let Go: Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative

This is an interactive online retreat to encourage a life of prayer and practice, both "on the chair" and in daily life. This course will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God, and strengthen your ability to live the contemplative life through dedication to prayer and practice, all within the normal routines of everyday life.

This e-course has been designed as a review of contemplative prayer practices for those who already engage in this form of prayer as well as those who would like to begin such a practice.

Led by Mary Dwyer, a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and student of Fr. Thomas Keating, this retreat is a four-week practicum based on a series of four questions, inspired by the teachings of Fr. Basil Pennington.

More Information...

Contemplative Discernment

A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God's will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray "not my will, but Thy will."

This online retreat consists of 12 emails, which will focus on teachings and practice; audio segments to enrich and support the practices and teachings; a recorded teleconference with Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico; and mini-practices to guide you through various aspects of the discernment process. A daily Centering Prayer practice is recommended for taking this online retreat.

For more information or to register, visit the Contemplative Discernment e-course page.


Practicing the Presence of God

This online retreat explores in depth the contemplative prayer practice of living in the present moment with attention and intention and uses the examples of three Christian contemplative mentors: Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, St. Therese of Lisieux and Jean-Pierre De Caussade. Click here for more information or to register for the Practicing the Presence of God on demand course.

Download the Attention/Intention MP3 excerpt (right-click and save link/target as).


Centering Prayer- Introduction

Offered in partnership with Sounds True, this online self-guided course is available in an on-demand format, which means you can take it anytime, anywhere you have internet access.  For more information, click on the image.  Check the Sounds True website for any upcoming live versions of this course.

This new online course is useful for those who cannot attend an Introduction to Centering Prayer in person, or for those who would like to refresh their prayer practice.  The course includes guidance and teachings on video and audio from Fr. Thomas Keating, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico.  

The boxed set in-home package is available in the store click here. The boxed set is recommended both for individual use to learn the prayer and for local Contemplative Outreach chapters offering the Centering Prayer Introductory Program as a group learning opportunity.


The Grace of Lent

Led by Contemplative Outreach, Spirituality & Practice

I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.
— Hosea 2:16

Easter, with its grace of interior resurrection, is the radical healing of the human condition. Lent, which prepares us for this grace, is about what needs to be healed, [forgiven and celebrated].
— Thomas Keating, The Mystery of Christ

For many, Lent has a gloomy, heavy air of the negative — rules, observances, abstentions, do not's, have not's, can not's. What is lost is the deep listening, the atmosphere, you might say, of Lent without which the ascetic practices lose much of their meaning. But another climate — a state of heart, being, and spirit can permeate our entire life for these seven weeks — all in the preparation of softening our heart to open to the joyful reality of the Resurrection, our personal union with God.

In our time together during this online retreat, we hope to create a Lenten atmosphere of silence, stillness, and a quiet inner joy of alert receptivity.

This 40-day journey will explore the foundations of the contemplative life necessary to live the path of divine love. It will consist of a combination of emails, video and audio teachings, as well as the opportunity to share and connect with others in the online Practice Circle.

This course is available anytime, anywhere you have email and internet access.
Read more and order here.


The Grace of Advent: Consent to Contemplative Living

"Advent is the season of the God-seeker. . . . May God help us to wake up to ourselves and in doing so, to move from ourselves toward him."
             — Alfred Delp, Advent of the Heart, Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings

This e-course for Advent will use Scripture and the teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating and other mystical writers to explore the great themes of this season as they inform and enrich the contemplative life.

For more information or to register visit The Grace of Advent e-course page