Choosing a Centering Prayer Retreat


Q: I have had a committed, active Centering Prayer practice for many years. I would like to go on a retreat and was wondering if you could advise me on what would be appropriate for me.

A: What a blessing that you are being called to attend a Centering Prayer retreat. Your long time Centering Prayer practice makes you ready for the profound silence of a Centering Prayer retreat.

Fr. Thomas Keating recommended that our first long retreat (five to ten days) would include his teaching on the human condition which is named a Centering Prayer intensive. Even if you have heard the Spiritual Journey series before, experiencing his words when you are grounded in and surrounded by Grace-filled silence allows you to really hear with all of your being what it is you are to hear about your journey at this moment in time. Many people who have studied the Spiritual Journey program find hearing teachings in a retreat setting, really allow them to progress on their journey to Love.

That being said, please visit the online Contemplative Outreach events calendar which lists the retreats that are being offered over the next year or so. Please look for a retreat that includes the word “intensive” if you would like to experience the human condition teachings. You can find the event calendar here:

You may also feel called to a find a retreat that is shorter in length and includes other teachings. These are also a good option for you.

The final option for you is attending a post-intensive retreat where there is no teaching. This retreat is for those grounded in their practice and who yearn for more silence and solitude. This is a challenge if it is your first retreat so, please talk with the retreat leaders before signing up to ensure this type of format will work with your prior experience. I have had people over the years who are used to attending long Buddhist retreats who ask to attend our post intensives. It was a perfect match for their many hours of meditation which fits in well with the post intensive experience.

I hope this gives you a direction to begin your search for a Centering Prayer retreat. Please let me know if you have any questions. And let me know your experience once you are able to attend one.

Peace and joy,

Leslee Terpay