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1-Getting Started

 Title and Description
 Media Ideas for Using in a Group

 Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating

A deep and thorough overview of the Christian contemplative tradition, a process of interior transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union.  Herein a restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, related and respond to everyday life with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through, and beyond everthing that happens.  Fr. Thomas gives step-by-step guidance in the method of Centering Prayer, a movement of divine love designed to renew the Christian Contemplative Tradition.



Books can be read and discussed in groups by passing the book around the circle and having each person read a couple of paragraphs or so.  People are welcome to comment and share at anytime and leave 15-20 minutes at the end of the reading time for sharing and comments.  Anyone is welcome to pass on reading and sharing at anytime.
A Taste of Silence: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Centering Prayer by Fr. Carl Arico

Fr. Arico explores the fundamentals of Centering Prayer, and how it impacts one’s life, providing the practitioner with a historical foundation, balance, insight, a degree of humor, and peace of mind.

A Deeper Love: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by   Elizabeth Smith and Joseph Chalmers 

An Invitation to Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington

An Invitation to Centering Prayer is a spiritual discipline rooted in the affirmative awareness of God's dwelling within us. Our value as persons rests on that unique relationship. By focusing our attention on the Divine indwelling, we come to realize that at our center we are not empty, but full of God's creative love. We do not have to care about what anyone else thinks; we are not validated by career or by possessions. This realization empowers us to do whatever we want because it is God who strengthens us. But how do we reach that inner communion with God--that centering? It is through Centering Prayer.
Forty Days To A Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens

Through Muyskens' insightful guidance, you'll explore a simple, biblical practice of prayer that leads to a deep communion with God and encourages a way of life motivated by the divine, perhaps untapped, Presence at the center of your being. "Your life can be chaotic, scattered, unfocused, but in prayer you consent to a new orientation," writes Muyskens. "When I am centered, I open the eyes of my heart to perceive God?s presence?. I let go of my efforts to reach God and simply rest in the love of the Trinity. I surrender myself to Christ."
Divine Therapy & Addiction
: Centering Prayer and the Twelve Steps by Thomas Keating with Tom S.

In this major new work, Father Thomas Keating reflects on the wisdom and legacy of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Method and its connection to, and similarities with, the Christian mystical tradition of centering prayer and Lectio Divina.  In conversation with Tom S., a long-time member of AA meetings, Father Thomas talks insightful about surrendering to one's Higher Power and the journey that must be undertaken for the healing of the soul to begin.


The Six Continuing Sessions to the Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating

Each DVD contains two half-hour sessions (3 DVD set)

Tape 1:
   Session 1 - Prayer in Secret
   Session 2 - The Discipline of Centering
Tape 2:
   Session 3 - What Centering Prayer is Not
                     and It is. 
   Session 4 - The Basic Principles of 
                     Centering Prayer
Tape 3:
   Session 5 - Method of Centering Prayer I
   Session 6 - Method of Centering Prayer II

One of these talks is shown at each of 6 follow-up sessions to an Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop.  Selected talks from this DVD set can be viewed and discussed by a prayer group.  People viewing it will be at a different place in their spiritual journey and Centering Prayer and hear something new at each viewing.

Transcripts of the Six Continuing Sessions are available.  The transcripts include the timings, session previews and reviews, discussion questions and related scripture.
 Spiritual Journey Prologue  by Thomas Keating

Set of two DVDs:
The Method of Centering Prayer
The Psychological Experience of Centering



The Spiritual Journey Part 1 - Developing Centering Prayer

Set of six DVDs 
0. Introduction: Attitudes Toward God
1. Prayer as Relating to God*
2. Four Levels of Scriptural Experience*
3.Toward Resting in God
4. Centering Prayer as a Method
5. Progress in Centering Prayer

Each session is about 60 minutes with an intermission at about 30 minutes.

Transcripts of the Spiritual Journey sessions are available.  The transcripts include the timings, session previews and reviews, discussion questions and related scripture.  These talks can be viewed at a prayer group.  Each talk is about an hour long so you may need to extend the meeting time to accommodate a complete talk in one meeting.  If you decide to view half of the talk (30 min) at a time then you may need to provide a review of the first part at the next meeting before continuing with the remaining 30 minutes of the talk..

* = talks are shown at our Hawaii 8-Day Intensive Centering Prayer Retreats.  Retreats are a good way to see the Spiritual Journey Videos because you hear the entire talk in context with the other talks and the information can be digested in the silence and solitude of the retreat.

Contemplative Dimension of the 12-Steps
with Fr. Thomas Keating

4 DVD Set containing
  • Centering Prayer as an 11th Step
  • Human Condition & the First Two Steps
  • A Daily Practice of Transformation
  • Questions & Answers with Fr. Keating


Invitation from God with Thomas Keating
A Film by Marie Louise Lefevre

A wonderful introduction to the subject of contemplation and the spiritual journey and its implications for personal and global freedom.

Danish file director, Marie Louise Lefevre interviewed Fr. Thomas Keating in 2006 and what resulted was a spiritually enriching and stunningly beautiful film.  The conversation between the director and Fr. Thomas and the beauty of the film's images serve to express what the contemplative life is about.



This stunningly beautiful film can be watched before or after Centering Prayer in a weekly Centering  group for enrichment.  As a suggestion, start with the Introduction by Gail followed by the Invitation from God Segment.

 4 min - Intro by Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler
29 min - Thomas Keating speaks about:
             The False Self and the Monk
             Centering Prayer
             Diving Therapy
             The Body of Christ 

Please review the guidebook that comes with the DVD and preview the other segments to decide which of those segments you may want to share at future meetings.

  8 min - The Five Levels of Consciousness
10 min - Lectio Divina
14 min - Centering Prayer
  8 min - Prayer in Secret
  6 min - Centering Prayer and Divine Therapy
14 min - The Spiral Staircase and the Paschal Mystery
16 min - The Great Banquet:  All are Invited
17 min - Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Concept of God


Centering Prayer: A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God by Thomas Keating

Includes more than nine hours of guidance and teachings from Fr. Thomas Keating, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Fr. Carl Arico.

Includes  DVDs, 2 Audio CDs, In-depth Workbook and Prayer Cards


Groups could review the talks from the Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop with the following talks by Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler.
   20 min - Prayer as Relationship - Be still and know
   16 min - The Method of Centering Prayer - The 4 Basic Guidelines
   15 min - Thoughts & The Use of the Sacred Word - The Power of the 
   15 min - Deepening Your Relationship with God - The Fruits of
                Centering Prayer
   24 min - A Life Long Journey - The Basic Core of Goodness  
Groups could reinforce the basic teachings of Centering Prayer with these delightful talks by Fr. Carl Arico.
   15 min - Prayer as Relationship - The Rest of the Story
   17 min - The Method of Centering Prayer - It all Beings with Saying
   11 min - Thoughts and use of the Sacred Word - Finding Freedom
   14 min - Deepening Your Relationship with God - The Two-Armed

Groups could listen to a very moving interview with Thomas Keating (26 min)

In a review of this set by some Centering Prayer group facilitators they felt that the other talks by Thomas Keating on this set are better used once you have been practicing Centering Prayer for some time.  A copy of the brochure is at the bottom of this page.

 Contemplative Life Program - Year 1 "Practice"

The intention of this in-home program is to provide the tools, teachings and support necessary to live the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.  The program assumes a current practice of Centering Prayer.

Topics for Year One focus on contemplative practices, including:

  • Centering Prayer
  • Welcoming Prayer
  • Lectio Livina
  • Discernment
  • Forgiveness
  • Active Prayer
  • Attention/Intention

Each booklet is a 40 day practice.

  The program is primarily designed for individual, in-home, daily use. However, more and more Centering Prayer group members are using the CLP as part of their group focus. In fact, it was part of the original conception of the CLP that it might be the focus of a group or community for an entire year, as it has great potential to build connection, belonging and spiritual deepening in a group setting.