Thomas Keating on the Guidelines for Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating is the name most associated with the origin of Centering Prayer and the Catholic organization Contemplative Outreach, which exists to educate laypeople on Catholic contemplative spiritual practice. In this introductory workshop, Keating speaks on the guidelines for Centering Prayer. Keating rarely gets into technical meditation terminology and his presentations typically appeal to those just being introduced to the practice, especially those who are deeply committed to the Christian tradition.  Some of his fellow practitioners provide more nuanced presentations which often interact with other religious traditions (see David Frenette and Cynthia Bourgeault below).  The official instructions for Centering Prayer are sometimes presented in slightly different ways between authors.

 
 
 
 
 
 

David Frenette, Buddhist Geeks, and Meditating with God

This is a two part podcast from Buddhist Geeks.  Here David Frenette, a disciple of Thomas Keating, discusses his path from Zen Buddhism to Centering Prayer.  He is clearly very familiar with both traditions and provides a helpful perspective that compares and contrasts the two disciplines.  Frenette is the author of The Path of Centering Prayer.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cynthia Bourgeault on Centering Prayer and Non-Dual Awareness

This is Cynthia Bourgeault, another disciple of Thomas Keating, at a "Science and Non-Duality" conference discussing Centering Prayer.  She is skilled at speaking across religious traditions and also explores the neuroscience behind the Centering Prayer method.  In many ways here she leaves some of the traditional western mystic language behind (false self/true self, "Higher Self," the "Divine Indwelling," etc.).  She is more true to western theistic thought in her book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, which is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive introduction to Centering Prayer available.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

James Wilhoit on Finding Quietness of Heart in Centering Prayer 

Here James Wilhoit talks about Centering Prayer at a Biola conference.  He gives a somewhat distinct view from the Reformed tradition (i.e. emphasizing the sinfulness of man, our inability to heal or better ourselves by our own effort, etc.).  I really like the analogy of simply exposing ourselves to the sun.  Centering Prayer is not about doing something, but letting something be done in you.

 
 
 
 
 
 

James Martin: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

James Martin gives an accessible, short introduction to Centering Prayer.  As he states, he is the author of My Life with the Saints. His most well-known book is The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

 
 
 
 
 
 

Benefits of Centering Prayer

This audio comes from Contemplative Outreach, and provides the perspectives of several lay practitioners of Centering Prayer.