An Introduction to Centering Prayer
An Introduction to Centering Prayer is a short tract which introduces the reader to the discipline of Centering Prayer.
In it, I discuss: (1) The History of Centering Prayer, especially its connection to the anonymous 14th Century work The Cloud of Unknowing; (2) The Method of Centering Prayer as presented by Thomas Keating, including observations and commentary on each of the steps; (3) possible Theological Paradigms to understand the practice with including the Divine Therapy model, the "Union with God" model, and the True Self/False Self model; (4) Natural Effects of the prayer, including control of the mind, distance between "you" and your thoughts, decreased worry and anxiety, non-attachment, and present moment awareness; (5) Centering in the World and the use of the sacred word during the active life; and (6) The Shape of the Journey, especially emphasizing the possible experience of "dark nights" which are associated with this practice.
This tract is simply intended to provide a very brief overview of the practice and lead the reader to further study. A list of Centering Prayer resources is also included, and many of these resources are also found on the Centering Prayer page of this site. This tract is available for free by signing up for The Contemplative Life Newsletter.