Meditation and contemplative practice lie at the very heart of mysticism, and of the personal spiritual practice of regular members of the Chapel. We use the Centering Prayer approach to contemplative prayer and meditation developed by Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington, and Abbot Thomas Keating. While often seen as a practice in Eastern Religions, contemplative prayer and meditation have a rich tradition in Christianity reaching back to its beginnings. This tradition has been passed on to us through the Greek and Desert Fathers, Renaissance writers such as St Theresa of Avilla, St John of the Cross, and the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing to modern authors such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating.
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.
To download a PDF handout on Centering Prayer Meditation click here.
- Prayer & Meditation in Christian Mysticism John Nash
- Introduction to Christian Mysticism Thomas Merton
- What is Celtic Christianity Andrew Dunn