The Heart of Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer is the path to a wonderful and radical new way of seeing the world. It is not, as is sometimes thought, simply an act of devotional piety, nor is it a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia Bourgeault cuts through the misconceptions to show that Centering Prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition. She provides a practical, complete course in the practice and then goes deeper to analyze what actually happens in Centering Prayer: the mind effectively switches to a new operating system that makes possible the perception of nonduality. With this understanding in place, she then takes us on a journey through one of the sources of the practice, the Christian contemplative classic The Cloud of Unknowing, revealing it to be among the earliest Christian explorations of the phenomenology of consciousness.
Cynthia Bourgeault’s illumination of the Centering Prayer path provides compelling evidence of how important the practice has become in the half-century since it first arose among American Trappist monks, and of its maturation and refinement over the ensuing years of sincere study and practice. It will resonate with beginners on the Centering Prayer path as well as with seasoned practitioners.
"A masterpiece of spiritual wisdom firmly rooted in the Christian mystical tradition. A brilliant analysis of nondual Christianity in theory and in practice and a major contribution to the Centering Prayer movement and to interspiritual dialogue." —Thomas Keating, author of Open Mind, Open Heart
"A profound resource. The Heart of Centering Prayer provides a holistic, embodied, rounded, and grounded depth to Centering Prayer for both the committed and the new practitioner. It also continues Thomas Keating's wisdom teaching in the most meaningful and singular way so that the practice (and Christian contemplation itself) can stand in dialogue with other traditions and the sciences for the new millennium." —David Frenette, author of The Path of Centering Prayer