An Insight
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3w ago
  by Martina Weber Echzell, Germany Six years ago I read a lot about the Welcoming Prayer and tried to integrate it into my then beginning Centering Prayer practice. It was a dark night of the soul period in my life: deep depression, a form of dementia that had come overnight triggered by a medication against my bipolar condition, and strong suicidal impulses. It just felt dishonest to pray “I let go of my desire for survival and security“ because I only had an overwhelming and pervading desire for non-survival, for my life to be discontinued. Still I accepted the advice of the contact pe ..read more
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A Prayer Shawl: March 8-9, 2024
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3w ago
by Susan Kenney Sacramento, California, USA It is a prayer shawl, created in 23 hours. Each hour new threads are added. Each of different color and texture. Each with its own culture and language. We begin our weaving in the Philippines, holding the world’s  pain in reverent silence.  This silence is gentle. This silence is forgiving. We pray that we too might be gentle and forgiving in a world often harsh and accusatory. Thanks to the wonder of technology, we share the next hour with the young contemplatives who remind us that it is the most unlikely people who are invited to a cont ..read more
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“Bless Them and Change Me”
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3w ago
  Q: This question is in reference to the proper procedure for a group doing Centering Prayer. Our leader starts out by going around the circle and checking in with each person, how they are doing. Then we have a short psalm reading and then we do our first 20-minute sit, followed by a 2 minute meditative walk around the chapel, then we do a second 20 minute sit. At the end of that we say the Our Father and then members are free to offer their intentions for prayer as in intercessory prayer. During this time things can get political, praying for all the troubles of the world, as well as o ..read more
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My Experience with the Practice of Utmost Charity
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
1M ago
  When I saw the notice for the course “Utmost Charity: A Call to Deeper Love,” although I had many previous commitments on my calendar, I was immediately drawn to it. Feeling that this strong pull might be the Holy Spirit guiding me, I signed up. This course was transformative and it has helped me see that my whole life is a prayer. I was then invited to share a bit about this with the Contemplative Outreach community. Some background: I began practicing Centering Prayer during my discernment in the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross sometime in the summer of 2020. One of my spo ..read more
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The Path of Centering Prayer and Welcoming Prayer
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
1M ago
  Q: I have been in recovery for 19 years from 35 long painful years of addictions and have meditated for as long. I have followed nondual teaching of resting in being. I have always been anxious and had a sense of unease deep inside; it has lessened over the years but always under the surface something i cannot resolve. I am so grateful to have found Centering Prayer and love Thomas Keating’s truth of Divine Therapy and believe that it is working within me, but since having to choose a sacred word the tension and pain has become more acute and I prefer to rest in the breath. I can see fr ..read more
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Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Centering Prayer in Poland
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
2M ago
offered by Tomek Jelinski At the end of September, Contemplative Outreach celebrated 10 years of its presence in Poland. To mark the occasion, a weekend meeting of members and supporters of the movement was held in Wadowice in the south of the country. Early on Friday evening, the participants were greeted by a rainbow, a sign of God’s covenant with God’s children. The two days were filled with Centering Prayer, small and large group meetings, reflection on our journey so far and a look at what the future may hold. It was a time filled with gratitude for the journey we have taken so far and w ..read more
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A Message for the New Year
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3M ago
  from the Governing Board of Contemplative Outreach It is a new year – a time for celebration, for looking back at the highs and lows of the previous year, and looking forward to the future with anticipation and trust! This year, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Contemplative Outreach.  We have evolved from a small group inspired to pass on the transforming gift of Centering Prayer to an organism that strives to serve the needs of Christian contemplatives through an expanding vision and deepening practice of Centering Prayer. Despite the loss of Fr. Thomas and the vari ..read more
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About the Contemplative Walk
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3M ago
  Q: Our group has been doing a contemplative walk before meetings. Do you have any information about this practice? A: The contemplative walk is a time of mindful walking sometimes while repeating a prayer sentence to our step cadence that helps us take the silence and solitude of our prayer practice into everyday life. This slow walk is also a way of praying unceasingly during everyday life. Most people walk steadily rather than using a “wedding march” stance such as a pause between steps. It seems from your question that your group is using the contemplative walk as a vestibule pr ..read more
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False self, Centering Prayer and Welcoming Prayer
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
3M ago
  Q: I have been practicing Centering Prayer for many years, although it doesn’t fall easy for me. One thing I have kept being frustrated about is how to view the false self in actual daily life. For example, I have been in a couple of relations that have been psychologically unhealthy for me, because of manipulative and invasive behavior patterns. This has brought me to a psychological break down to the point where I can not deal with these relationships any more. For me and my person that is quite obvious, but for my spiritual mind it is difficult, because I keep telling myself tha ..read more
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Length of an Intensive Retreat
Contemplative Outreach
by pbegeman
5M ago
  Q: I’m exploring how/if I can organize my life for an intensive retreat. As I look there seems to be a standard of a nine-day retreat and then some lesser number of days. I haven’t found anything that helps me understand the length. Nine days is a long time to organize to be away … A: Thank you for your question about Centering Prayer intensive retreats.  I am a part of the service team who answers questions about the Contemplative Outreach retreats. The number of days for an intensive retreat range from five to nine and even 10 days. Fr. Thomas intended the intensive to be th ..read more
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