Author: Thomas Keating
Title: Contemplative Prayer
Publication Info: [Louisville] : Sounds True, 1995
Several years ago I attended a retreat where I learned about contemplative prayer. I found this guide by one of the major proponents of contemplative prayer, Thomas Keating, narrated by Keating himself and decided to listen to is as a refresher. Keating begins by discussing the human condition and psychological development from early childhood. He discusses programs that people use to seek happiness but concludes that the limitless human heart may only be filled by God. He relates that “fear of God” does not mean the emotion of fear, but trust, reverence, and passion for God.
Centering prayer is laying aside all thought so we can open ourselves to God. There are three aspects to this kind of prayers:
- a sacred word – repeated unchanging throughout prayer and important to disregarding thoughts
- a comfortable position but not too comfortable so you don’t fall asleep
- 20 minutes of time – one may only end up with 1-2 minutes of quiet, but it is quality not quantity