The Path of Centering Prayer (Paperback)
In the teachings of Jesus, there are prayers, and then there is prayer—the silent, loving communion with the divine, beyond words or ritual. With Father Thomas Keating’s book Open Mind, Open Heart, hundreds of thousands discovered the transformative power of Centering Prayer as a form of Christian meditation. Now, with The Path of Centering Prayer, Keating’s senior student, friend, and advisor David Frenette reveals the profound depths of this practice, making it easier for meditators to deepen their connection with God.
Beginning and experienced practitioners alike will benefit from this fresh voice, at once eloquent and clear, as they explore:
The key insights and principles of centering prayer
• Guided instruction in the sacred word, sacred breath, and sacred glance practices
• Gentleness and openness: the way of letting go and letting be
• Experiencing a deeper sense of God in meditation and in everyday life
• Many other contemplative practices and teachings founded upon the wisdom of Fathers Thomas Keating and Thomas Merton
Has your spiritual path grown routine or unfulfilling, or is it at a crossroads for new discovery? For all Christians who seek to move closer into the presence of the divine, The Path of Centering Prayer offers guidance in this rewarding and time-honored meditation practice, to help break through obstacles and illuminate the way.
About the Author
David Frenette has been a longtime teacher of Centering Prayer and contemplative meditation, as well as a friend and advisor of Father Thomas Keating for 34 years. He has a graduate degree in transpersonal counseling psychology and has taught at leading retreat centers around the country. David co-created and co-led a Christian contemplative retreat community for 10 years. His primary work is in developing practices and resources for contemplative practitioners, and supporting a unitive approach to meditation that includes body, mind and heart, as well as spirit. He is a spiritual director for clients worldwide.
Father Thomas Keating draws from over 60 years of study and prayer as a Trappist monk in sharing the wisdom of 20 centuries of the contemplative Christian tradition. One of the principal architects of the contemplative Christian prayer movement, Father Keating co-founded the Snowmass Interreligious Conference and Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., and is author of many books, including Open Mind, Open Heart.
“Expanding on his mentor's (Father Thomas Keating) groundbreaking book Open Mind, Open Heart, Frenette takes Centering Prayer to a new level. Rooted in Christianity, Centering Prayer resonates on the same contemplative wavelength as Buddhist mindfulness practice. It transcends denominations and moves beyond the limitations of traditional, hierarchical Christian worship. Frenete is careful to keep his language inclusive, further opening the door to those who wish to explore rather than follow. Consider displaying this one with Father Keating's book and with The Cloud of Unknowing, one of the foundation texts of Centering Prayer.” —Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
“Frenette's enthusiasm for centering prayer, his use of illustrative material from his own life and mystical experiences, and his flair for creativity give this handbook a vibrancy that carries the reader along. We were especially taken with his comparisons of contemplation with dancing and with floating on water.” —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice.com
“This book in my view is the best, most comprehensive, and most practical book on centering prayer.” —Father Thomas Keating
“"In this beautiful book, David Frenette expands the map of the known Centering Prayer universe. With the blessing of his spiritual father, Thomas Keating, David develops and gently reshapes fundamental building blocks of the Centering Prayer teaching. This is an important moment in the Centering Prayer lineage transmission, when a faithful student emerges into mastery. David’s work will breathe significant new life into your personal practice.” —Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
“This excellent book represents Christianity come to maturity! Here you will find good theology, good practice, good psychology, and a recovery of the foundation itself—how to live in communion all the time.” —Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation
“With simplicity and great wisdom, David Frenette reconnects you to the universal tradition of how to open to God, how to pray in silence, and finally, how to let the spirit pray within your heart. If you want, or need, to be drawn deeper into prayer, read this book and live its guidance.” —Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, Sufi teacher and author of Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism
“In his lucid guide to Centering Prayer, David Frenette navigates a path for beginners and seasoned practitioners who wish to enter ever-deepening states of loving friendship with the Divine.” —Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
“This wonderful book provides direction, encouragement, and support for a prayer practice with ancient roots. Drawing on his considerable experience as a spiritual director, David Frenette skillfully shares stories and offers wisdom that illuminates the heart of the practice and will lead practitioners through the subtle challenges that inevitably arise in the process of living into ever-deepening levels of prayer. This is a book not only to be read, but to be consulted regularly for insight and help along the way.” —The Right Reverend Robert O’Neill, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado
“The Path of Centering Prayer is a beam of light in what can sometimes be a dark and unknown journey with God. It is written from the heart of David’s relationship with God and his discoveries along his contemplative journey in solitude, in community, and in spiritual direction. From this place of wisdom, David enlightens readers with encouragement and enrichment, which will nourish them in their own commitment to the centering prayer practice and the contemplative life.” —Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, President of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.
“"This book has three qualities that make it so helpful to read. First, David Frenette is clearly speaking out of his experience of centering prayer as a path to God. This experiential voice cuts through theoretical explanations and helps us come to our own intimate desire to experience God’s presence in our lives. Second, his frequent references to The Cloud of Unknowing and other classical texts of mystic teachers bear witness to this book’s fidelity to the ancient and timeless wisdom of contemplative Christianity. And third, David guides us along the contemplative path in an inviting and accessible style—well suited to both sincere beginners and to those who are more well-seasoned in following the interior path that David Frenette invites us to follow.” —James Finley, PhD, Core Teacher of the Center for Action and Contemplation