The Path of Centering Prayer (Hardcover)

Deepening Your Experience of God

By David Frenette, Father Thomas Keating (Foreword by)

Sounds True, 9781604076738, 233pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2012

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.
David Frenette is a leader and senior teacher in the Centering Prayer movement, and a friend and advisor of Father Thomas Keating for 30 years. He co-created and co-led a contemplative retreat community for 10 years, has an MA in transpersonal counseling psychology, and is an adjunct faculty member of Naropa University. He is a spiritual director at the Center for Contemplative Living in Denver, Colorado, as well as for clients worldwide.


Part I: Deepening Your Centering Prayer Practice in the Light of Contemplation

Chapter One: Understanding Christian Contemplation and Getting Started in Centering Prayer
Chapter Two: Renewing Your Practice of Centering Prayer
Chapter Three: Deepening the Sacred Word
Chapter Four: Deepening the Sacred Breath
Chapter Five: Deepening the Sacred Glance
Chapter Six: Nothing buy God's Silence, Stillness, and Spaciousness
Chapter Seven: The Sacred Nothingness and the Trinity
Chapter Eight: Dancing in the Center of God

Part II: Contemplative Attitudes

Chapter Nine: Consent and Giving God Consent to Act in You
Chapter Ten: Opening and Recognizing
Chapter Eleven: Simplicity and Awakening in God
Chapter Twelve: Gentleness and Effortlessness
Chapter Thirteen: Letting Go and Letting Be
Chapter Fourteen: Resting and Being
Chapter Fifteen: Embracing and Being Embraced
Chapter Sixteen: Integrating in Life and Emerging in God


This book is a complete handbook to Christian contemplation and the practice of centering prayer. A contemplative practice like centering prayer opens you to experiencing God. This book shows you how to journey on the path of centering prayer, a path leading to interior union with Christ and increasing unity with all of life as it is found emerging in God. Although designed to show advanced practitioners how to deepen their centering prayer practice, The Path of Centering Prayer can also be used by beginners looking to establish such a practice.

Christian Contemplative Practice and Centering Prayer
Similar in many ways to meditation in other spiritual traditions, centering prayer is a method of silent, wordless prayer that comes out of the Christian contemplative tradition. Different contemplative practices have always existed in Christianity. Practices like the Jesus Prayer in the Orthodox Christian tradition, lectio divia--the "divine reading" of scripture--in the Roman Catholic tradition, and the silent worship of some Quaker and Protestant churches--have provided means for experiencing the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. The practice of centering prayer is primarily based on the teaching of a classic spiritual text from the fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing. These and every specific form of Christian contemplative practice are rooted in the teachings of Jesus and his resurrected presence as the Christ. While rooted in Christ's eternal presence and Jesus' historical teachings, each of these forms of Christian contemplative prayer practice, like centering prayer, arose and were developed within the cultural conditions of the time.

About the Author

David FrenetteDavid 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 Father Thomas KeatingFather 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.