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General Information on Centering Prayer for Beginners and All Knowledge Levels

Available from Contemplative Outreach, Ltd, online or in bookstores:

Open Mind, Open Heart, by Fr. Thomas Keating

A beautiful introduction to Centering Prayer: deeply spiritual, yet clear and easy to understand.

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault

A complete guidebook for all who desire to know the practice of Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer: A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God, by Fr. Thomas Keating

A set of six DVD’s.  Highly recommended introductory course for Centering Prayer for individuals and groups. Veterans of Centering Prayer also enjoy this series.

The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, by Stephanie Iachetta.

A classic that is great for readings before Centering Prayer sessions. A compilation of Fr. Keating’s Teachings.

Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr

Rohr details the two halves of life, encouraging readers to understand that our failures in the first half of life provide the impetus for spiritual growth in the second half of life. A gem of a book.  (This and Fr. Rohr’s many other writings and videos are available at

 Psalms for Praying, by Nan Merrill

A rework of the Psalms to emphasize a modern and contemplative spirit. Maintains the original book’s beauty and essence.

For Those Experienced in Centering Prayer

Available from Contemplative Outreach, Ltd, online or in bookstores:

Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ, with Fr. Keating and Betty Sue Flowers

A set of three DVD’s. Interviews of Fr. Keating. Current, clear and in relatively bite-sized chunks.

The Path of Centering Prayer, by David Frenette

A book for groups and individuals desiring to deepen their spiritual journey. This book is receiving excellent reviews from Chicago Area Chapter Facilitators.

 The Practices that Bring the Fruits of Centering Prayer into Daily Life

Four DVDs, also on CDs. On sale through Contemplative Outreach.  Each DVD focuses on one of four practices: Attention/Intention; Lectio Divina; Prayer of Forgiveness and Welcoming Prayer. Our Facilitator Reviewer enjoyed the lectures by a variety of speakers such as Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, David Frenette, and Sr. Bernadette Teasdale.

 The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton

One of the most influential works of the 20th century. It tells the story of a brilliant and passionate young man’s search for peace and faith.

New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton

In thirty-nine short chapters, Merton offers inspiration and instruction for deepening the contemplative experience.

The Spiritual Journey Series, by Fr. Thomas Keating

DVDs, CDs and Booklet formats available.  A 28-part series of Fr. Keating’s lectures recorded decades ago that is still a wonderful way to see the big picture and to develop group camaraderie.

The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous

The unknown author, a 14th century English monk and mystic, offers invaluable advice for spiritual seekers.  Can be somewhat dense and difficult to fathom due to changing cultural assumptions, but definitely worth the effort.  There are many different translations of this work.  Two that we can recommend in modern English are the Penguin Classics edition translated by A.C. Spearing and the 1996 paperback edited by William Johnston, with an introduction by Huston Smith.  Both are available from Amazon, and an audio version of the William Johnston translation is available from Christian Classics Ethereal Library.  Alternatively, Evelyn Underhill’s translation is closer to the original text, which may appeal to some readers but not to others.

Resources written by Chicago Area Facilitators

82 Centering Prayer Sessions for Groups and Individuals

Compiled as a Centering Prayer session guide for groups and individuals by Rev. Dr. Shawn Kafader. Each session begins with a sacred reading, a devotional thought to ready one for silence and a brief reading for personal or group reflection. Not intended for sale. It may be reproduced and shared, but credit to the compiler is asked to be included. To request a copy, please email

Introduction to Centering Prayer Booklet by Ed Krostal

Introductory guide to Centering Prayer with reflections by the author. Not intended for sale. May be reproduced and shared. To request a copy, please email

2018 Annual Fall Workshop Download

“Guided Tour” Wisdom School Brochure


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