THOMAS KEATING

Thomas Keating

Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and Catholic priest, is known as the founder of the Centering Prayer movement and world proponent of “Contemplative Prayer.” Born: 1923. Yale University and Fordham University graduate.

Author: Open Mind, Open Heart.

The Keating book underlines how contemplative prayer opens our “heart and whole being to God, the Ultimate Mystery.” Through contemplative prayer, each individual can connect to the Ultimate power, God, and your “true self,” learn to listen and be guided.

Contemplative prayer is the world in which God can do anything. To move into that realm is the greatest adventure. It is to be open to the Infinite and hence to infinite possibilities. Our private, self-made worlds come to an end; a new world appears within and around us and the impossible becomes an everyday experience…This gift of being is our true Self.

All true prayer is based on the conviction of the presence of the Spirit in us and of his unfailing and continual inspiration.

The root of prayer is interior silence. “Prayer,” according to Evagrius, “is the laying aside of thoughts.”

By means of contemplative prayer, the Spirit heals the roots of self-centeredness and becomes the source of conscious activity.

Service to others is the outgoing movement of the heart prompted by compassion.

Reflection…prepares the psyche to listen at more refined levels of attention.

The Spirit begins to address our conscience from that deep source within us which is our true Self.

The Method

To do this systematically, take up a comfortable position that will enable you to sit still. Close your eyes. Half of the world disappears for we generally think most about what we see. In order to slow down the usual flow of thoughts, think just of one thought. For this purpose choose a word of one or two syllables with which you feel comfortable. When you become aware that you are thinking some other thought, return to the sacred word as the expression of your intent.

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