I am excited to share my review of Manifesting God by Thomas Keating.
Thomas Keating is a founder of the Centering Prayer movement, an author, a teacher, and a monk who has worked for many years to foster understanding among the world’s religions. A member of the Cistercian Order in the Benedictine tradition, he has served at monasteries in Colorado and Massachusetts. Fr. Thomas Keating is a founding member and the spiritual guide of Contemplative Outreach.
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“Part of the discipline of Centering Prayer is that, at least during the time of our prayer, we stay in the present moment.”
Centering Prayer teaches us to be present to life. We enjoy our meals and our discussion with friends, family or co workers. We are present and fully focused on our daily tasks. We actually listen to the person who talks to us and not plan what we will say next.
We watch and listen to our child show us how proud they are when they ride a bike for the first time. We notice when someone needs help and we stop what we do to assist them. We read a book or watch a movie, not plan our day or ruminate on the past.
We drink a cup of coffee on our deck and look out at the trees and blue sky. We feel the ground on the base of our feet as we stroll through the neighborhood, smell the barbecue aromas from the neighbors’ grills, look at the new shrubs and flowers in the neighbor’s front beds or listen to the children laugh and play. To be present is a wonderful gift. Don’t let it pass by you unnoticed!
God As Abba
“This is one of the precious gifts that the discipline of Contemplative Prayer communicates. It transmits Christ’s experience of God as Abba. The Aramaic word Abba roughly means “daddy”—an affectionate and intimate term of endearment that a child invents for a tenderly loving father.”
My Centering Prayer practice is a silent sit with God who unconditionally loves me. It is a love that I will spend a life time to grasp and understand its great depths and riches. Twice a day I sit silently with God who simply wishes to refresh and rejuvenate me to the depths of my innermost soul.
It is like a reverse prayer. No words are exchanged. I am silently prayed in by God. Yes, God prays in me, silently beyond words, thoughts and emotions.
“Attachment to our roles in life hinders us actually fulfilling them.”
It is when we let go that we open ourselves to fulfillment. What? Yes you heard that right! We need to let go of our preconceived notions of how things aught to be. When we open to the myriad of possibilities that is when true fulfillment begins. We become more open to a new path that God wishes to journey upon with us.
“The tyranny of over-identification with what is going on at the surface of our awareness prevents us from experiencing the intuitive level that of its very nature tends to be more peaceful, calm, and open to the presence and guidance of the Divine Indwelling.”
Silent prayer is powerful! We connect to ourselves at a deep level. Deep within us is our true self: the person God intends us to be. A daily silent prayer practice connects us to our true self. A daily silent prayer practice helps us remove the many masks we wear: our false selves.
Our false self is who we think we need to be as told by family, friends, other people, our culture, our societies or our places of employment. We arise from our silent sit ready to let the world see our true self. Our silent sit is the place from which our true self spawns. That is why we return each day to our silent sits.
“Two things take place in the inner room. The first is the affirmation of our basic goodness; the second is the purification of the unconscious.”
God loves me. The deeper my interior silence and rest during centering prayer the greater becomes my ability to affirm my basic goodness. I am made in the image of God. God is within me. I come from original blessing. I think we often forget this or do not believe it but it is true.
The purification of the unconsciousness is what Keating refers to as “unloading”. Our repressed emotional material of a lifetime that has been stored in the body is slowly evacuated. All of this negative material has influenced our behavior and decisions.
“God’s desire to heal the depths of our unconscious motivation that is the chief obstacle to divine love.” As I continue to sit in the silence of centering prayer, I am healed and God will rush in to fill the space left empty by the evacuation of my emotional baggage. That is exciting!
I encourage you to read Manifesting God by Thomas Keating. This was my third read of this wonderful book. I am sure I will continue to peek back into this powerful book.
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition by Thomas Keating
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This companion audio program—created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide—gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
Centering Prayer Course: A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God – Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The Contemplative Journey (Volume I) is Father Thomas Keating’s great masterwork: a complete curriculum devoted to a Christian path for achieving the still point of resting in God.
Learn More About:
- The complete history, theory, and daily practice of Centering Prayer
- What the medieval saints knew about resting in God
- The sacred word that revitalizes your prayers
- How to heal the irrational drives that can sabotage your spiritual growth
Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.