I highly recommend the following books, courses and web sites to learn more about centering prayer, contemplative prayer, Jesus and the Bible.
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I am currently reading Pause, Breathe, Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough by Gary Gach.
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Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action by Nicholas Amato
Mind the Light: Learning to See With Spiritual Eyes by J. Brent Bill
Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P Coleman
How to Read the Bible by Harvey Cox
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God by James Finley
Contemplative Living: An Invitation to a Deepening Journey by Sharon Grussendorff
Reflections on the Unknowable by Thomas Keating
Manifesting God by Thomas Keating
Consenting to God As God Is by Thomas Keating
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
Most Popular Book Purchases
Amato, Nicholas. Living In God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action
Amato, Nicholas. Moving from Stress to Joy
Bass, Diana Butler. Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks
Bill, J. Brent. Holy Silence: A Gift of Quaker Silence
Bourgeault, Cynthia. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Bourgeault, Cynthia. The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice
Heuertz, Christopher. The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth
Painter, Christine Valters. The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice
Amato, Nicholas. Living In God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action. (Enjoy my review.)
Amato, Nicholas. Moving from Stress to Joy
Bass, Diana Butler. Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks
Bass, Diana Butler. Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution (Enjoy my review.)
Bourgeault, Cynthia. The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice. (Enjoy my review.)
Finley, James. Christian Meditation.
Freeman, Laurence. Jesus the Teacher Within
Freeman, Laurence. First Sight: The Experience of Faith
Frenette, David. The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God. (Enjoy my review.)
Heuertz, Christopher, The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth
Heuertz, Phileena, Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life
Jelenek, Frank (Author), Boyajian Ann (Illustrator). Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children.
Johnson, Jan. Meeting God In Scripture: A-Hands-On Guide To Lectio Divina. (Enjoy my review.)
Keating, Thomas. Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer. (Enjoy my review.)
Keating, Thomas. Manifesting God.
Keating, Thomas. Open Mind, Open Heart, 20th Anniversary Edition.
McColman, Carl. Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality. (Enjoy my review.)
Meninger, William. The Loving Search for God.
Miller, Shelly. Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World. (Enjoy my review.)
Paintner, Christine Valters. Illuminating the Way: Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics. (Enjoy my review.)
Paintner, Christine Valters. Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice. (Enjoy my review.)
Paintner, Christine Valters. The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within.
Pennington, Basil. Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form. (Enjoy my review.)
Reynolds, Stefan Gillow. Living with the Mind of Christ: Mindfulness in Christian Spirituality. (Enjoy my review.)
Contemplative U: A Transformative Learning Community – Contemplative U was created by Dr. Tom Bushlack in order to share the fruits of contemplation with others.
Contemplative Light Course – The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism – Welcome to an introductory course on both practice and perspectives of timeless teachings from the Christian Mystical and Contemplative traditions! Whether you are a long-time practitioner looking to solidify your understanding and framework for practice or a beginner interested in immersing yourself in this teaching, this course can serve as a rich resource.
Contemplative Light Course: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative journey through the intermediate and higher stages of the mystical path, The Devotional Practice of the Jesus Prayer offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. The historic practice of The Jesus Prayer joins with a thorough, experiential exposition of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism. To help make these traditional dimensions and phases of the spiritual life more accessible for the contemporary seeker, we also use the most relevant material from Integral Theory, Mindfulness, and World Spirituality.
Contemplative Light Course: Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Udemy offers a course on Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain that will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. These prayer methods include: Prayer of Jesus, Paul and the Early Christians, Praying With Scripture (Lectio Divina), Centering Prayer, Christian Meditation, Breathing Prayer, Praying Psalms, Praying with Icons and Art (Visio Divina). (Enjoy my review.)(Enjoy my interview with Dr. Philip St. Romain.)
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action simply-good-news and presence of God within.
Udemy offers a wonderful course by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright titled, Simply Good News. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. I have read and listened to this course and highly recommend it. I have used it at Adult Forum sessions at church too. It was well received. You will find other courses by N. T. Wright and others on this site.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
The Bible can often be a mystery to those who read it. There are various narratives which combine to make a great story. We have a great story, which is God’s story, which is then the story of creation, with humans in the middle of it. We have Israel’s story, called to be the promise bearing humans. Often, people wonder how the various stories, poems, prophetic texts, Gospels, and letters all fit together. This course by N. T Wright will unpack some of the questions surrounding the meaning of the Bible to bring a coherent sense of what is being communicated by the biblical writers. The Bible then, truly, becomes a Grand Story of God’s faithfulness.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful 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. I have read the book and listened many times to this audio.
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 Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
A Daily Spiritual Seed – This daily (M – F) e mail message provides information, guidance and support on Christian spirituality using quotes from various Christian authors. A Gospel meditation and additional spiritual growth resources are also included in each daily message.
Carl McColman – Explores prayer, silence and wisdom of the mystics
Center for Action and Contemplation – The Center for Action and Contemplation seeks to empower individuals to live out their sacred soul tasks in service to the world through contemplative programs and resources.
Contemplative Light – Contemplative Light is an evolving project in the early stages of development.
Contemplative Outreach – Contemplative Outreach is a community of individuals and Centering Prayer groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.
Contemplative Prayer – Father William Meninger, developed a contemplative prayer method based on the 14th century classic, The Cloud of Unknowing, leading to a prayer method called Centering Prayer.
Exploring Belief – A safe space to discuss how nursing the terminally ill has affected your own life. Silent Prayer can help play an important role in this process.
Gravity – A center for contemplative action.
J. Brent Bill – Brent is a writer, photographer, retreat leader, and Quaker minister.
Marc Thomas Shaw – Explores contemplative spirituality and everyday mysticism.
Recover Christianity’s Mystic Roots – Amos Smith and I explore the five roots: Centering Prayer, Jesus Paradox, New Monasticism, Christian Mysticism and Nonviolence.
Shalom Place – It’s purpose is to provide a variety of resources that encourage and support Christian spiritual practice. As such, it is an online spirituality center — a place where you can find retreats, workshops, books, handouts, worksheets, and a community of kindred spirits who are seeking to grow in Christ.
The Contemplative Society – Contemplative Society is an inclusive non-profit association that encourages a deepening of contemplative prayer based in the Christian Wisdom tradition while also welcoming and being supportive of other meditation traditions.
The Contemplative Way – James Finley, Ph.D. lived as a monk at the cloistered Trappist monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where the world-renowned monk and author, Thomas Merton, was his spiritual director.
The Wisdom Way of Knowing – On this site you’ll find a treasure trove of resources and teachings by Cynthia Bourgeault including a list of her Key Offerings, an overview of the Wisdom Way of Knowing model, information about Wisdom Schools, an introduction to Wisdom Essentials including foundational practices and tools, and connection to our Communities of Practice, including leaders and members of the community and links to various organizations in the Wisdom Network.
The World Community for Christian Meditation – The World Community teaches the Christian tradition of meditation.
Thomas J. Bushlack, Ph.D. – A site devoted to sharing the fruits of contemplation with others by creating spaces for spiritual practices to give way to practical wisdom and compassionate action, through a variety of creative media – from traditional publishing to online learning, plus blogging, podcasting, and guided meditations