A Taste of Silence: Book Review

I highly recommend that both new and experienced practitioners read Carl J. Arico’s book, “A Taste Of Silence: Centering Prayer And The Contemplative Journey. Let me share a few key points from this book that I think you will enjoy.

(this post may contain affiliate links)

Consent and Action

“I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God’s presence in my life, but also God’s action in my life.” Centering prayer is a practice that helps us open to God. It teaches us how to let go, open and consent to the presence of God. When we are present to God, we give God the best chance to act in us!

Divine Presence

“God is within us and we don’t fully appreciate the divine presence in us right now.” Centering prayer helps us reconnect to the divine within. We are both divine and human beings. When we let the two meet and act together, we get God inspired actions.

Let Go

“Now I would like to suggest, if we are unable to let thoughts go at times, how is God going to put another thought in our minds?” Centering prayer teaches us how to let go. When we let go, we let God act in us at a deep level beyond thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. Each time we let go during centering prayer, we give God another opportunity to give us what God knows is best for us just right now.

Fruits of Centering Prayer

“When we consent, we are giving the Spirit permission to do whatever needs to be done.” This is the exciting part! During centering prayer, God acts in us. God’s inner actions are later revealed during our everyday lives. The fruits of centering prayer are a wonderful gift from God.

Next Steps

Read Carl’s book. A long term practice such as centering prayer will teach you how to let go and live. “This letting go in the prayer causes a ripple effect for letting go outside the prayer.”

Go Further

Carl J Arico, A Taste of Silence: Centering Prayer and the Contemplative Journey

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition

Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating, Manifesting God

Contemplative Discernment by Fr. Carl Arico, Pamela Begeman, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler: A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God’s will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray “not my will, but Thy will.”


If you enjoyed reading this post, please recommend and share it to help others find it.

One on One Coaching with Rich

Does this sound like you?

“I am bored with my life?”

“I am not doing the things that I want to do in all areas of my life:”

-career, personal, family, community.

I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.

I have dreams and goals, but I am afraid to show up and take action on them.

I don’t want years to pass and be disappointed when I look back on my life.

Integrating Centering Prayer practice with your everyday life addresses all of these thoughts.

Do you want to obtain the freedom to become your true self,  the person I’m created to be?

How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice?

I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions.

I will work with you to setup a program designed to meet your specific needs.


Centering Prayer as Practice and Process by Contemplative Outreach, Pamela Begeman, Mary Anne Best, Julie Saad: If you are new to Centering Prayer or wishing to renew your practice, this retreat will assist you with deepening your relationship with God. We will focus on teaching and practicing the method of Centering Prayer; review its place in the Christian tradition, its conceptual background, and psychological process; and share insights into establishing Centering Prayer as a way of life.

Lean In, Lighten Up and Let Go Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative Life by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer: This retreat encourages a life of prayer and practice, both “on the chair” and in daily life. It will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God, and strengthen your ability to live the contemplative life through dedication to prayer and practice, all within the normal routines of everyday life.

Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer, Therese Saulnier, Cherry Haisten, Jim McElroy: The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer (or another daily prayer) is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a “letting go” in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life.

Practicing the Presence of God by Pamela Begeman, Mary Ann Brussat, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, David Frenette: We live in a world of complexity, fragmentation, noise, and haste. We sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of tasks, appointments, and commitments facing us. How can we experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of our daily lives? By practice. By living more in the present moment. By practicing the presence of God in the present moment.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *