Pure faith will bring you closer to God than anything else. To be attached to an experience of God is not God; it is a thought.
Thomas Keating, "Open Mind, Open Heart", 57
There is a wealth of learning material available to help you understand the method of Centering Prayer and its conceptual background and it comes in a variety of formats: books, audio and video discs and online courses. All of it is available from the 'store' page of US website, contemplativeoutreach.org. If you would rather shop locally, most items are available through the usual commercial internet sites. What we intend to provide here is a quick overview to help you sort out what you need.
Fr. Thomas Keating has written over 30 books. All of them are helpful and encouraging but the following three are essential reading:
Open Mind Open Heart. The standard introductory text to Centering Prayer. It is also available as an audio book on 7 CDs or as an mp3 download.
Invitation to Love. Gives some of the conceptual background that is described in more detail in The Spiritual Journey DVD series.
These two books are bundled with The Mystery of Christ in a single hardback volume entitled Foundations for Centering Prayer and the Christian Contemplative Life.
Intimacy with God. Takes a fresh look at some of the ideas in the above books that is useful after you have been practicing for a few years.
If you are coming to Centering Prayer without a background in a Christian community you may find the broader approach in the following introductory text more appealing:
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault.
The Path of Centering Prayer, Deepening Your Experience of God by David Frenette is a good book to refresh your practice after five or more years.
We are able to provide introductory courses to Centering Prayer consisting of an Introductory Day with six follow-up sessions upon request. Contact us for details.
The content of these sessions with additional material can also be found as an online course, Centering Prayer - A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God, from the Sounds True website. We recommend that you join their mailing list and watch out for the generous promotional offers. Alternatively this self-guided course can be obtained as a boxed set from contemplativeoutreach.org.
Further information about contemporary Christian spirituality can be obtained at:
Living Spirituality brings together the contemplative and active dimensions of life, broadly rooted within Christianity. It is intended that LivingSpirituality be a resource through which people can find material, groups and people to help deepen and anchor their explorations through all stages of their journeying.
Silence in the City is an organisation that brings speakers on the subject of spirituality to central London at regular intervals. Most talks are held on weekday evenings but occasionally there is also an all-day event on a Saturday.