You will find a quiet space where you can deepen your contemplative practice or learn for the first time what contemplative spirituality is and the impact it can have your life. We will practice Centering Prayer and other prayer practices that invite us into a deeper place of listening for the ways in which God speaks within us. We'll also explore the labyrinth and reflect on the teachings of the ancient and present-day mystics. Please come as you are. All are welcome regardless of experience.
Sunday mornings: The Sunday morning group will begin on Sunday, October 1, 9:30–10:30 a.m., in Room 127. Each class begins with time to settle in as peaceful music plays, followed by meditative chants, the reading of the scripture, a reflective reading and time of lectio divina. All are welcome in this quiet space.
Wednesday evenings from 7–8:30 p.m. in Stiles Chapel (Level 2)
We will practice Centering Prayer as well as other prayer practices such as lectio divina, exploring mandalas and reflecting on the teachings of the ancient and present-day mystics. In September we will focus on the gift of gratitude. In October we will focus on the gift of letting go and look at nature as our guide during the season of autumn. In November we will focus on the gift of presence.
Visit the Upcoming Events page for forthcoming Contemplative Spirituality events and retreats.
Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer—verbal, mental or affective prayer—into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ.
Lectio Divina, literally meaning "divine reading," is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the "ear of the heart," as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion. The method of Lectio Divina includes moments of reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio) and resting in (contemplatio) the Word of God with the aim of nourishing and deepening one's relationship with the Divine.
Father Thomas Keating is a Trappist monk and priest, known as one of the architects of Centering Prayer and is a founding member and the spiritual guide of Contemplative Outreach, LTD.
For more information on Father Thomas Keating, Centering Prayer or Lectio Divina, visit www.contemplativeoutreach.org.
John Philip Newell, the celebrated author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, is one of the most prominent Christian teachers of spirituality in the Western world.
Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he now divides his time between Edinburgh, where he does most of his writing, and traveling and teaching internationally. In 2015, he became the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, where he offers a course every spring.
For more information on the teachings of John Philip Newell and his organization, Heartbeat, visit www.heartbeatjourney.org.