“If we refuse to think of anything except what we are doing or the person that we are with, we develop the habit of being present to the present moment. In a way, the present moment becomes as sacred as being in church. Far better to be present to your duty if you are a bartender, than to be present in church and to be thinking about being in a bar. At least you are present to yourself when you are paying attention to what you are doing.

Attention, then, is a way of doing what we are doing. It cracks the crust of the false self (our psychological awareness of daily life) in which we are the center of the universe while everything else is circling around our particular needs or desires. This is an illusion, but unfortunately it is the heritage we all bring with us from early life.” – Father Thomas Keating

Father Thomas Keating is a writer, teacher and founding member of the Spirituality branch of Integral Institute. He continues to be a prominent voice in the Christian Centering Prayer movement through the organization he founded, Contemplative Outreach, an international network committed to renewing the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in daily life.

A Trappist monk since 1944, Fr. Keating is an internationally renowned theologian and an accomplished author. He has traveled the world to speak with laypeople and communities about contemplative Christian practices and the psychology of the spiritual journey. Since the reforms of Vatican II, Fr. Keating has been a core participant in and supporter of interreligious dialogue, as well as one of the founders of Centering Prayer. He currently resides at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, CO

Fr. Thomas also has an unusually open-minded attitude towards the meditative practices of other traditions and has studied with spiritual teachers from a variety of Hindu and Buddhist lineages, for this led to the creation of the Snowmass Interreligious Conference in 1982, where teachers from diverse paths met regularly to compare notes and evaluate the successes and failures of their respective practices. Other organizations graced by the presence of Fr. Thomas include the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (which sponsors exchanges between the monks and nuns of every religion), and the International Committee for Peace Council.

Amazingly, within this flurry of activity Fr. Thomas has nevertheless found the time to deepen his own relationship to the Divine — which he likens “to two friends sitting in silence, being in each other’s presence” — to such a degree that he is sought the world over for his extraordinary warmth, humility, and deep-centered love.

Thomas Keating Centering Prayer Guidelines: This brief “How To” is designed to encourage further exploration of the ancient mystical prayer practice that can lead to Contemplation.

To learn more about Fr. Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach Click Here.

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