Centering Prayer is a modern form of Christian contemplative prayer developed by Fr. Thomas Keating O.C.S.O., a Cistercian (Trappist) monk, for many years Abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusettes. Keating developed Centering Prayer along with several other monks at Spencer.
Fr. Keating is a founding member and the spiritual guide of Contemplative Outreach, an organisation which aims to foster the process of transformation in Christ in one another through the practice of the Centering Prayer.
For more on Centering Prayer see here.
Centering Prayer is a 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 Him.
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love.