The Contemplative Life Program

The Contemplative Life Program (CLP) explores how to be a practicing contemplative, abiding in the presence of God in the midst of ordinary life. It is an in-home program designed to support and enrich a life of daily practice, study and devotion, assisting the practitioner to live and embody the contemplative dimension of the Gospel.

Prerequisite: An existing Centering Prayer practice. See Getting Started if you do not have an existing Centering Prayer practice and would like to begin one.

Please note that this is primarily a devotional and not instructional program, with the exception of a few booklets which do provide practice instructions (e.g., Welcoming Prayer, Lectio Divina, Forgiveness, Discernment, Active Prayer).

The Details

The CLP includes 16 different booklets on various practices and dispositions of the contemplative life. Most of these topics have associated audio recordings as well. The topics are available in hard-copy booklet form, or downloadable PDFs. The booklets may be purchased individually, or in sets organized according to themes. The individual topics are:

Centering Prayer: The Prayer of Consent Discernment Attention/Intention
Welcoming Prayer Forgiveness Lectio Divina
Active Prayer Spirituality of Money Simplicity
Hospitality Contemplative Service Discipline of Prayer
Silence & Solitude Community Faith: An Advent Companion

The Paschal Mystery
(DVD & CD also available)

   

Two Sets

Year 1: “Practice” Year 1 is a set of seven booklets focusing mostly on contemplative practices. For more details, see: Contemplative Life Program Year 1, Practice. The booklets are meant to be mini-40-day, devotional retreats on the practice topic. The booklets in Year 1 have guidelines for how to use them, mini-practices to try and suggested further reading in the back of each booklet. The Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer, Lectio Divina and Attention/Intention booklets are structured as a 40-day reader, where the participant reads one page each day, which includes teaching and a mini-practice or focus for the day. The other booklets in this set are less structured.

Year 2: “Dispositions” Year 2 is a series of seven booklets focusing mostly on contemplative attitudes and dispositions. For more details, see: Contemplative Life Program Year 2, Dispositions. These booklets are all structured as 40-day readers where the participant reads one page each day, which includes teaching and a mini-practice or focus for the day. We found over time that our customers liked more structure, so this series reflects that input.

Both of these sets are available as hard-copy booklets or as digital downloads (PDFs).

If I'm already a practicing contemplative, why do I need the Contemplative Life Program (CLP)?

The CLP has several objectives. There is a definite, pervasive hunger for something meaningful in everyday life. A personal relationship with God is the only real answer. Many people do want to go deeper in their relationship with God and don't have a local faith community that supports them. Some find there is a need for more support at home or at work, in the midst of the ordinary routines of life.  If you are already a practitioner, this program provides further focus and support for your current way of living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.

Is the Contemplative Life Program (CLP) for individuals or can it be shared in a group setting?

The booklets can be used both for individual, in-home use as well as in a group setting. More and more Centering Prayer groups are using the CLP as part of their group focus. In fact, the CLP, through various topics, might be the focus of a group or community for an entire year, as it has great potential to build connection, belonging and spiritual deepening in a group setting. For suggestions on how to use the CLP in a group setting, please email Pamela Begeman.

Do I need to have a Centering Prayer practice to participate in The Contemplative Life Program (CLP)?

Yes, it is recommended you have a Centering Prayer practice. The CLP is not an introductory workshop or training on Centering Prayer or on any of the other contemplative practices included in the program. However, if you are beginning your contemplative journey, this program could be very useful in supporting your desire to be a regular practitioner.