Live and Self-Guided Online Courses

Centering Prayer as Practice and Process

Centering Prayer as Practice and Process
Hosted by our partner Spirituality & Practice
partial scholarships available from Contemplative Outreach

"God's first language is Silence."
- Thomas Keating

Be still and know
… God.
- Psalm 46: 10

If you are new to Centering Prayer or wishing to renew your practice, this retreat will assist you with deepening your relationship with God. It will focus on teaching and practicing the method of Centering Prayer and review its place in the Christian tradition, its conceptual background, psychological process, and share insights into establishing Centering Prayer as a way of life.

You can expect 12 emails with links to video and audio teachings to support learning and practicing Centering Prayer.

For more infomation and to register, please go here.

Scholarships inquiries:  Donna Cole,


Centering Prayer as Purification, Illumination, Union

+Centering Prayer as Purification, Illumination, Union
June 3 – July 11, 2019
partial scholarships available from Contemplative Outreach
facilitated by Pamela Begeman, Mary Anne Best and Julie Saad

Program description:

God is present to everything,
like the eye of a camera that sees everything
just as it is.
- Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God

For with you is the fountain of life,
… in your light we see light.

- Psalm 36: 10

In this, the second offering of this year’s trilogy on Centering Prayer (the first course may be found here, as a self-guided version), we will focus on how the practice of Centering Prayer serves as a doorway into a process that involves a downward movement into one’s inmost being to what’s blocking the free flow of grace and a rising movement of the influence of the Divine Indwelling within, which awakens an awareness of the immense love and goodness that is at the heart of all creation. Ultimately, this results in the transformation of our entire being.

The Christian spiritual journey has traditionally been expressed in terms of purification-illumination-union or contemplation, a process wherein the scales fall from our eyes and we experience reality within and without – as it is, rather than through the overlays of our programs for happiness and cultural conditioning which over time are buried into our unconscious. Centering Prayer provides space for these movements to take place, for the Divine Therapist to heal obstacles to the flow of grace through a purification process and to illumine our mind and heart — our whole being — to the Divine Presence, beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. In so doing, we are constantly invited to reevaluate and renew our motivations and intentionally to all of life.

This method of prayer is a movement deeper into communion with the Living Christ.

You can expect:

12 emails over six weeks, sent each Monday and Thursday.

Practical support for your Centering Prayer practice, along with opportunities to practice together via Zoom video-enabled prayer chapels.

Q&A with the retreat leaders.

Links to video and audio teachings to support learning and practicing Centering Prayer.

Community connection and support via the online Practice Circle forum.

Partial scholarships are available by emailing Donna at Contemplative Outreach

4 CEHs for chaplains available.

Register here with our partner, Spirituality & Practice.


Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation, a conversion initiated by God

and leading, if we consent to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in this process.

A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond

to everyday life with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through

and beyond everything that happens.

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart


Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer

Learn, deepen or renew your practice of this practical and profound prayer with this online retreat. The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a "letting go" in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life. It helps to dismantle the emotional programs heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored -- in the body.

This retreat includes email, video and audio teachings, including all-new videos and a newly updated prayer practice

The more we experience the Welcoming Prayer, the more we realize that we need to do the Welcoming Prayer. As we continue to consent, we open to God's healing on ever-deepening levels.

Register Online

Lectio Divina Heart to Heart - Listening and Living with God

This online retreat focuses on learning the method of Lectio Divina and incorporating this contemplative way of praying the Scriptures into daily practice. Subscribers to this online retreat will receive a total of 12 emails with step-by-step instructions in the Lectio Divina method and answers to frequently asked questions. You will also have access to audio recordings with leaders from Contemplative Outreach and pdf slideshows reviewing key concepts covered in the emails.

Click here for more information and to register for the Lectio Divina on demand course.

Contemplative Discernment

A Journey of Discernment
with the teachings of Mary Margaret Funk and other contemplative voices

This e-course explores the contemplative approach to discerning the small and large decisions in life, which comes from cultivating a life practice of unceasing prayer (whatever types of prayer that may encompass for you). Discernment means sorting our thoughts and following the impulse of grace given by the Holy Spirit. As Sr. Meg writes, "Since we are not our thoughts, we can observe them rising and follow the ones that are from God." This is a way of coming more awake and discovering the spark of divinity burning in our hearts.
The course combines email and video teachings. You can expect:

- Email teachings sent with the start date and pace that you choose
- Mini-practices to root a practice of contemplative discernment in your own life
- Video excerpts of an unpublished talk that Sr. Meg gave on Discernment Matters
- Excerpts from Sr. Meg's books and a recorded interview with her

For more information and to register, go here

Forgiveness: A Growth in Love

This online retreat focuses on learning and practicing the Prayer of Forgiveness in various relationships and life events. 
Click here for more information or to register for the Forgiveness on-demand course.

The Transformation of Suffering

"When accepted, suffering leads to wisdom, which is the perception of the divine goodness and purpose in everything that happens. Wisdom, peace and faith -- that is to say, perfect trust in God -- transform suffering into -- I won't quite say 'joy' -- but give it a meaning that takes away resistance and one can then see a value in one's suffering that is … well, God-like."

- Thomas Keating,
The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living companion book

This e-course will explore the transformation of suffering as an evolutionary and transformative process in and through the divine/human experience -- Christ in us, as us. The content will include excerpts from various Thomas Keating videos and writings, the wisdom of numerous contemplative witnesses and the practice of Visio Divina with the crucifix images of artist William Congdon.
Through a combination of email, video and audio teachings, you can expect:

- A contemplative engagement with Scripture and liturgical themes of suffering

- The use of music, art and personal stories as evocative invitations to reflect, respond and participate in your own process of understanding and transformation.

- Mini-practices to support a contemplative life rooted in daily practice, silence, solitude, stillness, solidarity and service.

For information and to register, go here.

Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus

What is the Kingdom of God like?
And to what shall I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that someone
took and sowed in the garden;
it grew and became a tree,
and the birds of the air made nests
in its branches.
-- Luke 13: 18-19

"When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.

"These insights cohere particularly well with the actual experience of people on the spiritual journey. When contemplative prayer is seriously embraced, we come upon [a] lived reality … the reversal of expectations, the gradual and often painful liberation from emotional programs for happiness, and the increasing discovery of the kingdom of God in the ordinary and everyday."
— Thomas Keating in the preface to Meditations on the Parables of Jesus

This online course is based on teaching excerpts from Thomas Keating's book, Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, which he recently picked as his "best book." 

For more information and to register, Click Here.

Practicing the Presence of God

This online retreat explores in depth the contemplative prayer practice of living in the present moment with attention and intention and uses the examples of three Christian contemplative mentors: Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, St. Therese of Lisieux and Jean-Pierre De Caussade. Click here for more information or to register for the Practicing the Presence of God on demand course.

Download the Attention/Intention MP3 excerpt (right-click and save link/target as).

Lean In, Lighten Up and Let Go: Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative

This is an interactive online retreat to encourage a life of prayer and practice, both "on the chair" and in daily life. This course will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God, and strengthen your ability to live the contemplative life through dedication to prayer and practice, all within the normal routines of everyday life.

This e-course has been designed as a review of contemplative prayer practices for those who already engage in this form of prayer as well as those who would like to begin such a practice.

Led by Mary Dwyer, a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and student of Fr. Thomas Keating, this retreat is a four-week practicum based on a series of four questions, inspired by the teachings of Fr. Basil Pennington.

More Information...