Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening is a complete guidebook for all who wish to know the practice of Centering Prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault goes further than offering an introduction, however. She examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation, looks at the distinct nuances of its method, and explores its revolutionary potential to transform Christian life.
Centering prayer aims to reclaim the Christian contemplative and mystical traditions after centuries of neglect and to make it available for modern spiritual seekers. The author traces its roots back to the fourth- and fifth-century Desert Fathers such as Evagrius and John Cassian. He shows how it was used in the medieval classic The Cloud of Unknowing and practiced by saints John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, then revived by Thomas Merton during the twentieth century.
Contemplative Prayer is one of the most well-known works of spirituality of the last one hundred years, and it is a must-read for all seeking to live a life of purpose in today’s world.
This is not a book to be read through. This is rather a handbook that invites an intense pursuit of meditation with regularity and discipline. Half an hour of daily meditation would suffice for seekers leading family life or having a profession. These exercises are not to be taken as techniques of reaching out to God; rather they are meant as helps to make oneself deeply sensitive to the working of the divine Spirit in oneself.