Thomas Dubay on Contemplative Prayer

I don't see entirely eye to eye with Fr. Thomas Dubay (among other things, he is opposed to centering prayer as too "oriental" a practice), but nevertheless he is probably my favorite conservative Catholic teacher on contemplative practice. So I'm delighted to learn that he has a podcast on the topic. Click here to listen and/or download the podcast. I haven't had a chance to listen to this particular series, although I've enjoyed a CD series on contemplative prayer he did a while back. Check … [Read more...]

“…the Vision of Ultimate Reality as Unconditional Love…”

This little video will give you some insight into why I like to hang out with monks. It features Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, speaking at an Integral Contemplative Christianity Conference put on by Ken Wilber's Integral Institute.If you have a few minutes, head on over to Youtube: there's more of Keating there for the watching. … [Read more...]

Trying to Be Contemplative

My dear friend Phil Foster forwarded me this link to a wonderful article by the late Gerald May, called Trying to Be Contemplative. It's built around one of my favorite Zen sayings, "Quit trying. Quit trying not to try. Quit quitting!" Here's a taste: This summer I'll be going into the desert alone again. I'm sure I'll want to be contemplative. I hope and pray that I won't impose my ideas and efforts about contemplation on whatever God has in store for me there. If my eyes seek the beauty of the … [Read more...]

Two Monks

Last week I had two brief conversations with two different monks. One told me that, based on his years of contemplation, the entire point of the Christian life is communion with the Holy Trinity, God as three persons. The other monk told me his experience of God was impersonalist.On the surface, it is so tempting to try to dissect or deconstruct what both of these guys are up to. Whose experience is more valid, more authentic, more nuanced, better interpreted, more orthodox, more (dare I say … [Read more...]

Questions about the Spiritual Life

I received the following set of questions via email this morning; I'm posting them here with the permission of the author: Hi Carl ... I found centering prayer to be a draining experience. I was getting angry at God for not showing up. Should I keep doing it even if nothing ever happens? ... I grew up Roman Catholic and all through my life I have felt guilty for not enjoying reading the spiritual "classics" that you mention on your blog. I come to those kind of books like a homework assignment. … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The Christian religion is primarily about a transformation of consciousness. This takes spiritual practice and the cultivation of wisdom. In another time this was called cultivating the supernatural organism, what Paul called "a new creation." So the main thing is to be transformed into God, what the early church called deification, theosis, divinization. — Thomas Keating, OCSO, Spirituality, Contemplation & Transformation: Writings on Centering Prayer N.B.: This is a quotation from a l … [Read more...]