Centering Prayer Reading List

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart. New York: Continuum, 2006.
This classic book by one of the founders of centering prayer provides a good introduction to centering prayer and has recently been revised in honor of its 20th anniversary.  Much of the book is in a practical question and answer format.

Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation. Bloomsbury, 2012.
This book by one of the founders and great exponents of centering prayer explores the spiritual growth that takes place when centering prayer is seriously undertaken.

David Frenette, The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2012.
David Frenette has taught Centering Prayer under Fr. Thomas Keating’s guidance since 1984 and is my own beloved teacher.  This wonderful book provides a good introduction for beginners but also goes more deeply into the practice for the more experienced practitioner.  Includes chapters on the sacred breath, the sacred glance, and the sacred nothingness as well as the sacred word.  The second part of the book looks at eight contemplative attitudes: receiving, consent, simplicity, gentleness, letting go, resting, embracing, and integrating. These attitudes represent subtly different ways of being in the prayer that allow one to relate to the sacred symbol more and more deeply.Thomas Keating calls David's book "the best, more comprehensive, and most practical book on centering prayer."  Read my extended review of this book on the Amazon website.

David Frenette, Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2014.
David's guided meditations are one of my favorite parts of being on retreat with him and these recorded meditations, available on CD or audio download from Sounds TrueAmazon or Audible, focus on the eight contemplative attitudes described in his wonderful book The Path of Centering Prayer.  The meditations can be used to introduce a period of Centering Prayer, then paused for a period of silent prayer, then turned on again to end the session. It's a lovely way to frame a session if you have a little extra time, like being on a mini retreat with David.

Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. Cambridge, MA: Cowley, 2004.
Cynthia Bourgeault has worked closely with centering prayer founder Thomas Keating.  This book is an excellent guide for those who would like to go deeper into centering prayer.  It includes a good chapter on the welcoming prayer.

Contemplative Outreach website
Contemplative Outreach is a great resource for more information on centering prayer, centering prayer weekly groups, and centering prayer retreats.