Events

Remembering Father Thomas Keating

There are several events planned to honor the transformative presence of Father Thomas Keating, one of the founders of centering prayer.

The monks of St. Benedict's Monastery will be co-hosting a memorial service with Contemplative Outreach at Spirit of Christ Church, Arvada (Denver), Colorado, at 11am Mountain time on Friday November 16.  Through the generosity of The Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), the memorial service will be live-streamed so anyone can participate anywhere in the world. 

Memorial donations may be made to Contemplative Outreach here or mailed to St. Benedict's Monastery.

You may enjoy reading these stories and prayers and share your own here

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A Rising Tide of Silence: 
The Spiritual Journey of Father Thomas Keating
The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields
Laughlin Hall, 487 Hudson Street,
 New York, NY 
Sunday, November 18th, 2018, 3  - 6 pm

Join us for a celebration of the life of centering prayer founder Father Thomas Keating.  We will begin by viewing the documentary Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence and then offer our own reflections on Father Thomas and his influence on our lives and practice.

There is no registration fee.  A suggested donation of $20 helps Contemplative Outreach sponsor events to support and encourage spiritual nourishment.

For registration/information, please contact Richard Kigel at 718-698-7514 or interiorsilence@gmail.com

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Day of Centering Prayer
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
254 Hicks Street
Brooklyn NY
Saturday November 10th, 2018, 10 am - 3 pm

This day of centering prayer will begin with a brief review of the practice, followed by a question and answer period. We will engage in five or six half hour sessions of centering prayer with a break for lunch in silence and further questions and answers in the afternoon. Recommended for those who have some experience of centering prayer who would like to spend a day in practice. A $20 donation is requested to cover the cost of a box lunch and to help us sponsor future events.

For more information or to RSVP, email me.

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Centering Prayer by Video Conference
October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 2018 at 7 pm EST

Centering Prayer Refresher
Saturday September 29th, 2018, 10 am - 12 noon EST

Join me for six Wednesdays at 7 pm EST for Centering Prayer by Video Conference. You might be surprised by how peaceful and moving it can be to practice centering prayer with an online community!

On Saturday September 29th I will offer a Centering Prayer refresher in which we will review the basics of Centering Prayer with some suggestions for how to deepen the practice. We will practice for at least 20 minutes and there will be a question and answer period. Beginners may find this a helpful introduction to the practice and more experienced practitioners may appreciate a refresher.

I am now using Zoom, similar to Skype but easier to use on your computer or phone. It can easily be used by voice only for those who do not have a camera. You do not need a Zoom account. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and a link.

We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The centering prayer program will include a brief talk about an aspect of centering prayer.  The full program should last about an hour.

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Centering Prayer Facilitators Day
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
254 Hicks Street
Brooklyn NY 
Saturday January 26th, 20019, 10 am - 3 pm

Join us for a day of discernment and fellowship for contemplative group leaders.  There will be opportunities for sharing our experience as group leaders and our questions about moving forward.  We will practice centering prayer and eat lunch together.  

We ask for a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost of lunch, but if you are unable to pay for the lunch, please come anyway!

For more information or to RSVP, email me

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Introduction to Centering Prayer
St. Bartholomew’s Church

Entrance is at 109 East 50th Street, between Park and Lexington, just west of the #6 entrance.
Five hour introduction December 1st, 2018, 10 am - 3 pm

Paula Hastings and Mark Lewis will lead an introduction for beginners that will also be helpful for those who would like to refresh and renew their practice.  All are welcome.  A suggested donation of $25 helps cover our costs and enables Contemplative Outreach to sponsor future contemplative events and training.

It’s recommended that you pack a lunch.  Please RSVP in advance as space is limited.

For more information or to RSVP, email me.

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Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality
General Theological Seminary, New York, NY
September 21 - 23, 2018

This three day workshop on Ignatian Spirituality is sure to be wonderful, taught by my friend and colleague Dr. Anne Silver, Director of the Center for Christian Spirituality. I will be taking this workshop myself.

Students will learn about and experience several approaches to prayer and spiritual growth based on the practices and teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Imaginative prayer with scripture, lectio divina, and applications to discernment, group spiritual guidance, daily life and ministry are among the topics included. From $600 for auditors.

This class meets in intensive format Friday, September 21 from 8:45 am - 3:00 pm; Saturday, September 22 from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm; and Sunday, September 23 from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

 Register here.

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Centering Prayer by Video Conference for Lent
February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, 28, 2018 at 7 pm EST

Centering Prayer Refresher
Saturday February 17th, 10 am - 12 noon EST

Join me for six Wednesdays in Lent at 7 pm EST for Centering Prayer by Video Conference. You might be surprised by how peaceful and moving it can be to practice centering prayer with an online community!

On Saturday February 17th I will offer a Centering Prayer refresher in which we will review the basics of Centering Prayer with some suggestions for how to deepen the practice. We will practice for at least 20 minutes and there will be a question and answer period. Beginners may find this a helpful introduction to the practice and more experienced practitioners may appreciate a refresher.

I am now using Zoom, similar to Skype but easier to use on your computer or phone. It can easily be used by voice only for those who do not have a camera. You do not need a Zoom account. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and a link.

We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The centering prayer program will be followed by a brief talk about an aspect of centering prayer.  The full program should last about an hour.

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This spring 2018 I will be teaching a course at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan exploring the use of digital media in spiritual community and practices. During February and March the course will meet by digital means using video, Skype, teleconference, email, and Facebook, and in April and May we will meet more traditionally on campus.  We will explore how to be present to each other through online worship and prayer and brainstorm ways to reach communities in new and creative ways. Students will prepare online prayer or worship experiences in which the class can participate using video, mp3s, Skype or webinar and they will design projects and prototypes using digital media. Examples might include evening prayer by Skype, videos for a youth ministry website, prayers for a Facebook ministry, or mp3s for guided meditations.

This course provides a laboratory environment for students to experiment with ideas about how to use digital media in imaginative ways and take risks before trying things out in their own communities. Many people are surprised by how powerful digital community can be and the innovative ways it can meet the needs of those who might not always be reached by more traditional forms of community. For example introverts or those who have physical difficulties getting to church may find themselves in the center of community in new ways in the digital universe.

Register here.

Does your community offer online worship, prayer groups, Bible study or any other form of online spiritual community that GTS students might be able to visit as part of this class?   I would love to hear from you about online offerings that students might attend. Email me.

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Centering Prayer by Video
Wednesday November 15th and December 13th, 2017 at 7 pm EST

We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 40 minutes. 

I am now using Zoom, similar to Skype but easier to use on your computer or phone.  It can easily be used by voice only for those who do not have a camera. You do not need a Zoom account.  To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and a link.

 Learn more.

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Centering Prayer Refresher by Video
Saturday October 21st, 2017, 10 am - Noon
 EST

In this centering prayer refresher we will review the basics of Centering Prayer with some suggestions for how to deepen the practice. We will practice for at least 20 minutes and there will be a question and answer period. Beginners may find this a helpful introduction to the practice and more experienced practitioners may appreciate a refresher.

We will meet by video using Zoom, similar to Skype but easier to use on your computer or phone. Zoom can easily be used by voice only for those who do not have a camera. You do not need a Zoom account.  To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and a link.

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Shalem Group Spiritual Direction Retreat
September 17 - 20
2017

Group spiritual direction is a wonderful way to enter into spiritual community and the Shalem small group method, based on Rose Mary Dougherty's Group Spiritual Direction, is the best that I have tried. This retreat, which I did a few years ago, trains you in the method in a beautiful setting in Lexington, Virginia. Register here.

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Centering Prayer by Video
Wednesday April 19th and May 17th, 2017 at 7 pm EST

We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 40 minutes. 

I am now using Zoom, similar to Skype but easier to use on your computer or phone.  It can easily be used by voice only for those who do not have a camera. You do not need a Zoom account.  To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and a link.

 Learn more.

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Three Workshops Coming Up in March 2017

How do we pray when words fail us or when we are filled with fear, anger, or despair?  In this quiet day we will explore three practices that can help us to remain prayerful and centered as we cope with challenging emotions and situations.  Centering prayer is a form of silent, wordless prayer from the Christian tradition in which we rest silently in God's presence.  The lament psalms of the Bible provide beautiful, powerful prayers that can help us to express our more difficult emotions to God in prayer.  We will look at ways to develop or refine a rule of life to help us to live mindfully and fruitfully, examining how we can create more time for prayerful activities and control the influence of digital media in our lives while strengthening the support we find in community.  We will also explore the relationship of prayer and action.

The quiet day will be lead by Lindsay Boyer, a spiritual director, adjunct professor at General Theological Seminary and contemplative retreat leader.  $25 cost includes lunch. 

For more information, contact Lindsay Boyer.
To RSVP, contact Trinity Wall Street.

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Introduction to Centering Prayer
with Lindsay Boyer, Paula Hastings, and Mark Lewis
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights, 254 Hicks Street

Five hour introduction March 4th, 2017, 10 am - 3 pm
Four follow-up sessions, Saturday March 11, 25, April 1, 8, 3 pm - 4:30 pm

 Join us for an introduction to centering prayer, a silent, wordless form of prayer that derives from 14th century Christian methods of prayer. 

This is a great introduction for beginners and will also be helpful for those who would like to refresh and renew their practice.  All are welcome.  We ask for a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost of lunch, but if you are unable to pay for the lunch, please come anyway! 
We will meet four additional Saturdays to practice centering prayer and to view and discuss short videos by Father Thomas Keating, one of the founders of centering prayer.  These followup sessions are free and open to all.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Lindsay Boyer.

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Finding and Living from Your Center
Church of the Ascension, Parish House, 
12 West 11th St, New York NY
Saturday, March 25th,
2017, 10 am - 2 pm (Bagels and hot drinks available from 9:30)

 In this quiet day we will explore practices that can help us remain prayerful, centered and present - present to the pain and wonder of the world; to our own deep feelings and longings; to our beloveds and our enemies; and present to God.

We will explore centering prayer as a method of being present to God and all that is within us. We will look at ways to develop or refine a rule of life to help us to protect and live out of this sense of presence.

For more information, contact Lindsay Boyer.
To register, call the Ascension parish office: 212-254-8620.

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Finding Support for Your Spiritual Journey
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights 
Saturday May 14th, 2016, 10 am - 3 pm

 Spend time reflecting on ways to support yourself on your spiritual journey with community, practice, sabbath time, spiritual direction, retreats, and a rule of life. We will practice centering prayer and lectio divina, eat lunch together in silence and close with a liturgy written especially for the day as we pray for strength, discernment, and guidance on our way.

The day will be led by Lindsay Boyer, spiritual direction sessions will be offered by Vickie McDonald, and the liturgy will be written and led by Judy Burns.

All are welcome. We ask for a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost of lunch, but if you are unable to pay for the lunch, please come anyway! If you are interested in a brief spiritual direction session with Vickie, please sign up early.

Contact me for more information or to RSVP.

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The Jesus Prayer:  From Desert Contemplatives to Modern Urban Spirituality
A lecture by The Very Rev. John A McGuckin 
Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm  
General Theological Seminary

Professor John McGuckin will give a talk on the contemplative practice Prayer of the Heart, followed by a brief Prayer of the Heart service in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd and a book signing with light refreshments. McGuckin was my professor of early church history at Union Theological Seminary and leads a wonderful prayer of the heart service at UTS every Wednesday evening during the academic year. He is an extremely engaging speaker..  

The lecture is $10, free for students.  General Theological Seminary is at 440 West 21st Street, New York, NY.

For more information visit the GTS website or email ccs@gts.edu.

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Centering Prayer by Skype
Wednesday April 27th and May 11th, 2016 at 7 pm EST

We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 30 - 40 minutes. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and my Skype address.

Learn more.

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Quiet Day of  Healing 
Grace Church Brooklyn
Saturday, March 5th, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm

Join us for a day of quiet reflection and meditation, concluding with a healing liturgy by the Rev. Julie Hoplamazian and Judy Burns.  We will reflect on the nature of healing, practice centering prayer, lectio divina, and guided meditation, and eat lunch together in silence.

All are welcome.  We ask for a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost of lunch, but if you are unable to pay for the lunch, please come anyway!

Contact me for more information or to RSVP.

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Centering Prayer by Skype
Wednesday February 17th and March 16th, 2016 at 7 pm EST

 We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 30 - 40 minutes. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and my Skype address.

Learn more.

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Contemplative Group Leadership
Saturday January 16th, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights

 Join us for a day of discernment and fellowship for contemplative group leaders. We will begin by reflecting on vocation, examining suggested guidelines for small prayer groups and discussing issues of group dynamics. There will be opportunities for sharing our discernment questions and our experience as group leaders, we will practice centering prayer and eat lunch together.

All are welcome. Come if you are or have been a contemplative group leader or if you would like to be. We ask for a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost of lunch, but if you are unable to pay for the lunch, please come anyway!

Contact me for more information or to RSVP.

Grace Church Brooklyn Heights is located at 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201.

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Centering Prayer by Skype
Wednesday January 13th, 2016 at 7 pm EST

 We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 30 - 40 minutes. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and my Skype address.

Learn more.

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Centering Prayer Refresher
Saturday November 21st, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights

 This centering prayer refresher will focus on the teachings of David Frenette from his book The Path of Centering Prayer. In particular we will examine how to deepen the practice of centering prayer and use the sacred breath as a sacred symbol. Beginners will find this a helpful introduction to the practice and longtime practitioners may appreciate a fresh approach. We will spend at least an hour and a half practicing centering prayer. Lunch will be provided and we will eat in silence. I helped to edit The Path of Centering Prayer and have facilitated retreats with David at the Garrison Institute in New York. Email me to sign up or for more information.

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Centering Prayer by Skype
Wednesday November 18th and December 9th, 2015 at 7 pm EST

 We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 30 - 40 minutes. To participate, email me and I will send you instructions and my Skype address.

Learn more.

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 Introduction to Centering Prayer at The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields

There will be an introduction to centering prayer led by Richard Kigel on Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10AM – 3 PM at The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, Laughlin Hall, 487 Hudson Street, New York, NY, with follow-up sessions on Tuesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 7 – 8:30 PM. Whether you are a beginner who would like to learn more about centering prayer or a longtime practitioner who would like to refresh and strengthen your practice, this would be a great way to start off the centering prayer season. For more information visit the CONY website or contact Richard Kigel at 718- 698 - 7514 or interiorsilence@gmail.com.

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 I begin my day with Richard Rohr's short, free, daily email reflections on contemplative spirituality. A Franciscan monk, Richard Rohr is one of the most eloquent teachers in the Christian tradition.  His meditations this year explore his "Wisdom Lineage," the teachers, texts, and traditions that have most influenced his spirituality. He has a deep appreciation of the spirituality of other religions and is very good at discussing with sensitivity and balance the ways in which Christians have gone off course and suggesting how Christian scripture and theology can be interpreted with intelligence, tolerance, simplicity, and love.

Sign up here.

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Course on Spiritual Companionship and Digital Media

Join me on July 13-16 and 20-23, 2015 at General Theological Seminary for a two credit course that will explore the use of digital media in spiritual community and practice. During the first week of the course we will meet solely by digital means using video, Skype, teleconference, email, and Facebook, while the second week we will meet on campus. We will explore how we are present to each other through spiritual practices such as lectio divina, centering prayer, group spiritual direction, intercessory prayer, pastoral care, and worship in traditional formats, and experience such practices via digital means. We will examine how digital media enable us to create community in new and creative ways for the populations in our specific ministries.

This class will be of interest not only to those who are interested in using digital media in ministry but also to those who are not particularly attracted to digital media but would like to learn more about the nature of spirituality using digital media as investigative tools. We will also explore the more troubling uses of digital media in our culture and the ways in which we may be called upon to lead and guide others in their use of digital media.

Register here.  This course is also open to auditors at a cost of $500.
Email me for more information.

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Centering Prayer Webinar

Attend a centering prayer group via webinar on Thursday May 28th at 7 pm EST. We will begin with some brief prayers and practice twenty minutes of silent prayer together followed by lectio divina. You are welcome to practice centering prayer or any other form of silent meditation with which you are comfortable during the twenty minutes of silence. The program should last about 30 - 40 minutes. To participate, email me and I will send you a link to join the webinar.

Learn more.

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Smells and bells!  Antiphonal chanting!  Join us for five Tuesdays in Lent for chanted liturgy and twenty minutes of silent meditation at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights, 254 Montague Street, Brooklyn NY 11201.

Email me for more information.

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This silent weekend retreat offers immersion in two contemplative practices from the Christian tradition: Centering Prayer, a form of silent meditation, and Lectio Divina, a way of listening to sacred texts with the ear of the heart.  As long-time meditators know, the best way to integrate contemplative prayer into our daily lives is through practice and silence. This retreat, suitable for beginners or experienced practitioners, will emphasize time spent in practice.  We will experience Lectio Divina as individuals and in groups.

Register here
Watch a brief introduction to Lectio Divina by my colleague Steve Standiford
Changed from a five day to a weekend retreat.

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Like the Centering Prayer for Seekers Facebook Page to learn more about news and events or email me.

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I'm quoted in an article in America: The National Catholic Review called Centering Prayer: Contemplative Practice for the 21st Century.

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In this silent weekend retreat those of all faiths are invited to explore this form of contemplative prayer that derives from the Christian tradition. I have designed this retreat to support newcomers to meditation and contemplative prayer, those who have practiced meditation in other faith traditions, and those who have an established centering prayer practice and would like to practice in an ecumenical community.  The retreat will include instruction in the practice, regular periods of silent prayer, and discernment work to help retreatants explore their evolving roles in spiritual community.

Register here
Centering Prayer for Seekers Facebook Page
Read an article about centering prayer and my faith journey

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Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God, by David Frenette

David Frenette has just released a series of guided meditations for Centering Prayer practitioners, available on CD or audio download from Sounds True, Amazon or Audible.  David has taught Centering Prayer under Fr. Thomas Keating’s guidance since 1984 and is my own beloved teacher.  David's guided meditations are one of my favorite parts of being on retreat with him and these meditations 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.

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Entering the Heart of Lectio Divina
Grace Church Brooklyn
Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 10 am to 12 pm

This two hour workshop will offer an introduction to Lectio Divina, an ancient practice of listening to sacred texts with the ear of the heart which can be used by individuals or groups. We will explore the history and basic movements of this contemplative listening practice and experience a session of the practice.

The workshop will be led by myself and Steve Standiford, a psychotherapist and long time teacher with Contemplative Outreach and my colleague leading retreats at the Garrison Institute.

Email me to RSVP
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Online Course on Lectio Divina June 2 - 27, 2014

Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of listening to scripture and sacred texts with the ear of the heart. This online course from Spirituality and Practice will include

• three emails per week with excerpts from the contemplative teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating and others, exploring the practice and its background in the Christian tradition;

• video and audio excerpts of Fr. Thomas Keating;

• guided meditations and practices to help participants learn and develop a daily practice of Lectio Divina;

• engagement with the retreat leaders Mike Potter, Leslee Terpay, Julie Saad and Pamela Begeman for questions and guidance;

• an online community and support through the Practice Circle.

I have signed up myself for this online course.  The presenters are from Contemplative Outreach and I have heard good things about these online courses from Spirituality and Practice.  If you'd like to join me, perhaps I'll see you in the online community. The course costs $49.95 and partial scholarships are available upon request.

Register here

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Spirituality and Creativity Quiet Day
Grace Church, Brooklyn
254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn 11201

Take a day to refresh yourself and listen to God and your inner voice through prayer, the creative arts, and silence.  On Saturday March 22nd from 10 am to 3 pm there will be a Lenten quiet day at Grace Church, Brooklyn on the theme of spirituality and creativity.  I will lead a number of quiet, meditative activities, including a brief talk, centering prayer, guided meditation, poetry reading, and brief interludes of quiet music.  Participants are invited to bring knitting, drawing, crafts, journaling, or any activity that may be pursued in silence, and we will have time to work, play, rest, and pray together in silence.  All activities will be optional so that participants may have as structured or unstructured an experience as they would like.  Lunch will be provided and we will eat in silence.  Books and art materials will be available.  A voluntary contribution may be made to cover the cost of the lunch.

Email me to sign up or for more information.

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Join David Frenette, Steve Standiford and me on our annual retreat
Heartful Life, Centered Life
An Exploration of Heartfulness Practice and Centering Prayer
The Garrison Institute, Garrison NY
March 14- 16, 2014

This year our retreat at the Garrison Institute will focus on the Heartfulness Practice, a deeply embodied meditation practice that helps us to cultivate sacred attention and to turn to God in the present moment with a tender heart.

This silent, practice-oriented weekend retreat is appropriate for both experienced practitioners and beginners in meditation. David will introduce the Heartfulness Practice, exploring how the practice helps to ground us in sacred attention, open to divine presence, and integrate contemplation into everyday life. He will also examine its relationship with Centering Prayer.

While the practices taught on this retreat come out of the Christian tradition and our activities will be rooted in the Psalms and other sacred Judeo-Christian scripture, we welcome those of any faith. There will be many meditation periods during which retreatants may choose whether to practice Heartfulness, Centering Prayer, or other silent forms of meditation.

This weekend retreat runs from the evening of Friday, March 14 through lunch on Sunday, March 16.  We regret that we have had to cancel the nine day option that was originally scheduled for this retreat.

For more information or to register for the retreat

Watch a video of Thomas Keating inviting you to the retreat.

Watch a video of David inviting you to the retreat.

Read an article about Centering Prayer and David's book The Path of Centering Prayer in America: The National Catholic Review.

Read an article about my personal experience of the Heartfulness Practice.

Email me for more information.

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There is a nice article on the General Theological Seminary website about News of the World Lectio Divina by the Rev. K. Jeanne Person, who is just leaving her role as Director of the Center for Christian Spirituality at General to become Canon for Pastoral Care in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

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South Indian Spiritual Adventure March 1 - 10, 2014

My friend Dandapani, a Hindu priest, will be leading a tour of South India in March. Members of the tour will visit some of the holiest temples in Tamil Nadu such as Chidumbaram and the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and also tour beautiful Kerala. Dandapani will teach meditation and provide information about Hindu practices. I have traveled to India with Dandapani three times; he is a wonderful guide! For more information, visit Dandapani’s website.

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• News of the World Lectio Divina

I am creating a series of short daily videos which combine chanting of the New York Times and the psalms. These short videos provide a way of entering into prayer for the world as if attending a very brief prayer service, about two minutes long.

The ancient prayers of the psalms ask many of the same questions that we may be asking as we listen to the troubling events described in the news: Why are you sleeping, God? Why do you seem to hide in times of trouble? Will you help us and comfort us as we try to deal with this situation? Why is the world so lost? Lectio divina is a traditional way of listening to sacred readings with the ear of the heart and invites us to listen in a deeply engaged way.  Both the news and the psalms are full of material that may evoke difficult feelings in the listener. It’s all right to hear the words of prayer that are being chanted and not agree with them. Prayer does not demand that we stop questioning, doubting, thinking, or struggling to find our own voice. These prayers invite you to be with your feelings and questions about what is happening in the world and go deeper, whatever that may mean for you.

These videos can be found on Youtube and Facebook and there is more information about them here.

These videos are very much a work in progress and I welcome comments and suggestions.

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• Janet Cardiff’s Installation of Tallis’s Forty Part Motet at the Cloisters

For those who love sacred music, I highly recommend The Forty Part Motet, a sound installation by Janet Cardiff that will be presented at The Cloisters from September 10 through December 8, 2013. The installation consists of 40 high-fidelity speakers positioned on stands in a large oval configuration playing the forty part vocal work Spem in alium numquam habui by the fifteenth century composer Thomas Tallis.

I saw this installation when it was at Lincoln Center a few years ago and returned again and again to experience its meditative power and the unique experience of being able to walk between the forty speakers, experiencing the eleven minute piece from different positions as it plays continuously. I would expect that in the beautiful Fuentiduena Chapel of the Cloisters this version of the Spem, as the work is known to its many devotees, will be even more extraordinary.

Read a New York Times review, with a sample of the music.

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Grace Church Brooklyn Centering Prayer Group Resumes Tuesday, September 10th at 7 pm in the Hope Library

Join us any Tuesday as we enter our eighth year of practicing centering prayer, a silent, wordless form of prayer that is easy to learn, and lectio divina, a traditional way of praying with scripture. The meeting usually lasts about an hour and a quarter. Newcomers are always welcome. We have recently made a few adjustments to our program to make it more comfortable for those of all faiths.  During renovations in the main church, we are located in the Hope Library.  Enter through the Hicks Street entrance and go all the way up the stairs to reach this cozy, quiet room.  For more information, contact me or see more details about our program on this website.

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Your Body Knows The Answer: Five-week telephone course in Mindful Focusing, led by David I. Rome
Five Tuesdays, beginning October 1, 7:30 – 9:00 PM US Eastern time. Cost: $245.

I have taken this course with David Rome and highly recommend it. Learning how to find the felt sense is a very useful way to access your body’s own deep, non-conceptual knowing. The techniques used in this course are based on the work of Eugene Gendlin and are a very useful complement to a meditation practice. The teleconferencing format works well for this course.

To learn more contact David Rome.

To register please go to David's website.

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• Course on Spiritual Practice and Digital Media at General Theological Seminary

In Fall 2013 at General Theological Seminary I will be teaching a three credit course on spiritual practice and digital media on Wednesdays from 9 am to 10:50 am, plus a digital lab time to be determined. General Theological Seminary is located at 175 Ninth Avenue, between 20th and 21st Streets in Manhattan.

AT393 – Spiritual Companionship & Digital Media Practicum

This course will explore the use of digital media in spiritual community and practice.  We will experience how we are present to each other through spiritual practices such as lectio divina, centering prayer, focusing, group and individual spiritual direction, intercessory prayer, pastoral care, and worship in traditional formats and then experience these practices in digital contexts such as the telephone, the web, social media, email, and Skype. 

This class will be of interest not only to those who are interested in using digital media in ministry but also to those who are not particularly attracted to digital media but would like to learn more about the nature of spirituality using digital media as investigative tools.  We will also explore the more troubling uses of digital media in our culture, the ways in which they may endanger spiritual values, and the ways in which we, as spiritual leaders, may be called upon to take a prophetic role in guiding others in their use of digital media.

Register here.

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A showing of the film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions,
presented by filmmaker John Ankele

Monday May 20, 7-9 pm

Shambhala Meditation Center of NY

118 W. 22nd St., 6th Floor, NY, NY 10011.

Another opportunity for those who missed the showing of this film last November. The film features interviews with three people who identify as both Buddhists and Christians: Robert Kennedy, who is both a Jesuit priest and a Zen priest; Chung Hyun Kyung, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary; and Paul Knitter, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary and author of the book Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian. The 44 minute film will be followed by a discussion.

For more information or to buy a ticket, visit the NY Shambhala website.

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• Change of Room for Grace Church Centering Prayer Group

During renovations to the main sanctuary, starting on April 9, 2013 the Grace Church centering prayer group will meet in the library, which is a cozy, carpeted room with good soft lighting options, a lot of serviceable wooden chairs and a few comfy upholstered chairs. To find it, enter the church through the 254 Hicks Street entrance, continue past the main sanctuary on the right and go up the stairs, making a U-turn to the left to keep climbing the stairs to the top. 

We were very happy with our first meeting in this space, which is quieter than the main church, and I am grateful that we have found a cozy spot to meet while the sanctuary is renovated.

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• Contemplative Services featuring Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello

Experience the transcendent music of Bach’s Cello Suites in simple contemplative services. For six Tuesdays in Lent, February 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 at 7 pm, cellist Jennifer DeVore will play one of the suites alternating with intervals of silence and brief contemplative readings. Free of charge. All are welcome!

Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
254 Hicks Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For more information contact me.

View a flyer.

View a program for Week 1, February 19th

View a program for Week 2, February 26th

View a program for Week 3, March 5th

View a program for Week 4, March 12th

View a program for Week 5, March 19th

View a program for Week 6, March 26th

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• Join David Frenette, Steve Standiford and me on retreat at the Garrison Institute March 15- 21, 2013

How do we live contemplatively, bringing the nourishment we receive on retreat back into our lives?  David Frenette is teaching a retreat that explores how to develop the fruits of Centering Prayer into a mindful life through sacred attention. This new silent, practice-oriented retreat is appropriate for both experienced practitioners and beginners.

We begin with a weekend of detailed instruction on the contemplative practice of Centering Prayer using the Sacred Breath. While the basic teaching on Centering Prayer generally focuses on the use of the sacred word, it is also possible to practice Centering Prayer with other sacred symbols, including the Sacred Breath. Centering Prayer with the Sacred Breath was introduced by David’s spiritual father, the Trappist monk Thomas Keating and is fully described in David’s new book The Path of Centering Prayer; Deepening Your Experience of God.  

For those who choose the full seven day silent retreat, we will continue to practice Centering Prayer while also exploring the theme of sacred attention and contemplative living. We will examine how lectio divina, nature, ordinary life, art practices, spiritual direction and psychotherapy can be used to deepen our practice and lead us into mindful living.  Co-teachers Steve Standiford and I join David in teaching this retreat.

Centered Life, Mindful Life:
A retreat with a weekend or seven day option
March 15 - 21
The Garrison Institute, Garrison NY

• Option I: Centering Prayer with the Sacred Breath: 

Weekend Retreat from the evening of Friday, March 15 

through lunch on Sunday, March 17

• Option II: Centering Prayer and Sacred Mindfulness: 

Seven day retreat from the evening of Friday, March 15 through lunch on Thursday, March 21

• Option III: Sacred Attention & Contemplative Living:

Free talk on Friday, March 15 at 7:30 pm

For more information or to register for the retreat

RSVP to free talk 

Email me for more information.

Visit David's website for more information on sacred attention.

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CBC Radio Interview

I am interviewed by Mary Hynes on the radio program Tapestry on the Canadian Broadcasting Company on an episode about the “Nones,” those who check none on forms when asked what religion they are, and the growing phenomenon of people who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious. Download the podcast here.

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RESCHEDULED: A showing of the film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions,
along with a short talk, Q & A with Lindsay Boyer

Sunday November 18th, 6 pm to 7:30 pm

at Grace Church Brooklyn

254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

Co-sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of New York

Donations gratefully accepted

I will introduce the 44 minute film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions, followed by a discussion. The film features interviews with three people who identify as both Buddhists and Christians: Robert Kennedy, who is both a Jesuit priest and a Zen priest; Chung Hyun Kyung, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary; and Paul Knitter, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary and author of the book Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian.

RSVP

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David Frenette events will proceed, with the exception of the Thursday night talk

Three of the four New York area events featuring senior centering prayer teacher David Frenette, author of The Path of Centering Prayer, will proceed as originally planned.  However the free talk at General Theological Seminary on Thursday night will have to be cancelled because David's plane had to be changed due to the heavy winds expected on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 8, 7 pm                      
Free talk at General Seminary, NYC - CANCELLED

Friday, November 9, 1 - 5 pm                       
Centering Prayer Workshop at General Seminary, NYC

Saturday, November 10, 9am - 1 pm         
Free talk at St Patrick’s, Armonk

Sunday, November 11, 2 - 4 pm                   
Buddhist Christian Dialogue with Zen Priest Robert Gunn, Grace Church Brooklyn

For more information and to register, see below.

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The Contemplative Spirit of Listening

On Sunday November 4th at 10:45 am I will be the guest worship leader at the Fourth Universalist Society, 160 Central Park West, giving a sermon called "The Contemplative Spirit of Listening." I will be joined by Will Hutnick of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, who will be playing portions of the first Bach cello suite.

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Film cancelled

I have just been told by Grace Church Brooklyn that we will need to cancel the showing of Jesus and Buddha: Practicing Across Traditions on Sunday October 28th due to the storm.

If you would like to be notified when the event is rescheduled, please email me.

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New York Area Events featuring David Frenette, author of the new book
The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God

This book, in my view, is the best, most comprehensive and most practical book on Centering Prayer. – Father Thomas Keating

David Frenette is a gifted teacher of centering prayer who lives in Boulder, CO, but will be traveling to the New York area in November to promote his new book, The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God, called by Thomas Keating "the best, most comprehensive and most practical book on Centering Prayer." There will be a free talk on November 8th at General Seminary, a four hour centering prayer workshop on November 9th, also at General, and a talk in Armonk on November 10th. On November 11th at Grace Church Brooklyn, David will team with Zen Priest Robert Gunn to give an introduction to both Zen meditation and centering prayer, with a dialogue between the two teachers. On October 28th, also at Grace, I will be introducing the film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions, about three people who are both Buddhists and Christians, as a kind of introduction to the dialogue on November 11th. Also, David will be giving a seven day retreat with a three day option at the Garrison Institute in Garrison New York in March. There is more detail on all these events below.

There is no RSVP required for the two events events at Grace Church Brooklyn, but if you know you will attend, an RSVP will help me to know how many people to prepare for.

Copies of The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God will be available for purchase at all events.

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• Sacred Attention & Contemplative Living
An Evening of Learning & Practice with David Frenette
- CANCELLED 

Thursday, November 8th, 7 pm 

at General Theological Seminary's Seabury Auditorium

440 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011

Sponsored by General Seminary's Wellness Program

in Partnership with the Center for Christian Spirituality

Free and Open to the Public

We live in a world of complexity, fragmentation, noise, and haste. The sheer quantity of tasks, appointments, and commitments can be overwhelming. How can we experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of our daily lives? By practice. By living more in the present moment. By practicing the presence of God in the present moment.

We can abide in this Presence as we prepare dinner, help our children with their homework, take a phone call, go shopping in the local mall, attend a contentious business meeting, or walk down the street. The practice is surprisingly simple: Pay attention to what you are doing and do it for the love of God.

This evening presentation will help you with your practice of sacred attention.

CANCELLED

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• Practicing Centering Prayer with the Sacred Breath
A Workshop with David Frenette

Friday, November 9th, 1 pm to 5 pm 

at General Theological Seminary’s Seabury Auditorium

440 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011

Co-sponsored by General Theological Seminary's Center for Christian Spirituality and Contemplative Outreach of New York

While the basic teaching on Centering Prayer generally focuses on the use of the sacred word, it is also possible to practice Centering Prayer with other sacred symbols. In this afternoon retreat-like workshop, you will explore the sacred breath as a way of deepening your own practice of Centering Prayer.

In the workshop, David Frenette will teach how the practice of Centering Prayer with the sacred breath may be particularly appropriate at certain seasons of the spiritual journey. He'll also reveal how this contemplative practice may help you to realize that God, like the breath, is always within you.

The workshop, appropriate for both experienced practitioners and beginners, will include:

• new teachings on how to practice Centering Prayer with the sacred breath

• discussion of how contemplative attitudes may be brought into all aspects of life

• extended practice of Centering Prayer.

$50

Register for this workshop 

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• A Talk by David Frenette From His New Book
The Path of Centering Prayer; Deepening Your Experience of God

Saturday, November 10th, 9 am -1 pm

at St. Patrick’s Church, 29 Cox Avenue, Armonk, NY 10504

David’s new teachings in this book are meant to assist long time contemplative practitioners along the journey to union with God, along with providing newcomers a fresh introduction to the path of Centering Prayer, a Christian form of meditation.

Come learn, renew or deepen your Centering Prayer practice.

For more information call 914.478.7801

Sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of Westchester

Suggested donation $20

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• An Introduction to Buddhist and Christian Meditation, with Dialogue,
with David Frenette and Robert Gunn

Sunday November 11th, 2 pm to 4 pm

at Grace Church Brooklyn

254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

Co-sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of New York

Donations gratefully accepted

Receive instruction in meditation practice from two traditions: Christian centering prayer and Zen meditation. This workshop will provide an opportunity to practice both methods of meditation, followed by a dialogue about their differences and points of intersection.

Zen meditation will be introduced by Robert Gunn, a Soto Zen priest at the Village Zendo, pastor in the United Church of Christ, psychotherapist, and Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary. Centering prayer will be introduced by David Frenette who has practiced centering prayer under the guidance of Father Thomas Keating for almost 30 years and is a spiritual director and Adjunct Professor at Naropa University.

Copies of Robert Gunn’s book Journeys into Emptiness: Dogen, Merton and Jung and the Quest for Transformation and David Frenette’s The Path of Centering Prayer; Deepening Your Experience of God will be available for purchase.

RSVP

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• A showing of the film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions,
along with a short talk, Q & A with Lindsay Boyer

Sunday October 28th, 6 pm to 7:30 pm

at Grace Church Brooklyn

254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

Co-sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of New York

Donations gratefully accepted

Lindsay Boyer introduces the 44 minute film Jesus and Buddha: Practicing across Traditions, followed by a discussion. The film features interviews with three people who identify as both Buddhists and Christians: Robert Kennedy, who is both a Jesuit priest and a Zen priest; Chung Hyun Kyung, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary; and Paul Knitter, a Buddhist Christian theologian at Union Theological Seminary and author of the book Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian. Lindsay is a Christian spiritual director who has practiced meditation in the Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions and facilitates the Grace Church Brooklyn centering prayer group. This event would provide a good introduction for those who plan to attend the Buddhist Christian dialogue on November 11th.

RSVP

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David Frenette has just published his new book The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God

Father Thomas Keating, one of the founders of centering prayer says, "This book in my view is the best, most comprehensive and most practical book on centering prayer . . . David Frenette is one of God’s greatest gifts to the work of centering prayer, and to me.”

I have read this book and agree that it is the best book available on centering prayer. I have attended four long retreats based on the material in this book and know from my own experience and the experience of fellow retreatants how transformational its teachings are. The book is available on Amazon, where you will find a review I have written.

Listen to a podcast interview with David talking about the book.

David Frenette has taught centering prayer under Father Thomas Keating’s guidance since 1984. He cofounded and co-led a centering prayer retreat community for ten years.  He now teaches and gives spiritual direction at the Center for Contemplative Living in Denver, is an Adjunct Faculty in the Religious Studies Department at Naropa University, and has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology.

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• I was the guest on a webinar on "Skype and Spiritual Direction," and was interviewed by Colin Chapman of the General Theological Seminary Digital Formation Program on June 11th at 1 pm. We discussed both the advantages and drawbacks of using newer technology in spiritual direction. During the final 15 minutes of the session participants were invited to ask questions by tweeting and through the Webinar’s chat feature.

Listen to the webinar here.

Some basic points on using Skype for spiritual direction and other spiritual encounters.

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Online Course: Practicing the Presence of God Monday, June 4 – Friday, June 29, 2012

This one month online retreat will explore how to experience God in the midst of the busyness, responsibilities, and activities of daily life by practicing the presence of God in the present moment. The course will include emails, audio recordings, a teleconference, and mini practices and costs $49.95.

This course will be led with David Frenette, who is a friend and very gifted teacher of centering prayer, along with Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, Pamela Begeman, and Mary Ann Brussat.

For more information, go to Spirituality and Practice.

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Finding the Felt Sense: An Introduction to the Practice of Mindful Focusing, led by David I. Rome

Five-session tele-seminar, five Wednesdays, beginning May 30, 2012, 7:00 – 8:30 PM US Eastern time. Cost: $195.

I have taken this course with David Rome and highly recommend it. Learning how to find the felt sense is a very useful way to access your body’s own deep, non-conceptual knowing. The techniques used in this course are based on the work of Eugene Gendlin and are a very useful complement to a meditation practice. The teleconferencing format works well for this course.

To learn more contact David Rome.

To register please go to David's website.

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Father William Meninger, a Trappist Monk and one of the founders of centering prayer, will be in New York in May for a series of events. 

He will give three talks at St. Luke in the Fields and St. Joseph Churches Friday, May 18, 2012 – Sunday, May 20, 2012.

On Friday evening from 7 pm - 9 pm he will speak about his book Julian of Norwich: A Mystic for the 21st Century. On Saturday from 1 – 4 pm he will discuss “Models of Contemplation: Theological Background of Contemplative Prayer and Meditation.” On Sunday from 1 – 5 pm his subject will be “The Process of Forgiveness and Centering Prayer.”

Tickets are $25 for Friday’s talk, $75 for Saturday’s, and $50 for Sunday’s, or tickets for all three events can be purchased for $120 through Contemplative Outreach New York.

For more information, go to Contemplative Outreach New York.

On Wednesday, May 23 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm, he will give a talk at the New York Open Center on the great spiritual classic, The Cloud of Unknowing. The Cloud of Unknowing is an important source for centering prayer, which at one point in its early development was called "the prayer of the Cloud."

For more information, go to the New York Open Center.

Read an interview with William Meninger.

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• My friend Dandapani, a Hindu priest, will be teaching a three session course on Sanskrit chanting and meditation on Tuesdays at 7 pm on April 10th, 17th and 24th at the Shala Yoga House, 815 Broadway, New York NY.  For more information, contact Dandapani.

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Centering Prayer and Taize Chant

For the first five Tuesdays in Lent, the Tuesday evening Grace Church centering prayer group will include Taize chanting, a simple, contemplative form of musical worship.  The Taize chanting will be led by Matt Oprendek, Grace Church's seminarian. Matt is an accomplished pianist and will be working with different musicians at each service. The program will also include twenty minutes of centering prayer plus lectio divina and will take place  at 7 pm on February 28, March 6, 13, 20, and 27. All are welcome at Grace Church Brooklyn, 254 Hicks Street. The regular centering prayer group will resume on April 3rd, during Holy Week. For more information, contact me or Matt Oprendek.

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• There will be a nine day centering prayer retreat from March 16 to 24, 2012 at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York. This retreat will be led by David Frenette and is designed to help practitioners to deepen their centering prayer practice.

David is a gifted teacher who helps retreatants to deepen their centering prayer practice by working with the sacred word, the sacred breath, the sacred glance, and the sacred nothingness. I highly recommend this retreat, particular to those who sometimes feel stuck in their practice, discouraged by their thoughts or struggles to find God, and those who would like to take their practice to the next level.  I will be working on the support staff of the retreat.

For more information or to sign up for this retreat, go to the Contemplative Outreach website.

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Introduction to Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a silent, wordless form of prayer that derives from 14th century Christian methods of prayer. It is extremely simple to learn.  On Saturday, February 11th from 10 am to 3 pm, I will lead an introduction to centering prayer at Grace Church Brooklyn, 254 Hicks Street.  The introduction will include

• the basic method and background of the prayer,

• how to deal with thoughts during centering prayer,

• how to enter into a deeper relationship with God through the practice of centering prayer,

• two 20 minute sessions of centering prayer.

This is a great introduction for beginners but will also be helpful for those who would like to refresh and renew their practice. Lunch will be provided and a donation of $10 would be appreciated.

Contact me to sign up or for more information.

Read more about centering prayer.

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• A Spiritual and Culinary Adventure February 19 - 28, 2012

My husband Mark and my friend Dandapani will be leading a tour of South India in February, and I’ll be traveling on this tour as well. Members of the tour will participate in sacred ceremonies at some of the holiest temples in Tamil Nadu such as Chidumbaram, Pillayarpatti, the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, and the Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur. Dandapani, a Hindu priest, will teach meditation and provide information about Hindu practices. The tour will also focus on the culinary delights of India, with cooking classes and visits to local markets. For more information, visit Dandapani’s website.

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Introduction to Centering Prayer at the New York Open Center beginning November 3rd

Richard Kigel, the New York City Coordinator of Contemplative Outreach, will be leading an introduction to this form of contemplative prayer, beginning with a free session on Thursday, November 3rd at 6 pm and continuing on Thursdays November 10, 17, and December 1 and 8 for a charge of $80 for members and $90 for non-members.  For more information, go to the New York Open Center.

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• Spiritual Adventure in India

My friend Dandapani, a Hindu priest and meditation teacher, will be leading a trip to Rajasthan in northwestern India from October 24 to November 8th, 2011.   The trip will include visits to the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar for Diwali, the festival of lights; the picturesque town of Jaisalmer; the Pushkar Camel Fair; travel in the desert on camelback; and classes on Hindu metaphysics, culture and traditions.  My husband and I have traveled to India twice with Dandapani and highly recommend his trips.  For more information, visit Dandapani's website.

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Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit Retreat

Robert Kennedy, a well-known Jesuit priest who is also a Zen master, will be leading a retreat August 12-18 at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, Long Island, NY. This should be an interesting experience for anyone who would like to explore Zen meditation within a Christian environment. For more information, go to St. Ignatius's website.

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Course on Discernment and Community for Spiritual Seekers

I will be teaching this course on seeker spirituality at Union Theological Seminary from 2 to 4 pm on four Fridays: March 4, 11, April 1, and 8, 2011. This course will explore the spiritual needs of the seeker, who may look for spiritual meaning both inside and outside of religious institutions and in more than one faith tradition. The course is designed to support seekers, unaffiliated students, and others who may be uncomfortable with institutional religion as they discern their calls to ministry and explore their relationships with spiritual community. It will also be of interest to those who minister to seekers and would like to better understand how to support them.

In this course students will have an opportunity to examine sociological views of seeker spirituality and engage in spiritual practices that will help them to discern their call and ground themselves as they explore non-traditional ministries and their roles inside and outside communities. We will explore the essential elements of spirituality and community. Students will prepare a set of goals for their spiritual practice, discernment process, and exploration of community at the same time as they form a class community in which to support each other. We will look at biblical paradigms for seeker spirituality, fears about choosing non-traditional paths, and the forces that draw us towards or separate us from institutional communities.

This course will be available to auditors as well as Union students.  Register for this course or email me for more information.

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• There will be a nine day centering prayer retreat from March 18 to 26, 2011 at the Garrison Insitute in Garrison New York. This retreat will be led by David Frenette and is designed to help practitioners to deepen their prayer practice, particularly those who sometimes feel stuck in their practice, discouraged by their thoughts or struggles to find God, and those who want to take their practice to the next level.

David is a gifted teacher who uses approaches such as guided meditations and participant sharing to impart helpful ideas about practice. His gentle style enables retreatants to learn while going deeply into the contemplative mode. I highly recommend this retreat and will be working on the support staff of the retreat.

For more information or to sign up for this retreat, go to the Contemplative Outreach website.

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Quiet Day Retreat

Would you like some quiet time in a supportive environment to reflect on the issues that are arising in your life?  On Saturday, February 19th from 10am to 3:30pm, I will lead a quiet day retreat in at Grace Church Brooklyn on the theme of discernment. The day will include a number of discernment and prayer oriented activities, including a talk, discussion, centering prayer, lectio divina, guided meditation, and time for quiet reflection. All activities will be optional so that participants may have as structured or unstructured an experience as they would like. Lunch will be provided and we will eat in silence. Books and art materials will be available.

Email me for more information.  Grace Church is at 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn 11201.

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Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be giving a series of four meditation classes, designed to help begin or strengthen a meditation practice. Classes will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 pm on Fridays Jan 21, 28, Feb 4, 11. More information is available at Dandapani's website.

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Introduction to Centering Prayer

I will present a brief introduction to centering prayer on Sunday, October 24th at 9:40 am in the North Room of Grace Church Brooklyn. Centering Prayer is a method of contemplative prayer in which we rest silently in the presence of God. It is a very simple method that is easy to learn.  We will discuss the history of the prayer, how to practice the prayer, and review exactly what happens at the Tuesday night centering prayer group at Grace. For those who are interested in attending the group or in learning more about the prayer, I always arrive at lease 15 minutes early for the 7 pm group, so please feel free to stop by any week or contact me to arrange for an introduction to centering prayer.

Email me for more information.  Grace Church is at 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn 11201.

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• An Introduction to Centering Prayer will be held on Saturday, May 8th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church Rectory, 116 Sixth Avenue (corner of Park Place), Brooklyn. The presenter will be Richard Kigel, Coordinator, New York Chapter of Contemplative Outreach and the event is sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of New York City and St. Augustine. The event is free, and donations will be accepted.  Coffee and tea will be provided; please bring your own lunch.  Follow up sessions will take place May 13, 20 and June 3, 10, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. For more information and registration, contact Jean Prahl, 718.622.1712 - mjpbklny@gmail.com.

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• Yogic Philosophy Blog

My friend Hovey Brock has just started a new blog on the Yoga City website.  Here's his description:

"If you have come to a place where you would like to have a better understanding of the philosophical context of your yogic practice then this blog is for you. My series will begin with an examination of the schools of thought that inform Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Full disclosure: I am no Indologist and this column will be as much a journey for me as for you."

Hovey is a trained yoga teacher.  I look forward to following his blog on this website which provides information on all things related to yoga in New York City.

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• Quiet Day Retreat March 6th

How can we use the psalms in our personal prayer?  Who is God in the psalms?  On Saturday, March 6th from 10am to 3:30pm I will lead a quiet day retreat at Grace Church, Brooklyn on the theme “Making the Psalms Our Own.” We will reflect on our personal responses to the psalms and on some of the aspects of the psalms that can be challenging and problematic for us. We will look at different translations of the psalms and use them in lectio divina. Projects will be provided for deepening our relationship with the psalms. All activities will be optional and there will be plenty of time for quiet reflection. A box lunch will be provided, and we will eat in silence.

Sign up at the back of Grace Church or email me to sign up or for more information. Grace Church is at 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn 11201.

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There will be a nine day centering prayer retreat from March 12 to 20, 2010 at the Garrison Insitute in Garrison New York. This retreat will be led by David Frenette and is designed to help practioners to deepen their prayer practice, particularly those who sometimes feel stuck in their practice, discouraged by their thoughts or struggles to find God, and those who want to take their practice to the next level.

I attended David's retreat last March and found him to be a gifted teacher who uses approaches such as guided meditations and participant sharing to impart helpful ideas about practice without too much intellectual lecturing. His gentle style enables retreatants to learn while remaining in a contemplative mode. I highly recommend this retreat.

For more information or to sign up for this retreat, go to the Contemplative Outreach website.

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• Please note a change in two events with Thomas Keating previously listed on this page: Father Thomas, one of the founders of centering prayer, was hospitalized Labor Day night with a pulmonary embolism. Following a simple surgical procedure to ensure the clots do not move into his lungs, he has been resting and in good spirits at his home at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. He expects to take at least six months off for rest and exercise and hopes to reschedule the previously scheduled events at St. Ignatius in New York City for next fall.

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The retreat from October 23-29 at the Garrison Institute in Garrison New York will still be held but Father Thomas will not attend and the retreat will be led by Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico, President and Vice President of Contemplative Outreach. It is possible to sign up for a two day retreat October 23-25 or a six day retreat October 23-29. These retreats are suitable for either beginners or longtime practitioners. They feature about three hours of centering prayer per day plus two or three hours of teaching. The rest of the time one can enjoy silence on one’s own, walk around the beautiful grounds of the Garrison Institute, and eat delicious vegetarian food.

For more information or to sign up for the retreat, go to the Contemplative Outreach website.

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• Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be leading a travel-study retreat to South India in January 2010. I have traveled to India twice with Dandapani and the monks of Kauai.  This is a wonderful way to learn intensively about Hindu customs and worship. Dandapani is a gifted organizer and teacher, and he will be visiting some of the holiest temples in India, including Chidambaram and the Meenakshi temple in Madurai.

For more information, visit Dandapani's website.

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• For those who are interested in learning to meditate, I highly recommend the courses at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York. The Shambhala method is derived from Buddhist tradition but at the introductory levels is taught in a fairly secular way and can be used by students of any faith tradition.  Shambhala offers meditation training in a number of different formats. There are one hour long drop-in classes offered every Wednesday at 6pm or Sunday at noon. For those who would like an intensive weekend experience, Shambhala Training Level I is being offered October 30th - November 1st and is offered regularly. There is also a weekly program being offered on Thursdays beginning on November 5th.

For more information, contact the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York

Shambhala is an international organization with 165 centers, and if you are not from the New York area you may be able to find a Shambhala Center near you.

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• Dr. Meath Conlan, an Australian-born spiritual director who has worked in Christian, Zen and Hindu traditions, will be leading tours to Saccidananda Ashram at Shantivanam, India this December and January. Shantivanam was home for many years to the late Bede Griffiths, a pioneer in Christian-Hindu dialogue. Meath travels to Shantivanam regularly, was a friend of Bede Griffiths, and is a friend and mentor to my friend Dandapani. The trip will also include stops at a number of other spiritual centers, including Sri Ramana Maharshi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai and the Bodhi Zendo near the hill-station of Kodaikanal. For more information, visit diversejourneys.net or contact Meath at drconlan@diversejourneys.net.

I have visited the Shantivanam ashram and highly recommend it to those who are interested in exploring the intersection of Christian and Hindu beliefs and practices.  Hare Christa, Hare Christa!

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• The Grace Church Centering Prayer Group will be starting up again on Tuesday September 8th at 7pm.

Centering Prayer is a silent, wordless form of prayer that is easy to learn.  It bears some similarities to Zen meditation, but it derives from 14th century Christian methods of prayer.  In this weekly group we sit in centering prayer for two periods of 20 minutes each, separated by a brief meditative walk.  We then engage in lectio divina, a traditional way of praying with scripture. The meeting usually lasts about an hour and a quarter. Newcomers are welcome at any session.

More information on the group, including a detailed description of what happens at each meeting and some guidelines for participants.

More information on centering prayer.

Email me with questions.

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• Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be giving a series of workshops on how to attract and sustain healthy happy relationships. The first workshop will be held on Wednesday July 22nd from 6:45-9pm. More information is available at Dandapani's website.

Dandapani will also be conducting a series of weekly classes called the "Essentials of Yoga" starting on Thursday July 23. In each class he will teach Hatha Yoga postures, discuss the philosophy of Raja Yoga, as well as practicing breathing techniques and conducting a guided meditation. More information on this class.

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• My sister Lucy Soutter and I are quoted in an article about Rameshwaram in the April/May/June 2009 issue of Hinduism Today. Rameshwaram is one of India’s holiest pilgrimage destinations, and pilgrims who visit are bathed in the waters of 22 wells. Lucy, my husband Mark and I along with more than 90 other pilgrims visited Rameshwaram in January 2008.  A pdf of this article is now available online.

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• A centering prayer group will be meeting every two weeks in Dorothy Day’s chapel at The Catholic Worker, 55 East Third Street, Manhattan New York (near Second Avenue).   Activities will include chant, reflection, spiritual readings and discussion as well as centering prayer. Beginners to centering prayer are welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice centering prayer in an atmosphere blessed by Dorothy Day, the famous social activist and Catholic.

The next meetings are Wednesday, May 13th and 27th, 2009 from 6:30 to 8:30.

To RSVP or for further information, please contact Sandy Lofaso at meditativeprayer@aol.com

Learn more about centering prayer.

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Quiet Day Retreat March 14

Where is God leading you? How do you listen for God’s voice in your life? On Saturday, March 14th from 10am to 3:30pm I will lead a quiet day retreat at Grace Church, Brooklyn on the theme of discernment. A number of discernment and prayer oriented activities will be offered, including talks, discussion, centering prayer, a DVD of Thomas Keating providing centering prayer instruction, guided meditation, and time for quiet reflection. All activities will be optional so that participants may have as structured or unstructured an experience as they would like. Lunch will be provided and we will eat in silence. Books and art materials will be available.

Sign up in the back of Grace Church or email me to sign up or for more information. Grace Church is at 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn 11201.

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• Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be giving another workshop on preparation for meditation on March 14. I have traveled to India twice with Dandapani and the monks of Kauai.  He is an engaging and humorous speaker as well as a trained meditator, and I highly recommend this workshop. 

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Saturday, March 14

1 East 28th St, 3rd Floor

(between 5th Ave & Madison Ave)

New York, NY 10016

To reserve a seat or for more information, contact Tatiana: tatiana@unifiedspirit.com 917-593-5982

Because of limited seating, it is suggested that you reserve your seats in advance.

$45 pre-registered, $55 at the door (cash or checks but no credit cards).

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• Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, gave this beautiful invocation on Sunday, January 18 at the opening of the inaugural festivities.  It was not televised as it was supposed to be, a great disappointment to many for whom Bishop Robinson represents not only the Episcopalian church but also the hopes of gay people of faith worldwide:

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

January 18, 2009

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.

AMEN.

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• My husband Mark has returned from his trip to India, helping the Hindu monks of the Kauai Aadheenam and the French Cultural Institute to embark on a project to scan thousands of palm leaf manuscripts.  Visit his website of photographs from his trip.

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• Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be conducting two workshops in New York City. The first workshop will focus on simple tools to help create a balanced life and the second workshop will be an introduction to meditation. They will take place on Jan 18th and Feb 1st respectively. Learn more.

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• Dandapani, a monk for ten years at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, will be leading travel-study retreats to India in April 2009 and Malaysia and Cambodia in May 2009. I have traveled to India twice with Dandapani and the monks of Kauai.  This is a wonderful way to learn intensively about Hindu customs and worship. Dandapani is a gifted organizer and teacher, and these trips are highly recommended. 

http://www.vedicodyssey.com/index.shtml

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• My husband Mark Boyer is in Pondicherry, India this December, helping the Hindu monks of the Kauai Aadheenam and the French Cultural Institute to embark on a project to scan thousands of palm leaf manuscripts.  These manuscripts are commentaries on Hindu scriptures.  They are rapidly decaying and will be scanned over the next two years to preserve their contents.  Here is a picture of a ceremony to bless the digital equipment that will be used in the project:

Blessingofthedigitalimagingequipment.jpg

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• I will be teaching a course in Fall 2008 at Union Theological Seminary in New York called “Using the Psalms in Ministry.” In this course, class time will be spent reading the psalms in various translations; discussing students’ personal responses to the psalms; examining the many ways in which the psalms can be used in personal prayer, communal prayer and worship, pastoral care, reflection, study, and discernment; experimenting with use of the psalms in prayer, lectio divina, chanting, and singing; and group discernment. Students will be especially encouraged to grapple with the aspects of the psalms that they find challenging and problematic.

Course work will center on the production of a “psalms notebook” customized by students to help them with their ministries. Each notebook will contain the text of all the psalms annotated and supplemented by the student. Students will be required to produce a brief summary of each psalm’s content and a review of whether and how it might be used in their ministry. Other materials would be added to the notebook based on the students’ interests and ministries, including translations, journalling, contemporizations, analysis, historical information, and detailed descriptions of how the student might use the psalms in ministry in the future. Each student will also give a brief presentation on a single psalm and how it might be used in his or her ministry.

This class will meet on Tuesdays from 1:10 pm to 2 pm in Lampman Chapel.

For further information, go to Union Theological Seminary.