Be still and know that I am God. --Psalm 46:10
Centering Prayer is a Christian practice of silent meditation. Releasing all thoughts, words, and images, we return again and again to silence, 'God's original language' (St. John of the Cross). This form of prayer has its roots in the practices of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of ancient times, and was further developed throughout the Middle Ages, finding perhaps its clearest expression in the work of the anonymous 14th-century English author of The Cloud of Unknowing. In the 20th century a group of Trappist monks developed the specific form of the prayer that we use today, and one of them, Fr. Thomas Keating, established Contemplative Outreach, an organization devoted to teaching and promoting this prayer-form and related practices worldwide. Their Centering Prayer brochure describes the basic method of the prayer as well as the theology behind the practice. Through this practice we seek to empty ourselves, as Jesus did, and to 'put on the mind of Christ.'