August E-bulletin

image courtesy of Edward Babcock



“If we experience emotional suffering, there is probably something we haven’t quite surrendered yet. If we truly surrender everything we possess, we will know the right thing to do spontaneously, and action inspired by the Spirit is where Centering Prayer is preparing us to go.”

 —Thomas Keating,  June 2021 newsletter



Contemplative Outreach is thriving in 2021! 
And here are two “new releases” to help to tell this story:   

  • First, Mary Jane Yates, our Administrator, is pleased to present her Highlights & Intentions Report for 2020-21: You can download the report here.
  • Second, Brian Aldsworth and a small group of volunteers are pleased to share with you a report on the Community Conversations project that took place between May and July of this year. You can download the report here

Both these documents reflect the amazing ways in which our organism is evolving and living into the mission and vision left to us by our dear Fr. Thomas.  As we look forward to further celebrating our emerging story during our Global Conference on September 16-18, I invite you to spend time with these stories and come prepared to share your own reflections and inspirations on how CO can continue to build a new world with the beautiful one that already exists.

You can read the complete bulletin at

July e-bulletin

Our ultimate goal is to integrate the active and contemplative dimensions of reality within us and around us, which some mystics call ever-present awareness, enlightenment, or waking up.  To handle the details of living a human life without being distracted from this primary vision is not attained through thinking, but through what might be called the practice of just being. To take time just to be, which is to do nothing but be in God’s presence for a regular period of time every day seems to be the shortest access to the mystery that is beyond any conceptual consideration.”

 Thomas Keating,


    Monkey Mind on Steroids


 Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for about 7 years, and I have changed in positive ways … so I know it’s “working” in some     way. However I have never gotten to the place where I’m really “centered.” My monkey mind is virtually always on steroids. I have  never been diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I would qualify as having ADHD. Are there any tricks or methods beyond using the sacred word, over and over, that are found to be helpful for one with ADHD?

 A: Read Joy’s response here.




  Tears During Centering Prayer

 Q: I have been practicing Centering Prayer off and on for several years, last year almost everyday.  I have recently been experiencing tears/crying for no apparent reason.  Please advise.

 A: Read Lindsay’s response here


You can read the complete bulletin at

June e-bulletin

“Over the next two weeks, Thomas spent most of the time either asleep or apparently engaged in another world, from which he would occasionally emerge with edifying pronouncements. For instance, I was present to hear him say, ‘I am what I am, and I’m finding out what that is.’ Another time the words were unspoken; as I was leaving his room one evening, I heard his voice and turned to see him still sleeping. But in my head I clearly heard him say, ‘Without death, there can be no life.’ ”

 —Ted Jones, writing about his experience in keeping vigil during Thomas Keating’s dying process, June 2021 newsletter





Background Noise


Q: When doing my Centering Prayer and after settling in to “find my sweet spot” I find that despite the quiet of prayer, there always seems to be noise in the background , like someone has a radio or TV on. It sounds like static background noise. Can you help explain what this is?

A: Read Fr. Carl’s response here


Have questions? Submit your questions about your Centering Prayer practice or other contemplative practices, the spiritual journey and the contemplative life to any of our contributors by emailing



The 2021 June newsletter is now available here, including articles from Ted Jones (Fr. Thomas’ nephew), an unpublished conversation with Thomas

Keating, heart-full witnesses from servant leaders and voices of the community from around the world.You may find an archive of previous newsletters here.

NB     Please note that this is the Newsletter :



You can read the complete e-bulletin at




Lectio Divina Online Workshop with Lesley O’Connor and Nancy Stimac

Lectio Divina Online Workshop

Saturday, August 14, 2021
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT

Follow up sessions (Optional)
Following the Aug 14 workshop we will meet online once a month to deepen our Lectio Divina practice:
September 11@10:00 AM to 11:15 AM EDT
October 9@10:00 AM to 11:15 AM EDT
November 13@10:00 AM to 11:15 AM EDT
Use this to determine your correct local start time.timezone converter

Presented by: The Contemplative Outreach Lectio Divina Service Team
This online workshop offered on the Zoom platform provides an opportunity to “listen with the ear of your heart” to explore and deepen your practice of monastic Lectio Divina as a way of praying the scriptures. The traditional four moments of the prayer (reading, reflecting, responding and rest) are explored as expressions of the four senses of scripture: the literal, allegorical, behavioral/moral, and unitive senses. The fruits and gifts of Becoming a Word of God will be discussed and celebrated. Small group faith sharing will be included.

The Workshop Presenters
Lesley O’Connor lives in Ireland. A commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina she leads workshops and retreats. Prior to joining the Lectio Divina Service Team she served as a member of the advisory circle of Contemplative Outreach Dublin and as lead on the Contemplative Outreach global team for English speaking practitioners of Centering Prayer outside the U.S.
Nancy Stimac, a longtime contemplative prayer practitioner, is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina for Contemplative Outreach. She is a graduate of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s 4-year Catholic Bible School and 2-year Lay Ministry program. She uses her gifts to serve the Catholic community of Windsor Locks, CT as a prayer group facilitator, Bible study leader, RCIA teacher, and lector.
 We hope you will be able to join us on August 14th.
The program is free, however, registration is needed for planning purposes. 

Please consider making a donation to Contemplative Outreach


May e-bulletin

“In oneness, there is not more or less; there is only oneness. … One-ing … is always happening. God is not an object or noun as we understand those terms. God just is, is, is. One-ing is to be, to live, and to act. … That God’s will may ‘be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10) is Jesus’ personal prayer for the full development of human consciousness. Hence, he has taught us to ask and prepare for the actualization of this grace and for the awakening of contemplation, which is the normal means to experience it.”
 —Thomas Keating, 
Reflections on the Unknowable

The Unitive Way: Seeing Creation from God’s Perspective

by George R. Gerardi

… I have learned that true knowledge seems to come to me through a combination of learning in the classical sense, personal experience, in addition to a practice of prayer that opens me up to hear the knowledge that is imparted at ever deepening levels. Recently, while continuing a daily practice of Centering Prayer, I have been simultaneously drawn to the very concrete problem of climate change. In late fall of 2021, Hurricane Sandy, which killed 233 people across eight counties, hit us hard with devastating results in Long Beach, New York. …  Read more>


Read the complete bulletin at

April E-bulletin.


“To be totally open and willing to receive the fullness of the Spirit is the proper disposition for transformation. What is important at this point is not our self-initiated activity, but our humility based on our having tasted to the depths the lack of integrity and the possibility of all evil that is inherent in the freedom of choice of our human nature as well as its capacity to receive God. We receive the Spirit in the degree that we have been divested of the false self and have allowed it to die with Christ. Now we are ready to rise with Christ with all the attributes that are present in the divine human being and through the Holy Spirit to live ordinary life in a divine way, thus manifesting [God] in all our actions and relationships.”

 —Thomas Keating, 
The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living
A Conversation with Thomas Keating and Carl J. Arico




Odilon Redon, Silence, 1900
A Meditation on Centering Prayer and Poverty of Spirit
by Sydney Orr
“Fr. Keating recommends studying the beatitudes.  The beatitudes, especially poverty of spirit, seem to stand out in the heart of his writing.  It seems to me I can take satisfaction in my gifts, even the gift of Centering Prayer, and it needs a poverty of spirit.  This poverty is like learning to be without regards to myself or with self-reflection. This poverty is like having an identity that is not concerned about my self-worth. ..”  Read more>


 you can read the complete e-bulletin at    

March E-bulletin




“Prayer and activity are not enemies. We ascend the ladder of consciousness beyond rational consciousness to intuitive and unitive levels, and then, when they become stabilized, action and contemplation become the same thing because God is present in everything. You see God in everything, and you see God intentionally working with circumstances outside of you and inside of you to teach you something new.”


 —Thomas Keating, 
God is All in All: The Evolution of the Christian Spiritual Journey



Let It All Go and Just BE
with Fr. Carl Arico

Q: Occasionally, I feel when I am in Centering Prayer that God is setting up a barrier, and that beyond that barrier is fire and that I would be burned if God allowed me to go beyond the barrier. The fire is God’s holiness, into which we cannot enter. It’s holy ground and taking off one’s shoes is not an option. Do other people have this kind of experience?

A: Read Fr. Carl’s response here




Be sure you have the free Contemplative Outreach app for Centering Prayer to support your daily prayer practice.  A Spanish-language version is also available.

You can find the app in the the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store for the Android platform; search for Centering Prayer, select the one by Contemplative Outreach.



You can read the complete bulletin at

Contemplative Outreach Dublin are meeting via Zoom. All are welcome


During the restrictions due to Covid-19, Contemplative Outreach Dublin are meeting via Zoom.  We meet on Thursdays at 4.00pm for a simple 20 min gathering and also on the Second Saturday of every month from 10.00am until 12.00 noon. 



All are welcome.  Please email if you would like the Zoom link for these meetings.  

An introduction to Centering Prayer. March 2021

February 2021

“Surrender to the unknown marks the great transitions of the spiritual journey.
On the brink of each new breakthrough there is a crisis of trust and love.”

 —Thomas Keating,The Better Part


In Memoriam


Fr William Meninger OCSO died Sunday morning, February 14th at age 88 in his infirmary room at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. The day before his

death he led an international Zoom talk on the gospel of Mark.

Fr. Meninger was born in 1932 in Malden, Massachusetts, USA. He entered St. Joseph’s Abbey in 1963, made his solemn profession in 1970, changed stability to Snowmass in 1982 and changed his stability back to Spencer in 2020. He had been ordained a priest of the Diocese of Yakima, Washington in 1958. He had been in monastic vows for 55 years and 63 years a priest when the Lord called him.

Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Thomas Keating & Fr. Basil Pennington were the three principal architects of the Centering Prayer method and movement. 

Some of his books include St. John of the Cross for BeginnersJulian of Norwich: A Mystic for Today and The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing.


“Everything is a Grace.
Everything … Everything … Everything.”

– Fr. William

Read the complete bulletin here