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The Contemplative Journey Vol 1 Audio CD – Audiobook, October 1, 2005
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His teachings on Centering Prayer -- a path to God rooted in the "Lost Christianity" of medieval times -- has endeared Father Thomas Keating to many thousands of contemporary Christians. On The Contemplative Journey, Father Thomas teaches a brilliant synthesis of modern psychology and ancient spirituality, guiding listeners to the holy "still point" described in legendary Christians texts more than 600 years ago.
With The Contemplative Journey, Father Thomas -- author of the classics Open Mind, Open Heart; The Mystery of Christ; and Intimacy with God -- has created a long-awaited guide to the authentic tradition of Christian contemplation. In Centering Prayer, he explains, the listener engages beyond thinking, beyond emotions, connecting with God's infinitive love. Inherently and uniquely Christians, this "divine therapy" draws on a receptive meditation technique similar to those that have attracted many contemporary seekers to the Eastern mystical practices.
The Contemplative Journey is the fruit of Father Thomas' life as a devoted monastic, theologian, psychologist, and philosopher: a sweeping masterwork that points the way to the Christian ideal of unity with the divine.
"Profoundly human insights and classical spiritual, gems". -- Catholic Library World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Trappist Monk Thomas Keating is the founder of the Snowmass Interreligious Conference and a member of the peace council. Keating was appointed superior of St. Benedict's Monastery in 1958 and was made Abbot of St. Joseph's Abbey in 1961. He is the former chairman of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Keating has written Awakenings, a collection of homilies and Active Meditations for Contemplative Prayer, a collection of his most significant writing.
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Top Customer Reviews
Like other works by Keating, this series of talks explores not just traditional doctrines about prayer, contemplation and spirituality but also attempts to bring modern psychological insights into the divisions of prayer, the process of purification, the 'dark nights' and the 'unitive life' of conscious union with God or spiritual marriage.
Keating proposes that in a contemporary introduction to contemplation, the focus is not so much on a rigid, 'traditionalist' approach you would see in classical manuals on the topic, but rather an analysis of the complex human self as revealed by the work of thinkers such as Freud, Jung, Rollo May, or Ken Wilbur. Key to this interpretation is the role of the unconscious and the so called 'false self' which is a construct we make over time based on false or warped expectations of ourselves and others. In addition, we develop 'energy centres' which are concentrations of mental energy which make up our 'programs for happiness', our attempt to control the world and the people around us in the search for security, power, status, safety, adulation and ultimately unconditional love.
A common objection to this approach is that is mixes the 'pure wine' of classical Christian spirituality with the 'water' of the New Age, resulting in a vague syncretic approach that is questionable at best and potentially spiritually dangerous at its worst. However this is false, as the many references to classical Christian doctrines in these talks by Keating suggests. Rather the aim is to present the Christian contemplative tradition in terms contemporary people can understand.
The best aspect of Keating's teaching is his light touch to a fairly serious subject - his talks are peppered with jokes and a good dose of common sense, realism and wit. His stories about his own slow growth in spiritual wisdom through failure (often brought by the simple faith of others he meets) is a refreshing change to the often maudlin preoccupation with sin, gloominess and penances one sees in more traditional spiritual writers. The fact his audience so often laughs at what he says is a good sign of the underlying joyfulness and light-heartedness that you should see in a good contemplative (see the Cloud of Unknowing writer's remarks on this - the more contemplative someone is, the better it is to know them!). I deeply enjoyed both CD's and I am sure others with open minds will as well.