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The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God Hardcover – September 1, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Frenette

David Frenette has been a longtime teacher of Centering Prayer and contemplative meditation, as well as a friend and advisor of Father Thomas Keating for 34 years. He has a graduate degree in transpersonal counseling psychology and has taught at leading retreat centers around the country. David co-created and co-led a Christian contemplative retreat community for 10 years. His primary work is in developing practices and resources for contemplative practitioners, and supporting a unitive approach to meditation that includes body, mind and heart, as well as spirit. He is a spiritual director for clients worldwide.


Father Father Thomas Keating

Father Thomas Keating draws from over 60 years of study and prayer as a Trappist monk in sharing the wisdom of 20 centuries of the contemplative Christian tradition. One of the principal architects of the contemplative Christian prayer movement, Father Keating co-founded the Snowmass Interreligious Conference and Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., and is author of many books, including Open Mind, Open Heart.

Review

"Expanding on his mentor's (Father Thomas Keating) groundbreaking book Open Mind, Open Heart, Frenette takes Centering Prayer to a new level. Rooted in Christianity, Centering Prayer resonates on the same contemplative wavelength as Buddhist mindfulness practice. It transcends denominations and moves beyond the limitations of traditional, hierarchical Christian worship. Frenete is careful to keep his language inclusive, further opening the door to those who wish to explore rather than follow. Consider displaying this one with Father Keating's book and with The Cloud of Unknowing, one of the foundation texts of Centering Prayer."
—Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight

 
"Frenette's enthusiasm for centering prayer, his use of illustrative material from his own life and mystical experiences, and his flair for creativity give this handbook a vibrancy that carries the reader along. We were especially taken with his comparisons of contemplation with dancing and with floating on water."
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice.com
 


“This book in my view is the best, most comprehensive, and most practical book on centering prayer.”
—Father Thomas Keating

“In this beautiful book, David Frenette expands the map of the known Centering Prayer universe. With the blessing of his spiritual father, Thomas Keating, David develops and gently reshapes fundamental building blocks of the Centering Prayer teaching. This is an important moment in the Centering Prayer lineage transmission, when a faithful student emerges into mastery. David’s work will breathe significant new life into your personal practice.”
—Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening

“This excellent book represents Christianity come to maturity! Here you will find good theology, good practice, good psychology, and a recovery of the foundation itself—how to live in communion all the time.”
—Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation

“With simplicity and great wisdom, David Frenette reconnects you to the universal tradition of how to open to God, how to pray in silence, and finally, how to let the spirit pray within your heart. If you want, or need, to be drawn deeper into prayer, read this book and live its guidance.”
—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, Sufi teacher and author of Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism

“In his lucid guide to Centering Prayer, David Frenette navigates a path for beginners and seasoned practitioners who wish to enter ever-deepening states of loving friendship with the Divine.”
—Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

“This wonderful book provides direction, encouragement, and support for a prayer practice with ancient roots. Drawing on his considerable experience as a spiritual director, David Frenette skillfully shares stories and offers wisdom that illuminates the heart of the practice and will lead practitioners through the subtle challenges that inevitably arise in the process of living into ever-deepening levels of prayer. This is a book not only to be read, but to be consulted regularly for insight and help along the way.”
—The Right Reverend Robert O’Neill, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado

The Path of Centering Prayer is a beam of light in what can sometimes be a dark and unknown journey with God. It is written from the heart of David’s relationship with God and his discoveries along his contemplative journey in solitude, in community, and in spiritual direction. From this place of wisdom, David enlightens readers with encouragement and enrichment, which will nourish them in their own commitment to the centering prayer practice and the contemplative life.”
—Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, President of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604076739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604076738
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lindsay Boyer on September 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the interests of full disclosure, let me say right away that I played a small role in editing The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God and have assisted David Frenette for the past three years with a regular retreat that he gave based on the material in this book. However, the reason that I have chosen to be involved with David's work is that I find his approach to be the most helpful I have encountered in terms of providing practical guidance for the experienced centering prayer practitioner and I wanted to play a role in disseminating his teachings. I am a trained spiritual director with thirteen years of experience, I have taught at Union Theological Seminary and have led a weekly centering prayer group for the past six years.

Centering prayer is a method of silent contemplative prayer that comes out of the teachings of the Christian tradition. In the fourteen years that I have been practicing centering prayer, I have found that there is a wealth of material out there for the beginning centering prayer student and many good books on the theological background of the prayer, but it is more difficult to find help for the experienced practitioner. When I heard David Frenette speak for the first time four years ago, I knew I had finally found the teacher I had been looking for. David has been practicing and teaching centering prayer under the guidance of Thomas Keating for over 25 years and he has a great gift for describing the subtle interior experience of the prayer. The experience of sitting in silent contemplation can be very hard to talk about, even for those who have been practicing for a long time. David is very good at describing and addressing concerns and problems that may arise.
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By Mary D on September 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Path of Centering Prayer is a MUST read for anyone with an established practice of Centering prayer or anyone who wishes to develop one. This is one of the finest books on Centering Prayer and takes those of us who have been long time practitioners to the next level. I recommend this book without reserve...READ IT! mary d
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read and reread Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault and found it a great book for someone who has practiced Centering Prayer for a while 'The Path of Centering Prayer" goes another step for the experienced practitioner. After the first reading I feel I have only skimmed the surface of what Mr. Frenette has said; the book deserves subsequent readings. As I read I get the feeling of walking down a spiral staircase deeper into the practice to help me rise above where I am currently in my practice. Mr. Frenette's teachings are accessible and the "Path of Centering Prayer" is a marvelous invitation to deepen your Centering Prayer practice. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully written from the author's personal experience of contemplative prayer over several decades.

The first part discusses the basic practice of centering prayer, and then moves to the subtler areas of deepening contemplative prayer. It addresses common problems of the practitioner, and the author offers practical detailed advice with case studies from his former students and spiritual directees.

The second half of the book I think is most exquisite. The author discusses the contemplative attitudes, or perhaps one could say the fruits, of contemplative prayer that are revealed in daily life and how to foster them. Such qualities as simplicity, gentleness, letting go, resting in God, embracing, and finally integrating one's experience of prayer into one's daily life, are spoken of as possible to attain through fidelity to prayer. Lest you wonder if these lovely attitudes really can be developed through prayer, one needs only to study with David Frenette to experience the fruit of his own prayer as he is a living embodiment of what he writes about. The beauty is that he addresses not only in delicate detail the process of prayer itself, but how the earnest practice of contemplative prayer transforms the practitioner from the inside out. His encouraging and personal style is inspiring to the reader. This is a book to read slowly and to savor, and gives one much hope for the joys to come through faithful practice of prayer.

A helpful guide for the beginner to get started on solid ground, and a unique treasure of a guide for the more mature practitioner of contemplative prayer. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To anyone wising to improve or to start the practice of prayer, especially centering prayer, this book is the answer to your wish. The book provides easy to understand steps to start and deepen this practice. I bought it to improve my practice of centering prayer and found general advice about praying.
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David is a remarkable teacher. He has taken Thomas Keating's work out into the world and experimented with how to make this teaching accessible to more people. This book is the culmination of a life lived in dedication to the movement of the spirit. Especially if you don't have the opportunity to experience David's teaching in person, I highly recommend this book.

Julie Saad, Coordinator
Contemplative Outreach of Colorado
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