Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
— Luke 17: 21
Registration for this program is now closed.
This year-long online program lays a foundation for understanding the spiritual journey through Christian, psychological, evolutional, and existential paradigms. If you missed it in 2018 or would like to take it again, welcome! You will receive education and formation in Christian contemplation, along with support and connection to an intentional global community bonded through our common search for God.
"The spiritual journey is a training in consent to God’s presence and to all reality. … This gradual training in consent is the school of divine love in which God invites us to accept the divine plan to share the divine life with us in a way that transcends all that the human imagination can foresee."
— Thomas Keating, Invitation from God
Based on Thomas Keating's classic Spiritual Journey video series, this program guides participants through an integrated wisdom map of the awakening and healing that happens to seekers committed to the contemplative path of consent to God's presence and action within. Fr. Thomas emphasizes the need for a psycho-spiritual context: "It is my conviction that the language of psychology is an essential vehicle in our time to explain the healing of the unconscious. … For one thing, it is a language that is better understood than the traditional language of spiritual theology, at least in the Western world. It also provides a more comprehensive understanding of the psychological dynamics which grace has to contend with in the healing and transforming process." (Invitation to Love)
This program enhances and expands the foundational teachings laid out in the Spiritual Journey video series. It includes newer Thomas Keating video segments and additional contemplative wisdom teachings. When this program was run in 2018, Fr. Keating said:
"[This] is an attempt to provide a roadmap, as it were, for the journey that begins when Centering Prayer is seriously undertaken and to point to some of the recognizable landmarks on the journey, as well as to its ultimate destination. The latter is not so much a goal to be attained, as an ever more resolute commitment to the journey. …
"Although [this program] seeks to establish a dialogue between the insights of contemporary psychology and the classic Christian spiritual masters, its primary goal is practical: to provide a solid conceptual background for the practice of contemplative prayer and the spiritual journey for our time. We are called to this journey not just for our own personal growth, but also for the sake of the whole human community."
You can expect the following:
- Two emails each week on Monday and Thursday. Monday's email will include an excerpt from the Spiritual Journey video series. Thursday's email will expand the theme introduced on Monday and include further commentary and related teachings, and often a more recent Thomas Keating video segment.
- Transcripts to accompany all video segments.
- A time of review and summarization after each part of the Spiritual Journey series.
- Intentional pauses between each of the five parts of the Spiritual Journey series to review and reflect.
- An online forum (Practice Circle) for reflections, questions, and sharing with a worldwide community of participants.
- Active participation in the community forum by the retreat leaders.
- An invitation at the end of the curriculum to envision your own deeper movement into the Christian contemplative life.
- Suggestions for how Centering Prayer groups might take the year-long course together.
- Access to the course materials anytime, anywhere you have internet connection. The materials remain in your Spirituality & Practice account indefinitely, so you can review them at any time.
At the direction of Fr. Thomas Keating, this program was composed for Contemplative Outreach by Pamela Begeman, Mary Anne Best, and Julie Saad with guidance from Pat Johnson and Fr. Carl Arico. Moderating the Practice Circle community forum will be Denis Sheehan. Denis is dedicated to supporting the growth and expansion of the Centering Prayer movement, and he is deeply honored to have been chosen as Contemplative Outreach's new Administrator.
Partial scholarships are offered through Contemplative Outreach. Please inquire by emailing Donna Cole-Struck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for this year-long program closes on February 1, 2019. Please note that this is the same program that ran in 2018. We welcome you to subscribe if you have not taken it before or if you have already taken it and want to reinforce what you have learned. While specifically Christian in its teachings, the program offers insights that may be helpful to those of any tradition or no tradition.