The Heart of Centering Prayer: Christian Nonduality in Theory and Practice (2016)

Cynthia delivered a four-part series on The Heart of Centering Prayer: Christian Nonduality in Theory and Practice at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in November, 2016.

Recorded October 2016.  In this recorded day of reflection, Rev. Bourgeault opens new ground with The Cloud of Unknowing by proposing that its anonymous author, in using the word “contemplation,” is actually describing the transition to unitive or non-dual consciousness. This includes a brief exploration of what this actively entails, how this new perspective helps to clear up some of those notoriously difficult passages in The Cloud, and why centering prayer is so essential in the process.

Cosponsored by Contemplative Outreach of Boston and the School of Theology and Ministry

Part 1 (52:03):

In this part Rev. Bourgeault recounts the history of contemporary centering prayer. She claims that the content of the Cloud of Unknowing cannot really be understood without experiencing the practice of centering prayer, in part because it involves a change of consciousness.

The Heart of Centering Prayer: Part 1 of 4

Part 2 (42:54):

In this section Rev. Bourgeault looks more closely at the connections between centering prayer and the practices prescribed in The Cloud of Unknowing. She focuses on the central effort: working to move beyond thought to have diffused awareness. She also introduces how this can be practiced in daily life.

The Heart of Centering Prayer: Part 2 of 4

Part 3 (50:40):

In this part Rev. Bourgeault defines contemplation in the conversation between Keating’s centering prayer and The Cloud of Unknowing in part as resting in God or apophatic practice.

The Heart of Centering Prayer: Part 3 of 4
The Heart of Centering Prayer: Part 4 of 4

For more information, including a video trailer of Cynthia’s book The Heart of Centering Prayer, go HERE.