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Contemplative Outreach's workshops offer instruction and continuing support for the contemplative practices of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and the Welcoming Prayer. Workshops are facilitated by trained presenters and are open to anyone.
After an Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop, participants usually wish to continue to meet weekly. We recommend the formation of Centering Prayer groups to support growth in this prayer practice. A typical weekly meeting consists of experience, education and sharing.
For example, a group meeting might begin with a 20-minute period of Centering Prayer followed by a time for educational enrichment in the conceptual background to Centering Prayer and the Christian contemplative heritage, and end with experience-based sharing on the prayer and its effects in daily life.
Some groups may also practice a form of Lectio Divina. Centering Prayer groups generally remains open to new members, as participants often bring interested friends. If the group has a trained facilitator, the newcomers can be taught the method of Centering Prayer outside of the group meeting, or newcomers can attend the Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop.
Retreats and other Events
Retreats are a way to take one's relationship with God and one's practice deeper. They offer time and space away from the busyness and demands of daily life, and allow the mind, body, and spirit to surrender to God's presence and action within. Retreats are a common practice in many spiritual traditions and are a valuable tool to aid one's interior transformation.
"In a retreat setting, the length of the periods of Centering Prayer are extended ... Lengthening or multiplying the periods of Centering Prayer can help to deepen the experience of interior silence ... we are perfectly capable of an extended period of resting in God, especially with the support of a group."
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart