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The Heart of Centering Prayer

Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice
Paperback Book
December, 2016
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Banyen's Description: 

Here’s a book on perceiving nondual awareness through the Christian contemplative method called Centering Prayer by the author of The Wisdom Jesus and The Meaning of Mary Magdalene.

Centering Prayer is the path to a wonderful and radical new way of seeing the world. It is not, as sometimes thought, simply an act of devotional piety, nor is it simply a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia Bourgeault here cuts through the misconceptions to show that Centering Prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition.  She provides a practical, complete course in the practice and then goes deeper to analyze what actually happens in Centering Prayer:  the mind effectively switches to a new operating system that makes possible the perception of nonduality.  With this understanding in place, she then takes us on a journey through one of the sources of the practice, the Christian contemplative classic The Cloud of Unknowing, revealing it to be among the earliest Christian explorations of the phenomenology of consciousness.

I suspect that within the foreseeable future we will see an expanded road map of the journey to nonduality, together with a new way of evaluating and leveraging Christian mystical texts. Even the effusive love mysticism usually typecast in present maps of consciousness as belonging to a personalistic and therefore lower level of consciousness, I suspect actually contains the seeds, metaphorically, of that nonnegotiable Christian affirmation that luminosity is love; the two cannot be separated. And love requires the participation of the heart.

Cynthia Bourgeault’s illumination of the Centering Prayer path provides compelling evidence of how important the practice has become in the half-century since it first arose among American Trappist monks, and of its maturation and refinement over the ensuing years of sincere study and practice. It will resonate with beginners on the Centering Prayer path as well as seasoned practitioners.

I continue to be impressed by Centering Prayer’s fidelity to the heart of the Christian tradition and its ability, when explicitly moored in this tradition, to lead its practitioners toward nondual awakening along a pathway that corresponds to authentically Christian and Western reference points.

Publisher’s Description: 

Perceiving nondual awareness through the Christian contemplative method called Centering Prayer--an in-depth introduction to theory and practice by the best-selling author of The Wisdom Jesus and The Meaning of Mary Magdalene.

Cynthia Bourgeault claims that the salvation Jesus taught was in fact the perception of nonduality--and she's becoming famous for how she backs up this claim quite reasonably, relying on the Bible, church fathers, and especially the Christian contemplative tradition.The notion of nondual Christianity doesn't originate with her, of course, but she's prominent as one of the more articulate voices making people aware of it today. In this new book, she teaches the basics of Centering Prayer as a way to the perception of noduality. It thus will go a bit deeper theoretically/theologically than the other numerous Centering Prayer books, while still serving as a basic introduction. And in the fascinating third part of the book, she analyzes the Christian mystical classic Cloud of Unknowing, to find in it a model for living with nondual consicousness.

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