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Centering Prayer – Finding Home (Excerpt from my new book, Be Still and Listen)

A Quaker elder once told me, “There’s one thing that’s required of us: to do absolutely nothing and to do it very well.” When we do absolutely nothing in solitude—when, after years of practice, all thoughts are but a distant planet—then another dimension of life opens. It is a holistic dimension in the bosom of God. Thoughts plunge us out of delicious union as the unknown fourteenth-century author of The Cloud of Unknowing writes: “God may be reached and held close by means of love, but by means of thought, never.”

Beyond thought, words, images, and sounds, there’s unity. At first the unity feels like darkness. It’s darkness to our reasoning minds—to the left brain, which distinguishes and verbalizes everything. But when we frequent that uncomfortable darkness, we find home.

In her book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Cynthia Bourgeault writes that in the beginning the deep stillness of centering prayer is a place we go to. In time, it becomes a place we come from. It goes from foreign landscape to familiar homeland, like a lover who we’ve taken years to get to know.


Amazon is offering the kindle version of Be Still and Listen for $6.99.

Also by Amos Smith, Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots

Centering Prayer Course:  A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God – Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This companion audio program—created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide—gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.

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BE STILL AND LISTEN: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life

ISBN: 978-1612618654
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Number of pages: 160
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018

Where to Buy

BE STILL AND LISTEN books are available at
many fine bookstores including. . .

Audio Book:


Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots

ISBN: 978-1-62032-365-6
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Number of pages: 316
Publication Date: March 29, 2013

Where to Buy

Healing The Divide books are available at
many fine bookstores including. . .