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Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  981 ratings  ·  46 reviews
This is the 20th anniversary edition of Continuum's best-selling spiritual classic, which has sold over half a million in the English language and has appeared in 10 foreign-language editions (Croatian, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesia, Italian, Korean, Polish, and Portuguese). The new edition consists of a substantial new preface, an expanded glossary, some changes in ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Continuum (first published December 1988)
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Jim George
The author uses a Centering Prayer technique for aligning our hearts and minds to the Lord. His contemplative methods were used the 1st fifteen centuries and then lost. The techniques have similarities to Eastern philosophy and meditation, except you are centering on the Lord. You must 1st pick a sacred word - a holy word seems the most appropriate. You get comfortable, close your eyes, and gently speak your sacred word. The goal is to find divine union with the Lord, by letting go of internal n ...more
Laura
This book is very interesting and isn't meant to be rushed through. I read a couple pages and put it down for the day. I spend the rest of the time thinking through and processing what I read. I am taking my time to analyze the information and evaluate my feelings about what I have just read.
Monica
this is a thorough, informative, genuine look at history and practice of the contemplative life and specifically focuses on centering prayer. its straightforward and just what i needed to start wrapping my mind around silence, stillness, & just being before God.
Myra
I never considered meditation a Christian discipline. This details how it was very much a practice in the early Church. I'm eager to try this form of "prayer"/mediation that I hope will fulfill this statement: "Be still and know that I am there"
EunSung
This book started a movement in which contemplative prayer was made accessible to people outside of the walls of the Christian monastery. Also, it was an attempt by Fr. Keating and John Main to share meditative practice within the Christian tradition at a time when a lot of people walked away from Christianity, and to Eastern traditions because it spoke to a thirst for a tangible experience that transformed their life.

A great book to not just read, but to apply and to read with a centering pray
...more
Sheryl Valentine
I was introduced in "centering prayer" several months ago, and actually the practice is similar to a form of meditation I used to practice and had got away from. Returning to it over the last few months as a Self-Abidance practice has made and is making a major difference for me! This practice has truly introduced me to the blissful, Present, peaceful Self that is here now and that is What I AM!

Thomas Keating has written many books on the subject and this one is great for an introduction and co
...more
Mary
Aug 20, 2007 Mary is currently reading it
Recommends it for: All
Spritual:

Explains the roots and guidelines for learning Centering Prayer.
"The root of prayer is interior silence. The spiritual level is not immediately evident to ordinary consciousness, we have to do something to develop our awareness of it.
It is the level of our being that makes us most human. We need to refresh ourselves at this deep level every day. It is as necessary as food, exercise, rest and sleep. Like boats floating along the surface of a river, our thoughts and feelings must be rest
...more
Lance Eads
I read this book back around 1997-98 when I was looking to deepen my relationship with Christ. I was disillusioned with a lot of the mainstream dogma of Christianity at the time and I began reading a lot of books on prayer and on the workings of the Holy Spirit, written by authors of different denominations and with different approaches. This book, along with some by Matthew Fox, really struck a chord with me. The idea that prayer could be listening as well as talking was something that hadn't o ...more
Connie
This is an excellent book on centering/ contemplative prayer. God is prominent in the book, mentioned constantly as the destination of this prayer. Fr. Keating carefully delineates the purpose and focus of this prayer and it does meet the guidelines published by the Vatican for contemplation which the Catechism calls the highest form of prayer. Regardless of the spirituality we embrace, there is a limited vocabulary for describing nonverbal experiences. Thus "new age" as well as other religious ...more
Chris Hyde
This book is a great "beginners" book to introduce contemplative or "centering" prayer. Think meditation from a Christian perspective. This book will set you on your journey. BUT, I will say that this book is highly repetitive. At only 150 pages, it probably could have been half as long.
Chris
Stellar. A clear, wise and practical guidebook of the beginnings of contemplative prayer ("centering prayer"). A critical resource to lay people interested in integrating monastic and contemplative aspects into their daily life. The dialogue of question and answer (on very practical matters involving contemplative prayer) at the end of each chapter is particularly useful. His instruction to practice twenty to thirty minutes twice a day is a challenge, but a needed one - even once a day begins to ...more
Gloria
Apr 20, 2011 Gloria rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Spiritual Seekers
Shelves: for-the-spirit
This is written by one of the earlier contemporary leaders of contemplative prayer and meditation practices. Keating is a Catholic priest who in the mid-1980s defined and promoted this way of being and thinking. Now it is common to find many books on the subject of mindfulness, a related thought process.

The anniversary edition has been updated to reflect current language and practices. Covers methods as well as spiritual reflections and historical information.

This is a book to read in a quiet pl
...more
danielp
Very probably the most important book I've read and will ever read.
Marianne Mersereau
Love everything this author has written!
Ashley
I attended a seminar on Contemplative Prayer back in the Fall of 2010 and really fell in love with the method. In the meantime, this book was recommended to me as a sort of Beginner's Guide to Centering Prayer. It's really a beautiful book to meditate on for 10 or 15 minutes every day. It took me awhile to read it because I didn't feel called to just sit and read it for hours on end. But it's a great introduction to Centering Prayer, albeit a little vague to put into practice. I think, however, ...more
Amy Vereggen-goeldner
I love reading Father Thomas' books. His message is simple but profound. His ideas on contemplative prayer inspired me to come back to my Christian roots, I discovered how rich and meaningful the Catholic tradition is through the work of Father Thomas. I found this particular book of his to be harder to get into, I can not pin point exactly why. Perhaps when I read it, I had already years of experience in meditation. But still a good read, and important to delve into if you decide to try contemp ...more
Greg
This book lays out a path for all believers to try contemplative prayer in their lives. By practicing a wordless type of prayer one becomes attuned to the silence of God, welcoming God's presence into your inner spiritual life. I highly recommend getting this book and signing on with a group in your area to help start this type of practice.
Darceylaine
I came to this book overflowing with questions about contemplative prayer, and Keating simply and gently answered all of them. This is a great practical guide to contemplative prayer.
C
The starting point for a practice of Centering Prayer.
Joy Matteson
I was so glad I picked up this book on contemplative and centering prayer. Friar Thomas Keating gives great direction as to how one can go about practicing this kind of prayer, which seems to be confusing for the novice. This is a practical yet challenging guide to those who wish to seek the Holy Spirit in their daily lives through meditative silence. I would recommend this book to any who wish to learn more about contemplative prayer--it's a great starting book into an ancient practice.
Drick
Thomas Keating has written a very accessible book on the hows and whys of contemplative prayer. Keating unashamedly asserts that centering prayer or contemplative prayer is the way to come into a direct encounter with the Living God. While I found Keating's methods very helpful in understanding how to do centering prayer, i am not convinced this is the best or only best way to experience God. Even so for doing centering prayer, this was a very helpful guide.
Andrew
To me Keating's work on the contemplative tradition in Catholicism isn't off except in the presentation of it. Although God is mentioned a time or two in the book, this came off to me as more psychology than spirituality. I knew the book has been charged with a "New Age" slant and I would agree with that. The contemplative tradition is as old as the Gospel, but this book goes too far in casting it in psychological and fixed method, and too little in prayer.
Jenny
This book is a wonderful introduction to the type of meditation known as centering prayer. Keating writes in a straight-forward style that makes the practice very accessible. I was impressed with some of the metaphors he came up with, which put common problems that a beginner encounters into perspective. Definitely a good way to start a centering prayer practice.
Eileen
An introduction to Centering Prayer by the founder of Contemplative Outreach. Locates Centering Prayer in the history of contemplatiave prayer in the Christian Church, which was very helpful for me. Gives beginning instructions and answers to common questions for those beginning a contemplative prayer practice.
Teresa Raetz
This book is a solid introduction to centering prayer, providing specific, "how to" guidance on this meditative method. For those interested in Catholic theology, the author also links centering prayer to it's historical origins in the Desert Fathers and other theologians.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I do not spend enough time in prayer. When I do, I am always happy that I have.




If you have had bad experiences with church, this is the book for you. You will look at everything

in the world in a better and a bigger way.

Milan Homola
Most practical spot on book I've read for tapping into that type of daily close walk with Jesus which seems so uncommon. It has helped me in so many ways. I can truly say this book is a breathe of fresh air in a culture of repetitive fluff.
Jason
Really enjoyed a Christian perspective on "meditation."

Appreciated the "Five Types of Thoughts" breakdown:
Wanderings of imagination
Thoughts with emotional attraction
Insights & breakthroughs
Self-reflections
Interior Purifications
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Keating entered the Cistercian Order in Valley Falls, Rhode Island in January, 1944. He was appointed Superior of St. Benedict's Monastery, Snowmass, Colorado in 1958, and was elected abbot of St. Joseph's Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts in 1961. He returned to Snowmass after retiring as abbot of Spencer in 1981, where he established a program of ten-day intensive retreats in the practice of Centeri ...more
More about Thomas Keating...
The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation (Wit Lectures) Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation Manifesting God Divine Therapy & Addiction: Centering Prayer and the Twelve Steps

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