book review Contemplative Christianity

Cynthia Bourgeault & Ken Wilber On The Heart & Mind of Contemplative Prayer

Two very useful new resources for those exploring contemplative/ meditative practices.


Image result for the heart of centering prayer nondual christianity in theory and practice

Recently published by Shambhala, are two very useful new resources for those exploring contemplative and meditative practices.

Cynthia Bourgeault, a sage presence and protege of Father Thomas Keating, and Ken Wilber, a burning bush of wisdom, light and love for decades, have both increased the wattage of insight on the spiritual practice of contemplative prayer and meditation.

Bourgeault’s latest book, The Heart of Centering Prayer, Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice is a fresh re-telling of the goodness of the method of Centering Prayer, but also a theological tour-de-force of Christian theological groundings in non-duality. Also, an unexpected treasure in Cynthia’s book is Part Three’s review and post-modern commentary on the 14th Century classicm, The Cloud of Unknowing. 

Ken Wilber’s newest offering is so extraordinary I don’t know where to begin. For sure, it isImage result for Integral Meditation his most up-to-date summation of his longstanding prior contributions now known as Integral theory. This version provides special usefulness in mapping the levels and lines of human development in terms of consciousness – or ways of seeing/knowing. If you have read prior Wilber, little in Integral Meditation will be new. But it is a fresh re-telling.

Why the title is Integral Meditation I am not sure, since the book is virtually all theory and little practice. In other words, this is not the “How To” book of meditation. It is the WHY and WHAT HAPPENS when you start to meditate, and the wider context of why meditative/contemplative practice is so crucial for the future flourishing of humankind.

Over the years, Wilber’s work and model have helped me understand WHY the world is the way the world is and why human beings are the way we are. This book deepens my love and respect for Wilber’s legacy. He has done more for helping us see our human multiplicity of levels and lines, states and stages of consciousness – unfolding, growing, in movement, toward an more completed future – than anyone else in recorded human history. Enjoy!

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