Across most of the 1990’s I practiced Contemplative Prayer with the folk of Christ Centered Ministries. They met several times a week, which was more than I could fit into my busy schedule. Few in the group were young enough to be my peers. However, being among Episcopal’s who, in one fashion or another, were serious about developing their walk with Christ was empowering. At the same time, I was among people who put before me too many fashions of what it meant to walk the Triune God.
My last comment isn’t degradation of any one of those fellow contemplative prayers’. I was in the midst of a transformation, myself. During those years, I knew an evolving adoration for the works of Thomas Merton which are akin to but deeper than those of Thomas Keating’s later works. The adorable difference was that I had opportunities to meet and occasional chat with Keating when he was visiting Christ Centered Ministries. Merton had, unfortunately, died when I was only 11 so I had the opportunity to, at least, know someone who knew him.
Today, I no longer hold to Merton nor Keating in the mode I knew then. Merton, though, still holds a positive position in my life. He was one, of those, who set in motion my contemplative endeavors. His voice along with a smattering of others, prodded me toward embracing hesychasm. So, Thomas I owe you much.