Desert House of Prayer

Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer Retreats at the Desert House

Our centering prayer retreats, aka contemplative prayer retreats, begin on the Monday after the second Sunday of each month and end two days later on Wednesday evening. There is one exception: in the month in which Holy Week falls, the retreat is held that week. The retreats follow the same schedule as any other Monday thru Wednesday except that we have two additional sessions of centering prayer each day (four instead of two) and all meals are eaten in silence (instead of only breakfast and lunch in silence). If you are not familiar with the practice of centering prayer, we suggest you watch the video of Cynthia Bourgeault’s video and visit the Contemplative Outreach website.

Retreatants may start and end their retreat at any time, as sessions are not cumulative. Some people arrive over the weekend so that they can be here and settled in for the first session of centering prayer at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. Some arrive at 9:00 a.m. or later on Monday morning. The last session of the contemplative prayer days is from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Some people will have already left by then; others will stay until the following morning, until Friday, or even until the following week. When you start and end is entirely up to you; there are no lectures or classes, no workshops or seminars, but lots of silence and numerous opportunities for prayer, contemplation, and worship. Morning and evening prayer, community Eucharist, and sessions of centering prayer are all opportunities, not obligations; you may participate to whatever degree you find helpful. The days are what you make of them.

Please check out our daily schedule and our contemplative prayer retreat schedule in the Events archive.