Below are referrals to a few hand-picked sites that, in our opinion, either provide reliable sources of religious information or embody the principles of authentic spirituality. We point people in the direction of experiential spiritual realization, and we shun teachings that fall short of this goal. Stay tuned for updates.
– John Roger Barrie
For Christian mystical practices, we recommend that you contact your pastor (if Protestant) or parish priest (if Catholic). If they cannot prescribe a contemplative regimen for you, try contacting the Benedictines, Carthusians, or Trappists, or one of the Orthodox branches that actively teaches The Jesus Prayer.
We steer away from recommending megachurches, televangelists, and megavangelists. Some, but not all, are slick marketers who profiteer by selling the commodity of Christ. Many instill dogma and beliefs into their followers but provide no means for, “the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God” (from Fr. William Meninger’s former website). Follow Jesus instead. And take up contemplative prayer.
In 1974, Fr. William Meninger (1932–2021), a Trappist monk, revived the practice of Christian (Catholic) contemplative meditation and founded the Contemplative Prayer (centering prayer) movement. Contacts for local Contemplative Prayer groups are listed below. Along with Fr. Meninger, the chief proponents of the Contemplative Prayer movement include the Trappist monks Fr. Thomas Keating (1923–2018) and Fr. Basil Pennington (1931–2005), and also Fr. Carl Arico, a diocesan priest.
In 1975, Fr. John Main (1926-1982), a Benedictine monk, initiated Christian contemplation at his Benedictine monastery in London. Thus began a global spiritual network known as The World Community for Christian Meditation, now directed by Fr. Laurence Freeman, also a Benedictine monk.
The Benedictines [a contemplative Catholic order]
The Carthusians [a contemplative Catholic order]
The Trappists [Also known as the Cistercians. Think Thomas Merton.]
Centering Prayer [Fr. Thomas Keating’s website]
Contemplative Outreach [the main website for the modern Contemplative Prayer movement]
Orthodox Prayer resources [This link provides an excellent compendium of information on Orthodox Christian prayer. The only drawback is its staunch anti-ecumenical stand.]
The World Community for Christian Meditation [Father John Main’s website]