Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Centering Prayer

with Therese Taylor-Stinson

Wednesday, May 21, 2025

5-6pm Ireland

12-1pm Eastern

9-10am Pacific

Program Description

Centering Prayer is a method of Christian meditation that places a strong emphasis on interior silence or stillness. The modern movement in Christianity can be traced to three Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, in the 1970s: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington, and Abbot Thomas Keating.  Keating writes, “The method consists in letting go of every kind of thought during prayer, even the most devout thoughts.”

In Centering Prayer, the participant seeks Divine presence and lets go of discursive thoughts and imagined scenes. Cynthia Bourgeault writes that the difference is like that between attention and intention with centering prayer focusing on our intention to be with the Beloved or Divine Presence.

The format of these sessions typically includes a reading to begin, often around justice issues. Past readings have included Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Howard Thurman, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Following these readings we move into silence together and have an opportunity to share at the end. You are welcome to join us whether you are brand new to centering prayer or have more experience. If you are new, however, we recommend reading this intro or watching this video before you join your first session with us.

We will turn on closed captioning during the live Zoom session (which you are able to turn off in your settings if you find distracting) as well as provide a video recording with closed captioning available and a text transcript of the session.

The program will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time or who want to view again. You will be sent a notification when this is ready to view.

You have lifetime access to all online programs.

Your Guide for the Journey

Therese Taylor-Stinson

Therese Taylor-Stinson

Therese Taylor-Stinson is a retired U.S. Federal Senior Program Analyst, formerly an expert in Federal Regulatory Activity, and she remains on the roster of the U.S. Federal Interagency Shared Neutrals Program as a lead mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity disputes. Therese is also a seasoned spiritual director, an award-winning author-editor, and an ordained deacon and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and served as Moderator for National Capital Presbytery 2014 through 2017. Therese, the organizer, won an award in 2018 as a Collaborative Bridge-Builder presented by Grace and Race, Inc., an Indie Author Legacy Award for her edited work Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Stories of Contemplation and Justice, and a second author award for her most recent authorship Walking the Way of Harriet Tubman: Public Mystic and Freedom Fighter. Therese is also the co-founder and organizer of the Racial Awareness Festival based in Washington DC, which recently closed after its sixth annual event and seventh organizing year. Therese is the Founding Managing Member/President of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., now incorporated 10 years after 6 years of organizing. In addition to the above, she is a certified pastoral caregiver and an Emotional Emancipation Circle Facilitator, while remaining on the roster as a lead mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity. Therese is married to Bernard Stinson. They have a daughter and two granddaughters.

Registration

Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

Please read our Financial Access Policy. 

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee is for those who need financial assistance and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!

Please be careful to enter your correct email address when you register. 
Price displayed in USD.

$10

Standard fee

$20

sponsorship fee

Free

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.