It is my guess that people who are looking at this title are already familiar with Trappist priest Thomas Keating and his championing of centering prayer. It is also likely that people who are familiar with Keating may know something about the controversy that surrounds the man and his technique of centering prayer. Perusing some of the criticisms of his book "Open Mind, Open Heart" by some Amazon readers will highlight both the admiration many have of this man, as well as some of the controversy. While some of the objections to centering prayer have merit if centering prayer becomes just another form of meditation, this is not due to Keating's writings as much as a misreading of his works or a misunderstanding of his intentions.
In this work, Keating sets out to further explain the technique of centering prayer. While he does use some psychology in this work, it does so not contain the heavy psychological point of view that some of his other writings contain (at least not in the detail), nor does he focus too heavily on non-Christian traditions of meditation. Instead he discusses centering prayer and roots in the Christian tradition. He also offers personal reasons why this technique is so important for him, namely that he saw many people who are Christians traveling to other parts of the world searching for something that is an important part of Catholic monasticism. The book was published in the 1990's, after years of trial and error concerning the centering prayer, as well as his success at leading workshops that introduced many people to those form of prayer, and the book contains many anecdotes he learned along the way.
Keating clearly sees the importance of centering prayer as a way of connecting with God, and entering into the presence of God. While he views it as a solitary activity by its nature, he strongly suggests that people who participate in centering prayer be part of a larger faith community, and if possible a centering prayer group. He espouses spiritual direction. The book also espouses what he calls "Divine Therapy" where hurts that are deep within us can be surfaced and healed in a spiritual manner, though he is also careful to state that this is not a replacement of psychological therapy.
This book compliments Keating's other writings and can help the reader come to a deeper understanding of centering prayer and the part it can play in a Christian spirituality.