Definitions of Retreats

Centering Prayer Retreat Guidelines

In addition to providing Introductory Workshops and follow up sessions in Centering Prayer, we in Contemplative Outreach also support people in their practice of Centering Prayer through our Retreat Ministry.  Retreats in general provide us with an opportunity to take a step “sideways” out of our normal routine and are designed to create an environment in which we can deepen our relationship with God, with others and ourselves. It’s as if we are invited to come to the well to draw water to revive our drooping spirit.
Centering Prayer Retreats provide opportunities for practitioners of Centering Prayer to deepen their contemplative journey in the contemporary world. The retreats are normally a weeklong experience of integrating contemplation and action through silence, solitude and community. At COI we model ourselves on our experience of the retreats at Snowmass in Colorado.
Contemplative Outreach Ireland provide different types of Retreats:


Intensive Retreats (8 days) are recommended for people who have completed the Introductory Workshop and who have a regular practice of Centering prayer. Participating in up to 3 hours of Centering prayer a day and watching the recommended DVD’s (Part’s 1, 2 & 3 from Fr Thomas Keating’s Spiritual Journey series), participants are grounded even more into the method and practice of Centering Prayer.

12 Step Friendly Retreats are basically an Intensive retreat, open to anyone but especially mindful of those working the AA 12 step program using Centering Prayer as the 11th step or those using a 12 step approach to spirituality. In addition to the normal schedule 2 AA meetings are available during the retreat.


Advanced Retreats (8 days) are recommended for people who have completed an Intensive Retreat and want to deepen their knowledge and practice of Centering prayer further in an atmosphere of silence and community, through prayer and DVD input. Advanced Intensive Retreats usually feature part 4 & 5 of the “Spiritual Journey” series and have up to 3.5 hours of prayer daily.


Post Intensive Retreats (8 days) are an experience of “being alone in the desert with God”. They are for those who have previously made an Intensive or Advanced retreat. They are silent throughout, with no DVD input. There are opportunities for meeting with retreat staff, if desired. There is up to to 4.5 hours of Centering prayer daily.


Weekend Retreats run from Friday evening to mid afternoon Sunday and provide an extended time of Centering Prayer, input, silence, solitude and community for those who are not in a position to avail of the weeklong retreats. Taste the silence all day on Saturday except for discussion following the DVD in the morning and afternoon.


Weekend Introduction to Centering Prayer. Learn/refresh the basic principles of the practice of Centering Prayer and participate in up to 3 hours of Centering prayer over a weekend.


All of our Centering Prayer Retreats provide daily experiences of silence, solitude and spiritual companionship to foster an ever-deepening level of interior silence and awareness of the presence of God in everyday life. If you would like to know more about any of these retreats or if you would like to book a place please email or by phone +353 (87) 6017709.