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Contemplative life begins when we take the first step into the silence of our heart. It’s a pilgrimage—a journey that takes us first to the inner reaches of who we really are, and from there, into the life we were meant to live.

As any spiritual pilgrim knows, the journey is one of mystery and discovery. It’s a different path for every person with one experience common to all: every person who embarks on the journey will be changed by it.

Julie Saad studied with Thomas Keating and over the years became a teacher of Centering Prayer and other practices that lead toward a contemplative life. The teachings of Thomas Keating are at the heart of this book. She has added to his wisdom by telling stories of her own experiences of learning to live a contemplative life.

This book is a guide to a formation program called the Contemplative Living Experience (CLE). The CLE program’s foundation is based on the Christian contemplative practice of Centering Prayer, along with other contemplative practices. It first teaches us how to grow in the life of the Spirit, and then how to integrate our spiritual experiences into daily life, thus cultivating a contemplative life.