"We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us".

p.55 Big Book

Home » “Great Reality Deep Within” 12 Step Centering Prayer Virtual Retreat

“Great Reality Deep Within” 12 Step Centering Prayer Virtual Retreat

Presented by 12 Step

Outreach Service Team




 August 14, 15, & 16, 2020

(see retreat agenda for local times)

Retreat Speakers Lindsay Boyer, Fr. Bill Sheehan, and Mary Dwyer

 Lindsay Boyer is the author of Centering Prayer for Everyone, a welcoming and inclusive guide to contemplative practice. She is a spiritual director specializing in working with those who are uncomfortable with institutional religion; an adjunct professor at General Theological Seminary in New York City, where she teaches on digital spiritual practice; and a leader of retreats and workshops on contemplative prayer. In her commitment to finding inclusive ways to teach and understand centering prayer, she is deeply drawn to the openness and diversity of the 12 Step tradition. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and can be reached at her website Spirituality for Questioning Minds.

 Fr. Bill Sheehan: Since 1983, Fr. Sheehan has been involved with Contemplative Outreach founded by Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.  During that time, he has led many Centering Prayer workshops and retreats in different parts of the country. In the last several years, he has participated in 11th Step Retreats, bringing to this retreat experience the practice of Centering Prayer as well as the Welcoming Prayer practice.

 Mary Dwyer is a long-time student of Fr. Thomas Keating who has been practicing Centering Prayer since the 1980s. In the early 1990s, she lived at Chrysalis House, a contemplative live-in community experiment blessed by Fr. Thomas. During this time Mary embraced a twelve step program and lifestyle.  In the intervening almost thirty years, Mary has gone through multiple 12 Step programs and considers AA the “mothership” of all. The gift of the 12 Steps and the Contemplative practices has provided a trellis to support and sustain a life that is (usually) happy, joyous, and free.  This combination is by far her favorite topic!

No Charge for retreat: 12-step Outreach, a service team of Contemplative Outreach LTD International, is offering the retreat FREE. However, in the spirit of the 7th Tradition, we gratefully accept all donations which support OUR VISION to pass on the gift of Centering Prayer as an 11th step practice and related spiritual practices to those in recovery. If you’d like to make a donation to help cover the retreat cost you can donate on our homepage.

Must register by August 7.  

The retreat objectives are to deepen our relationship with the Ultimate Reality, our inner selves, and our community. We are in a time of profound change in our world and this is an opportunity to look within and use these changes and emotions as instructional guides. We invite you to join us in silence, teaching, and interaction.

This retreat is for those in 12-Step recovery with a desire learn a method of meditation and companion practices, as well as for experienced meditators who wish to deepen their established practices. 

“Meditation is always something that can be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction or example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure…But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God…One of its first fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him.”  Twelve and Twelve pp101-102

How will the virtual retreat work? 

The flexible schedule is designed to integrate prayer with your daily life, in your home, and in your circumstances as they are.  This retreat will provide both teaching and space for silent prayer.  

Join via Zoom at scheduled times or practice on your own as your life permits.

  • Centering Prayer Sessions 
  • Teaching Sessions      
  • Open 12 Step Meetings 
  • Panel Discussions

We hope you will choose as much or as little of it as fits in your life, on any given day. Let the rest go. Be met, exactly where you are, trusting that Higher Power’s love surrounds all of it, all of us, exactly as we are.