Lean In, Lighten Up, & Let Go: Committing to the Contemplative Life, September 5 – October 2, with Mary Dwyer


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This is an interactive virtual retreat to encourage Centering Prayer practitioners in a life of prayer and practice, both “on the chair” and in daily life.  This course will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God, and strengthen your ability to live the contemplative life through dedication to prayer and practice, all within the normal routines of everyday life.

Mary DwyerLed by Mary Dwyer, a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and student of Fr. Thomas Keating, this retreat is a four week practicum based on a series of four questions, inspired by the teachings of Fr. Basil Pennington.

  1. What do I really want out of life?
  2. What do I need in order to manifest what I most want in my life?
  3. What are the obstacles in my life to my intention … to having the life I want?
  4. What is my life commitment statement, my new life intention?

These questions will provide the focus for discernment and dialogue throughout the course, to help you discern for yourself a “rule of life,” a way to lean in and make a new commitment to live out the truth of God’s presence and action in your life – now!  To this end, the course will explore and apply Fr. Thomas Keating’s conceptual frameworks of:

  • the human condition;
  • the Indwelling Presence;
  • divine union as our birthright … the restructuring of consciousness that perceives a new dimension to all reality.

The virtual retreat is multi-dimensional and interactive.  Each week, you can expect:

  • one email with the basic teachings and some suggested readings and reflections
  • one short video (5-8 minutes) of Mary highlighting the week’s teachings
  • one live, one-hour teleconference with Mary for further clarification, questions and dialogue
    (Tuesday evenings, September 10, 17, 24, and Oct 1; all 8-9 p.m. ET)
  • access to Mary via email anytime during the course period
  • the ability to review the materials, including recordings of the teleconferences if you are not able to make the live calls.

$49.95.  Partial scholarships are available upon request.

If you have any questions, please email Pamela Begeman.

Technical requirements to participate in the course:

  • Internet and email access
  • Phone access or Skype call credits to participate in the live calls

Mary Dwyer

Mary Dwyer is a long-time student of Fr. Thomas Keating and has been practicing Centering Prayer for over twenty years.  In the early 1990’s, she lived at Chrysalis House, a contemplative live-in community experiment blessed by Fr. Thomas.  Her housemates included Mary Mrozowski, David Frenette and Cathy McCarthy.  The community lived according to a rule of life, and became an incubator of practice and programs in the early years of Contemplative Outreach’s growth.  It was her experience at Chyrsalis House – what she refers to as her “inpatient” or “residential treatment time” – that proved to her that a life of prayer, consent and practice is real, stable and deeply rewarding.  Mary Mrozowski taught her that a devoted life of prayer was the real work of life; what we did the rest of the time was just how we made a living.

Mary received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in economics and spent some time as a banker and college administrator.  After a few years at Chrysalis House, she went back to school and became a licensed clinical social worker and practiced this vocation for the next 15 years, all while maintaining her commitment to the contemplative life and to the mission of Contemplative Outreach. In 2008 she met her beloved Juan through the Living Flame program.  She moved to Miami, FL in 2009 and they married.

Mary is a former Chairperson of the Contemplative Outreach Faculty.  She currently is coordinator for the Living Flame program and a member of the Welcoming Prayer Service Team.   Mary now devotes her time to giving retreats and workshops on behalf of Contemplative Outreach throughout the US and internationally.

Mary is passionate about nature, animals, children, honesty, recovery, and present-moment awareness,   She is devoted to her beloved Juancito, family & friends, Contemplative Outreach and sharing the good news and incredible teachings she has been given.