About Us




Weave a silence on my lips,

Weave a silence into my mind,

Weave a silence within my heart.

Close my eyes to distractions,

Close my eyes to attentions,

Close my eyes to temptations.

Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm,

Still me, Lord, keep me from harm.

Let all the tumult within me cease.

Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.

‒ Celtic Tradition





For the contemplative Christian prayer is not, essentially, speaking to God, or thinking about God. It is about entering into a silent conversation with God through the mind of Christ. It is not about opposing our will to God’s or negotiating a settlement over our differences of opinion about what is good for us. It is about an active, whole-hearted surrender to the will of God who knows our needs with an intimate and unique love because he is part of our humanity, sharing with all our woundedness and complexity.

‒ Lawrence Freeman





A glimpse of Reality...

“The upright rejoice in the presence of God, delighted and crying out for joy. Sing to God, play music to his name . . . ”

‒ Ps. 68:3-4

Music, I am sure, is one of God’s greatest gift to mankind. I cannot imagine life without it. That is why, while enjoying the replay of Andrea Bocelli’c concert on TV last night, my heart brimmed over with gratitude not only for this loving gift, but most of all for allowing me to be touched by it in the deepest core of my being. After being bombarded by media with the tedious and inane spectacle in congress that mercifully ended some hours before, it was a soothing balm to my wounded spirit. The gratitude I felt in my heart extended to everyone who worked hard for this effort, allowing even the poorer sector of society to be part of it.

Thank you Lord for bringing forth the best in our people lifting us up from the doldrums of our daily existence.



To find our life, we must lose it. That’s the paradox that Jesus puts before us. To have life, to be alive, fully alive, we must learn to die, to die into life, like diving into the waves. We learn to die by unhooking ourselves from the compulsive, egotistically driven compulsion to be doing something, to be in control, to be producing, and so on.

‒ Lawrence Freeman


History of Contemplative Outreach Philippines

Contemplative Outreach Philippines (COP) took root at the Parish of Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati in 1985 as a ministry that taught the method of Centering Prayer, and offered practices that brought its fruit into daily life.  However, it was only in 1990 that it became a chapter of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (CO Ltd.) of New York, an organization put up by Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., solely to teach Centering Prayer. 

Many workshops were given during the years that followed.  At this stage, Grace Padilla and Lita Salinas, prime movers of Centering Prayer practice in the country, were invited to be part of the National Faculty of CO Ltd.  They were the first Asians to be given such an assignment.  It was both a function and a privilege.  The function was to teach Centering Prayer and the privilege was to be invited to attend Faculty meetings once a year, Coordinators’ Conferences, Formation Programs and Retreats, all aimed at enriching the ministry in all aspects.  Since all these activities are both for information and formation, the experiences derived from these were unquantifiable.  Both Grace and Lita benefited from these tremendously.  The programs, the inputs that these two learned were brought home and applied to COP and an ongoing Formation Program was devised for everyone who by this time had come together regularly as a Support Group in this new found way of relating to God.

Another factor contributing to the further spread of Centering Prayer practice were the visits of Fr. Basil Pennington (first in 1987 and almost yearly thereafter), Fr. Thomas Keating (in 1989, 1990 and many more times later on), and Fr. William Meninger in 1998.  These three Cistercian monks were responsible for reintroducing the ancient practice of contemplative prayer in a contemporary setting as Centering Prayer”.

Fr. Carl Arico, then Vice-President of CO Ltd., came in 1992, and Ms. Bonnie Shimizu, Chairperson, Resource Faculty Service Team, came in 2005 to give a “Formation for Presenters Workshop” to a group of committed members.  Since then, hundreds of workshops, retreats and formation programs have been given benefiting more than a few thousands, COP members and others, including the clergy and religious communities, desiring to know more about Centering Prayer and its application in daily life. 

As an organization, COP is served by a Servant Leader Team (SLT) made up of 10 members, 9 of whom are elected by its voting members.  The 10th member is the mentor/spiritual adviser commissioned by Fr. Thomas Keating.  Together they make up the Circle of Service (COS) whose function is to see to it that the vision of Contemplative Outreach (CO) is fostered, and its mission of spreading the prayer and supporting the members in their spiritual journey is facilitated.

The Story of Contemplative Outreach Philippines

Following the lead of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (COL), the servant leaders of COP are following a slightly different organizational model starting this year. The approach, one that had Fr. Keating’s endorsement, is less hierarchical, and more participative. No one member of the Coordinating Circle of Service (CCOS) is higher than the other. All are equal, all are heard, and all carry the same weight in the organization’s planning and decision-making process.

The different committees work together as clusters, depending on their respective functions. Thus Publicity, Socials, and Secretariat form one cluster. Retreats and Workshops form another cluster with Legacy of TK, and CPG Heads unit.

At the center of the whole Circle is the Holy Spirit who guides the CCOS in their service ministry.

Attention is love. What we’re doing in meditation, and I’m not using this in any sense pious language or sentimental language, but we are loving. It may not feel like it emotionally at the time, but we are loving, and the effects of this work of attention in the meditation periods will be translated into our lives in the form of love. You basically become more loving people, capable of receiving love. Love is a two way street – giving and receiving.

Laurence Freeman


The following 2 articles by Fr. Thomas Keating explain Centering Prayer vis a vis some misconceptions about it, deepening our understanding and appreciation of it as a prayer that is Christocentric, Scripture-based and rising out of the Christian contemplative tradition of the Desert Fathers.

Centering Prayer Method by Thomas Keating

Clarification Regarding Centering Prayer


Pastoral Statement

An Endorsement from the Archbishop of Manila

On Feb. 16, 1997, his Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, issued a Pastoral Statement on Centering Prayer.  Based on an exhaustive study commissioned by the Cardinal himself, the Statement clarified Centering Prayer’s true definition, purpose, and benefits, and how spiritual guidance can help enhance the practice.

Cardinal Sin concluded the assessment with the pronouncement that Centering Prayer “merits the approval of the Catholic Christian faith community . . . because it has brought renewal and deepening of Christian Prayer and life among increasing numbers of individuals and communities, and has brought back many seekers for God and for spiritual life back to the Church.”

The Cardinal has disseminated the Pastoral Statement on Centering Prayer to all parishes, religious houses, and seminaries in the Archdiocese of Manila.  He personally released it to then COP Director, Lita Salinas (now COP mentor/spiritual adviser), thus recognizing the Outreach as the official organization authorized to teach Centering Prayer and its formation programs through its bona fide commissioned presenters.

February 16, 1997

Spiritual Advisers

Most Rev. Raul Q. Martirez, D.D.   Fr. Ferdinand “Soy” Hernando, MB 

Fr. Orly Sapuay, M.S.

The Members of CCOS

Circle of Service

1. Retreats and Workshops – Charit Montalban    Betty Florendo (Alternate)
2. Thomas Keating Legacy – Billie Trinidad Carmel Dael (Alternate)
3. Publicity – Conchitina Bernardo
4. Finance – Terly Chikiamco    Doris See (Alternate)
5. Socials – Chita Castillo    Chickie Ferraren (Alternate)
6. CPG Heads – Dedette Gamboa
7. Convenor – Gilda Reyes
8. Secretariat – Tess Colayco
9. Technical Support – Len Hizon    Cris Rosenthal (Alternate)


Contemplative Outreach Ltd.   www.contemplativeoutreach.org