Scenic Road in Oregon

About Us

Contemplative Outreach of Portland (COOP) serves the contemplative community in Portland and the Portland Metro area. COOP serves as the main support to the State of Oregon and SW Washington.  We are a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., an international spiritual network.  Our mission is to teach the method of Centering Prayer and to support those whose Spiritual Journey includes a practice of this prayer. Our all-volunteer chapter is grounded in Contemplative Service.

Origin of Centering Prayer and Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.

thomas keatingIn the early 1970s, Trappist monk and priest Thomas Keating and two other Trappists, Fr. William Meninger and Fr. Basil Pennington, worked to bring people living outside monasteries a form of silent prayer now known as Centering Prayer. With roots in the fourteenth-century book, The Cloud of Unknowing, this kind of prayer allows people to sit silently and become receptive to God’s gift of contemplation.

In 1984, interested in making Centering Prayer available to more people, Fr. Thomas founded Contemplative Outreach. Today, the Contemplative Outreach network has hundreds of chapters and reaches people worldwide through numerous books and videos of Fr. Thomas™ teaching on Centering Prayer and its conceptual background.

Take some time to browse our Web site for more about what we do and upcoming events. If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone, please contact us at

The fundamental purpose of prayer, including the prayer of petition, is not to get something from God, or to change God, but to change ourselves. We pray in order to give ourselves to God.

father keatingFr. Thomas Keating
The Heart of the World
Contemplative Outreach News
Winter 1997