David is a seeker, a monk in the world, a lover of the living Christ, a devotee of the contemplative dimension of life, an appreciator of all meditation traditions, a wounded healer, an adult spiritual son to a revered saint, a recovering co-dependent (with God), a consort to his wife and her creative spiritual humor, a learner more than a master, an integralist who holds the map lightly, a struggler with a rare health condition, a grieving environmentalist, a late embracer of social action, an amazed witness to the radiant dance of life, its interdependence, endless suffering, and the divine journey into ordinary human personhood.
David Frenette, author of The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God (Sounds True 2012), is a contemplative spiritual director, mentor for other spiritual directors, and spiritual writer. He co-created and co-led a contemplative retreat community where he lived as a monk for 10 years. He has an MA in transpersonal counseling psychology, has been a trustee of Contemplative Outreach (the international Centering Prayer organization), an adjunct faculty member at Naropa University, a founding member of Integral Spirituality, and a teacher at leading retreat centers across the country.
Father Thomas Keating
From 1983 until his death in 2018, David’s spiritual father was the Trappist monk and founder of Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating. In his preface to David’s book, Fr. Keating wrote, “David is a careful student of the Christian mystical life, having pursued it through years of prayer and solitude and, even more importantly, by having his prayer life purified, enriched, and expressed in community and in the service of others…His lived experience of being a contemplative in ordinary daily life will be invaluable to those who aspire to do the same thing. He is an excellent advisor in practical affairs upon whose judgment I am happy to rely. He is one of God’s greatest gifts to the work of centering prayer and to me.”
David’s Work Today
David works within the professional guidelines and ethics of spiritual direction. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and meets monthly with his own spiritual director in Portland. He is in a local peer support group of contemplative directors and – with his wife – is part of an informal interspiritual community of friends.
Because he feels that corporate materialism, climate change and species extinction are symptoms of the separation that engaged meditation heals, David offers his prayer and action for what Pope Francis calls “our common home.”
Because of physical health limitations and the need to focus his energy, David is currently unable to travel to conduct retreats, appear at conferences or serve as a consultant on others’ projects. Check back with this website for new and developing writings, online resources and classes that provide contemplative support in the post-monastic Internet era.