In the Apprising Ministries article Origin of Contemplative/Centering Prayer I point you to Emergent Church anti-theologian Tony Jones who introduces you to John Cassian, who is the father of the man-centered compromise which has come to be known as semi-pelagianism:

Like the Jesus Prayer, Centering Prayer grew out of the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers. John Cassian (c.360-c.430) came from the West and made a pilgrimage to the desert to learn the ways of contemplative prayer … Cassian was deeply influenced by his time in the desert, and he wrote his book The Conferences about his conversations with the Desert Fathers to acquaint Western Christians with their teachings.

With this in mind concerning John Cassian we read in a piece over at the excellent website

John Cassian was a contemporary of St. Augustine in Gaul (modern France). A Semi-Pelagian monk and founder of many monasteries, he wrote The Institutes and Conferences and slightly modified Pelagius’s teachings. “The Semi-Pelagian doctrine taught by John Cassian (d. 440) admits that divine grace (assistance) is necessary to enable a sinner to return unto God and live, yet holds that, from the nature of the human will, man may first spontaneously, of himself, desire and attempt to choose and obey God. They deny the necessity of prevenient but admit the necessity of cooperative grace and conceive regeneration as the product of this cooperative grace”… ( Online source)