Dom John Main - the founder of the modern Christian Meditation movement. John Main rediscovered the authentic practice of mantra-based christian meditation by studying the ancient works of John Cassian.
Visit - the World Community for Christian Meditation website.
‘Maranatha’ is an Aramaic word from the time of Jesus, meaning 'Come Lord'. It can be found in Revelation 22.20 (the penultimate verse in the New Testament) and has been used as a prayer word since earliest days of Christianity. When meditating, use it simply as a focus for your attention, without thinking about the meaning of it.
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Bere Island: The birth place of Laurence Freeman's mother and a place to which he has returned from time to time for periods of prayer and solitude. In his book “Jesus, the Teacher Within”, Laurence uses his rediscovery of the island as an allegory of the search for personal identity and the gradual separation of reality and illusion we all need to make in order to grow spiritually.
Books and CDs by Laurence Freeman: The London Centre has a wide range of books and CDs by Laurence Freeman and other experienced meditators. Telephone 020-7278-2070 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out whether they have the product you want in stock, its price in £ and the postage rate.
WCCM Bookshop: The London Centre has a wide range of books and CDs on all aspects of Christian Mediation from a wide range of authors, including John Main, Laurence Freeman, Richard Rohr, Bede Griffiths, Paul Harris, Margaret Rizza and many others. Telephone 020-7278-2070 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm) or email email@example.com to find out whether they have the product you want in stock, its price in £ and the postage rate.
Margaret Rizza: The London Centre has a wide range of music CDs by Margaret Rizza, an experienced meditator and meditation conference speaker. Telephone 020-7278-2070 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out whether they have the product you want in stock, its price in £ and the postage rate.
Scenes from Guildford: The historic town of Guildford is located between the rolling North Downs and the winding River Wey. It has an interesting past that hails back to Saxon times.
Hove: scenes from the sea front.
Laurence Freeman: a Benedictine monk and priest of the Congregation of Monte Oliveto, and director of WCCM. He is also the founder and director of the John Main Center for Meditation and Inter-religious Dialogue at Georgetown University, and author of many books and articles for the Tablet particularly, and a member of the Board of Medio Media.
Central London, viewed from Greenwich Observatory. Can there be space for quiet contemplation in a city like this? Well yes actually! Saint Marks Church in Islington, hosts the London Christian Meditation Centre. Cockfosters Retreat Centre also offers a range of meditation retreats throughout the year, and further meditation events take place at St Peter’s Centre for Meditation and Peace, at Vauxhall, and at Westminster Cathedral
Views, from Loweswater Village Hall. Usually, once a year in the summer, the Cumbrian Christian Meditation group meet here. The hall provides one of the most panoramic views in the Lake District looking up the valley that holds Crummock Water and Buttermere, to Great Gable, which is wreathed in cloud on this occasion.
The Newsletter is released quarterly and is the main source of information for many many members of the Community. In it you will find sections covering news of the Community's leaders, forthcoming retreats and events and a message from Father Laurence Freeman. Contact Saint Mark's Church if you want to receive it. There are details at the foot of this webpage.
North Staffordshire includes the City of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme and their surrounding areas. There are currently three groups in the area: May Bank (Newcastle), Longton (Stoke) and Stone.
Benedictines: John Main, the founder of the World Community for Christian Meditation, and Laurence Freeman, the Community's current leader; a sketch of the former Christian Meditation Retreat Centre at Cockfosters and one of the corridors at the monastery of Monte Oliveto.
The Open Gate: a retreat house run by the Community of Aidan and Hilda on Lindisfarne, Northumberland. Courses and retreats on many aspects of christian spirituality are provided each year.
Oxford: Britain's oldest university town.
Portsmouth Catholic Cathedral was built in 1882 and is situated close to the City centre and the home of the Royal Navy.
Waterfall, in the grounds of Rydal Hall, near Ambleside. Meetings organised by the Cumbrian Christian Meditation group often take place here. The mountains of the Lake District make an inspiring backdrop to the grounds of the hall and remind us that although the path of meditation can sometimes appear rather steep and craggy, there is a way to the summit.
Autumn Colours, in the grounds of Rydal Hall, near Ambleside. Meetings organised by the Cumbrian Christian Meditation group often take place here. The mountains of the Lake District make an inspiring backdrop to the grounds of the hall and remind us that although the path of meditation can sometimes appear rather steep and craggy, there is a way to the summit.
Shrewsbury: typical half timbered houses in the town and plate glass windows in the cathedral
Lindisfarne Slakes, in the fading light of a late February afternoon. The tranquility of the sea and sky on this day, might remind us of our quest for tranquility of mind and spirit during meditation.
Staffordshire Moorlands at the southwestern end of the Pennines, provides an opportunity for solitude. The Staffordshire Peak District is distinctly quieter than its more famous Derbyshire neighbour!
Scenes from Surrey famous for its gardens and picturesque villages, and also an area where WCCM UK is very active, with a good number of groups and local events
Painted Ceiling, in one of the corridors of the Vatican Museum, leading to the Sistine Chapel.
How to Meditate - an Introduction
The discipline is described below:
- Choose a quiet place and time where you will not be disturbed.
- Sit down.
- Sit still and upright, comfortable and alert, with your back straight.
- Close your eyes lightly.
- Breathe calmly and regularly.
- Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word.
- We recommend the prayer-phrase maranatha.
- Recite it as four syllables of equal length: ma-ra-na-tha.
- Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously.
- Do not think or imagine anything - spiritual or otherwise.
- If thoughts and images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation: keep returning to simply saying
- Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes.
- Meditation while the computer is whirring is not normally the best thing, but it may help to train you to ignore distractions. Clicking this link will open an online meditation timer in a new browser window. Have a go.
By studying the works of John Cassian, John Main came to realise that meditation was a common
practice amongst christians going right back to the times of the Desert Fathers. Moreover, the type of meditation
they engaged in was not dissimilar from some of that practiced by other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
It involved the silent repetition of a single word or phrase (the mantra).
In our tradition, the focus on the mantra continues throughout the period of meditation, even if a tranquil stage
Many groups and individuals start off with a prayer and piece of spiritual music that fades into silence. At the
end of the period of meditation the music fades back in, and often a further prayer is said to complete the practice.
Timed meditation CDs and tapes are available from the London Centre - contact details are at the foot of this
Some people choose to light a candle or place a cross in a prominant location during the meditation, as a mark
of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is completely optional, and in any case, no visual focus should be placed
on such an icon during meditation.
At the end of your meditation, you may be tempted to evaluate how well it went - Don't! Even after year's of
practice, established meditators will tell you that they too still suffer distractions. This is perfectly normal.
If you go to an event in which you meditate in the morning and then again later in the afternoon, it is highly
likely that the two experiences will be quite different. This is Okay!
- We are not looking to judge how good we are at meditation
- We are not searching for an experience of some kind
- We are not looking for results
- We are just trying to be faithful to the discipline
- Any results are likely to emerge over a long period of time
Meditation and Other Forms of Prayer
WCCM fully recognise that Christian meditation is far from the only way to pray! Practitioners will also engage
in many other forms of prayer: vocal, liturgical, intercessory, charismatic, ignation spiritual exercises, etc.
However, many stress that since they started the practice it has deepened other areas of their prayer life.
Is Meditation for You?
Meditation is simple, but it is not easy. Some people take to it quickly, while others find that the distractions
so great they feel they cannot make progress with it. Of the latter group some sadly give up, but those that
persist and overcome their barriers often gradually grow into the practice as it becomes increasingly meaningful
for them. There is no straightforward answer to the question - you will need to make the judgment yourself!