Meditation Creates Community
John Main OSB
WCCM is a global contemplative family of meditators in the Christian tradition committed to serving the unity of all
WCCM in the UK is the local community of meditators based in England, Scotland and Wales
AboutWCCM in the UK
WCCM in the UK is the national community of the World Community for Christian Meditation for meditators in England, Scotland and Wales, and is part of a global spiritual community united in the practice of meditation in the Christian tradition.
We share the fruits of this practice widely and inclusively, serving the unity of all and building understanding between faiths and cultures. Members of WCCM span more than a hundred countries. Our international centre is the Bonnevaux Centre for Peace – near Poitiers in France, an ancient monastic site now dedicated to global peace and dialogue around the daily practice of meditation.
What is Christian Meditation?
The method involves the repetition of a single word faithfully and lovingly during the time of meditation. This is a very ancient Christian way of prayer that was recovered for modern Christians by the Benedictine monk John Main (1926 -1982). He recovered this way of bringing the mind to rest in the heart through his study of the teachings of the first Christian monks, the Desert Fathers, and of John Cassian (4th century AD). It is in the same tradition as The Cloud of Unknowing, written in England in the 14th century. John Main’s legacy inspired the formation of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), and his work is being carried on by Father Laurence Freeman, also a Benedictine monk. The WCCM continues John Main’s vision of restoring the contemplative dimension to the common life of Christians and engaging in the common ground shared with the secular world and other religions.
How to Meditate
The basic teaching on how to meditate passed on by John Main is:
- Sit down. Sit Still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert.
- Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer-phrase Maranatha. Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously.
- Do not think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts or images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning to simply saying your word.
- Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes.
More resources on how to meditate can be found on the WCCM international website.
The WCCM Community
The Community has its International Centre at the ancient Abbaye de Bonnevaux, Marçay near Poitiers, France, but is a ‘monastery without walls’, a family of national and emerging communities in over a hundred countries, each with local Christian meditation groups, supporting meditators on a weekly or monthly basis, in homes, parishes, offices, hospitals, prisons, schools and colleges – pretty well everywhere that people live and seek. The World Community is ecumenical and promotes unity through its dialogue with both Christian churches and other faiths.
To communicate and nurture meditation as passed on through the teaching of John Main in the Christian Tradition in the spirit of serving the unity of all.
WCCM Mission Statement
Individual meditators and groups can offer a range of support for those enquiring about Christian meditation. For local groups, see Search UK Christian Meditation Groups or contact your local group leader or regional coordinator.
This website provides information about the WCCM in the UK community. For information about the work of the communities in other parts of the world, see www.wccm.org.
Join a Local Group
Many meditators meet in small daily, weekly or monthly groups, and the network of these groups provides wider support and encouragement for those who wish to sustain their daily practice of morning and evening meditation. Groups meet in homes, parishes, schools, prisons, businesses, religious communities and government departments.
As you can see there are groups meeting across the country, from the Outer Hebrides to the tip of Cornwall. We have a group search tool that will help you find a group near you. If there isn’t a group near you do try online meditation with one of our web based ‘virtual’ groups that meet throughout the week.
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Support our community
Reaching out to others means that we need to raise funds. We think the values we share are so important and enriching that people are willing to make their resources available to help us communicate them to others. Fund raising is only a by-product of the deeper energy of love, planted and nurtured in the lives of the people with whom we are in communion.