This second Meditatio letter brings more news of the development of Outreach in the UK and some exciting Climate Crisis International Information that I hope you will be interested to hear about.
Early next summer may seem a long way off, but do make a date in your diaries that Sarah Bachelard, who is the WCCM International Coordinator for the Development of Contemplative Church, is coming from her home in Canberra Australia, at the end of the first week in June 2024 to spend two weeks with us here in the UK. This is a wonderful opportunity for our community. There will be a residential weekend at the Minsteracres Retreat Centre in County Durham running from the 7th -9th of June. This will be followed by a week of visits to some of the regions to explore and support the growth of Contemplative Church. Sarah’s visit then concludes with a full day on June 15th at the Meditatio Centre in London. Some of you will have heard Sarah speaking or leading retreats, and you will know how insightful and inspirational she is. More information about her visit, or ‘Gathering’ as it is being described, will be in the next Newsletter. This is just for your information to keep the dates clear!
Terry Doyle has been busy expanding his work with the homeless and asylum seekers. He is encouraged by the interest and impact of sharing meditation with people ‘on the margins’. He wanted me to bring your attention to a new video that he has posted on Youtube about a initiative with North East Opera. This can be accessed on the WCCM Outreach Page under Social Justice. If you scroll down you will find it just under the recording at Ampleforth of a retreat that Terry led. If you haven’t watched it yet you have something very special to discover and enjoy. It is called The Joy of Encounter. Just beneath it is Terry’s recent recording: North East Opera: She’s Like the Wind. ( //youtu.be/Asv9nQT-31g )
The work of introducing Meditation to Children is continuing with Pat Hays and her team of volunteers. Today we can see how children are being strongly affected by the stresses of modern life and we know that meditation would help them. Recently at a conference in the USA Noel Keating described precisely how he introduced meditation into schools in Ireland. We are using a very similar approach in the UK. If you are interested and would like to see Noel’s presentation please contact Pat Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be more news next time of exactly how people will be able to support the new way of working with primary age children, which does not require being familiar and confident about going into schools, but willing to experience the great blessing of being able to spend time with young people, joining them and their teachers doing something that they love.
The international events that I wanted to mention are the Earth Crisis Forums that are coming up. On October 12th the next one will be from Canada and will be led by Jason Browne. He will be talking about Ecological Grief. In December there is a Forum to be hosted this time by New Zealand, led by Kathy Egan, a meditator and Counsellor working on resilience. This Forum will be sharing the impact of the devastating floods and storms that New Zealand has endured recently. We are hoping that in February Meditatio will be able to bring you a special Forum from Fiji. The emphasis with all the Forums is on the role of meditation in coping with these events, and bringing a contemplative mind to the changes and adjustments in our relationship with nature that are so vital. Details of the Forums are again to be found on the Outreach page of the WCCM website. Just click on Earth Crisis: Climate and Ecology’. All the previous Forums are available there, as is the link to the active and lively Blog which has come about because of the amount of interest generated by these international Climate Crisis moments of deep sharing.
The Outreach link is: www.wccm.org/outreach