SoffioneThe School of Meditation is the supporting, teaching and nurturing public face of the WCCM. Set up and led for many years by Kim Nataraja, the School’s mission is to spread the seeds of the teaching of Christian meditation in the John Main tradition. The journey of learning to meditate has been seen to be in roughly six stages which move from joining a local meditation group to starting one of your own. The school web site describes these stages along with weekly teachings, an event calendar, web casts and much practical advice.
The School aims to offer at least two residential courses in the UK every year - the Essential Teaching Weekend and the 7-day School Retreat, both of which are very special and described below.

Essential Teaching Weekend (EtW).

This course is designed to be residential as it allows time to develop friendships and a sense of community away from our day to day lives. It looks at helping you to understand your own experience of meditation in the light of the greater tradition, and presentations on the “Essential Practice”, the “History of the Tradition” and the “Psychological Aspects of the Journey” are given by the weekend leader and other teachers in the community. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Saturday afternoon slot when an opportunity to consider how you would present Meditation to others is given. This is a group exercise and presentation with guidance and suggestions from the organisers and has been found to be very helpful in passing on the gift of Meditation.

The style of the weekend is relaxed and informative – there are no expectations (!) although many who attend say that they feel more connected and want to participate in the life and work of the community, or feel they now have the confidence to start a meditation group. I founded the Aylesbury meditation group after attending an EtW in 2005. It continues to this day.

The School of Meditation Retreat

This retreat is suitable for those who have been meditating in the John Main tradition for some time, and who have ideally attended the Essential Teaching Weekend.

It offers a time of profound stillness and silence where one can integrate the experience of both sides of the spiritual journey of meditation, that of solitude in fellowship. The week is spent in silence apart from a short daily meeting with a spiritual guide. The seven periods of meditation are interleaved with lectio divina, a daily talk from the retreat leader, contemplative walking and gentle exercise. We suggest that books are not brought to the retreat and all devices such as tablets and smart phones are given a week’s holiday too. The retreat locations are chosen with care to be in attractive locations where the prospect of gentle walking will appeal. Some may remember the Haikus printed in a recent newsletter – fruits of last year’s wonderful retreat.

The School Retreat this year is taking place on the 29th September to 5th October in Somerset at Abbey House, Glastonbury and the next EtW will be in Kent at The Emmaus Centre on the 21st to 23rd April.  (Details for both are on the What's On page - use the Category Search -> The School Events).

Do get in touch if you would like more details about any of the above. All School of Meditation events are advertised in the newsletter and here on the UK web site.

When could you come?

Please explore the School of Meditation website which explains the role and the activities of The School of Meditation in the Community and provides a wealth of resources.
Visit The School of Meditation Website (this link opens in another window)
Jacqueline Russell
School of Meditation Coordinator (UK)