By Jack Murta
I have worked for about 6 years with a group of men who are homeless at an organization called The Ottawa Mission. I am presently on the board and have served as President of the board and recently filled in as Chaplin for 5 months. The organization serves approx. 1300 meals a day, every day of the year and sleeps about 300 per night.
I normally meditate with 10 men that are in a program called the “LifeHouse”. This is a recovery program that lasts from 1-3 months. These are individuals that have gone through the various addictions recovery programs and are slowly getting ready to enter back into society.
We do not do strictly a Christian meditation session but a cross between Christian meditation and mindfulness and we do it for between 12-15 minutes per week. Most of the men meditate to their higher power—”whoever that may be”. Those that do not profess to have any faith meditate to their breathing. I believe that part of the benefit is the lively discussion on meditation we have before and after each session.
I must say that the majority of the men I meet have an extraordinary faith.
The men all seem to be very receptive to meditation. I have spoken with those I meet much later and they tell me that they still meditate a few times a week.
In August 2017 a group of 20 young Christian contemplatives from different forms of life – practitioners, teachers, scholars – spent four days in prayer, discussion and celebration at Snowmass Monastery, Colorado. They came from four leading contemplative networks working today to strengthen the contemplative dimension at the centre of Christian life: Contemplative Outreach, The World Community for Christian Meditation, the Centre for Action and Contemplation and the Shalem Institute. The ‘founders’ of these networks were also present. They had invited a new generation of contemplative leaders to meet and discover something new. Thomas Keating, Laurence Freeman, Richard Rohr and Tilden Edwards also met together daily while their younger colleagues were expanding the common vision.
In this video, you can watch comments from the ‘founders’ followed by a sharing by leaders from the four groups present at the gathering.
The one-day seminar led by Laurence Freeman at The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) was highlighted at The Irish Times paper. Read the full article here.