To deepen the practice of meditation, group leaders and members of a community offer days of further explorations. There is a rich program of workshops and courses offered locally and nationally to support and inspire our ongoing journey of meditation.
These events can take many different forms. The essential component as always is that there is ample space for meditation and an opportunity for deeper reflection on the chosen theme.
Here are some ideas of what is already being offered in the world-wide community which can be readily adapted:
Quiet Days or Desert Days
A silent day with input from a speaker or audio visual resource with meditation periods punctuated throughout the day. It is also an opportunity to introduce a silent walking meditation to groups.
Deepening Your Practice
A day geared to those relatively new to meditation with periods of meditation, a teaching from a speaker or audio visual resource with an opportunity for shared discussion.
These can be based on the themes inherent in the The Essential Teaching Program and can be expanded on in an interactive setting. The themes are The Essential Teaching, The History of the Tradition or The Stages of the Journey. These are a good way to follow up with those who have attended The Essential Teaching Weekend but can be equally useful for those thinking of doing so.
You can also have training workshops e.g. How to Lead a Group, Workshops for Group Leaders and workshops for specific outreach areas like Meditating with Children.
You can also combine some form of physical discipline like Yoga or Tai Chi with meditation.
Contemplative Reflection Days
These can have broad ranging themes. Some examples are Art, Poetry, Music, Dance, Ecology, Science, Psychology. You may invite a speaker who is an expert on the topic and look at a contemplative response to these themes that touch different aspects of our humanity.
Another very popular way of holding these days is to focus on the life and teaching of a mystic and thus learn more about the contemplative tradition. A speaker who is an expert on a particular mystic can be invited to lead the day.
These meditation retreats are excellent for those wanting to go deeper into the silence and stillness of meditation. These weekend retreats will combine regular periods of meditation, input from the retreat leader, an opportunity for a one-to-one interview/Spiritual Direction and also some short period for discussion. The amount of silence during the retreat will depend on who the retreat is aimed at.
There are many retreats being offered in the world-wide community led by Fr Laurence Freeman and other teachers. Please visit your national website or www.wccm.org for listings
Our new International Retreat Centre, Bonnevaux in France is a place of peace and tranquility. Visit the website: