The Essential Teaching helps you understand your own experience of Christian meditation in the light of a greater tradition as well as through others with whom you share the journey.
The Essential Teaching Weekend is an important way in which we help each other on the journey. It is a residential weekend. Presentations by teachers in the community illustrate the place of meditation in the contemplative tradition, the essential aspects of our practice and the psychological aspects of the journey.
Participants share ways to introduce Christian Meditation to individuals or groups. They are also introduced to the resource book Sharing the Gift which contains valuable resources compiled from many people’s experience of introducing meditation in the Christian tradition. The resources in this book could be used for deepening individual knowledge, nurturing a group, or as inspiration for giving a talk or organizing a meditation event. Each participant receives a copy.
The style of the weekend is relaxed, informative and participative. It allows for time to develop friendships and a sense of community. There are no expectations but many people who do this weekend find they feel more connected and want to participate in the life and work of the Community.
How to lead an Essential Teaching Weekend
Buy The Book
This book is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to planning, preparing, and facilitating an Essential Teaching Weekend. Please purchase the book before attempting to host your own Essential Teaching Program.
Below you will find digital downloadable versions of all resources and appendices listed in the book, Essential Teaching Weekend.
The Timetable should be included in the Liturgy Booklet that each participant will receive. Additional copies of the Timetable will be needed for placing at various locations at the venue as may be helpful.
Ideally, the Budget should cover all the costs and even provide a small profit for the community.
Prepare a Notice to be given to all group leaders to share with their groups. Suggest that group leaders discuss the Notice individually with members of their group who they think are ready to participate in an ETW.
1.4 Invitation Letter
The Invitation Letter should be adapted depending on whether it is planned to follow Alternative 1 or Alternative 2 for the Workshop on Practice Talks on Saturday afternoon.
1.5 Enrolment Form
After the Enrolment Forms are returned, a Participants List should be prepared. The list should include the contact details, dietary requirements and other relevant information for each participant.
1.6 Final Letter
Final letter to be sent to participants.
1.7 Reflection Sheet
A copy of the Reflection Sheet is needed for each participant.
1.8 Evaluation Sheet
2. Liturgy Booklet
Prepare and print the Liturgy Booklet for each participant. In addition, a copy of the Gospel of the Sunday will be needed for each participant. If the Gospel reading is long, choose a short passage from it. Each participant will need also a copy of the Notes on Lectio Divina.
3. Lectio Divina
Lectio Divina is reading with the eye of your heart and listening with the ear of your heart. Prepare for lectio in a similar way to how you prepare for your practice of meditation.
4.1 Tradition Timeline
The Timeline is made of several A4 sheets of paper taped together to form one long sheet. The years 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750, 1900, 2000 and the current year are written along the sheet to form the Timeline.
4.2 Timeline Cards
Each card has a quote from a significant mystic or contemplative teacher from the time of Jesus over the centuries to the present day. It is best if the cards are printed on thick colored paper or cardboard.