We meet every Monday lunchtime from 12.30 pm to start promptly at 12.45 pm. We say the opening and closing prayers shown here, have 25 minutes of silent prayer, a reading and then discussion if the mood takes us. We recommend a twice daily discipline of of meditation for 20 minutes or so and we know how hard this is to do on your own without a group to support, so please come and join us!
Everyone is welcome - but please contact us beforehand so we know to expect you. There are other meditation groups in Cambridge - one meets at St James's church Wulfstan Way, and St Edward the Confessor church has a meditative service on Friday, early evenings. Please contact these churches if you would like to attend.
Meditation is a universal spiritual wisdom and a practice that we find at the core of all the great religious traditions, leading from the mind to the heart. It is a way of simplicity, silence and stillness. It can be practised by anyone from wherever you are on your life's journey. It is only necessary to be clear about the practice and then to begin - and keep on beginning.
In Christianity this tradition became marginalised and even forgotten or suspect. But in recent times a great recovery of the contemplative dimension of Christian faith has been happening. Central to this now is the rediscovery of a practice of meditation in the Christian tradition that comes to us from the early Christian monks - the Desert Fathers and Mothers - and allows us to put into practice the teaching of Jesus on prayer in a radical and simple way.
Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word - a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word "Maranatha". Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and above all - simply. The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and from day to day. Don't visualise but listen to the word as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don't fight your distractions but let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it immediately that you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention is wandering.
We have a book discussion club where we meet every few weeks or so, to share our thoughts on books that we have been reading together as a group. Books that we have discussed recently include: Becoming Who You Are by James Martin, SJ; Unapologetic - why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense by Francis Spufford; Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird; The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila; the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, T. S. Eliot and R.S. Thomas. Additionally we meet socially for lunch or tea. From time to time we organise retreat days and visits; we have meditated together in Julian of Norwich's cell and met with the late Robert Llewellyn there. We have had a walking meditation in the Cambridge Botanic Garden, and we have attended lecture and prayer events lead by Richard Rohr, Martin Laird, Cynthia Bourgeault and others. We attend organised retreats at the Diocesan Retreat Centre in Ely and at Turvey Abbey. Our next planned visit is to the Orthodox monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex to attend a Jesus Prayer service there.