The contemplative path winds on

Benedictine Fr. John Main (World Community for Christian Meditiation)

Recently, I met with a diverse group of people in my apartment in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. There were government office workers, a marathon runner, several retirees, a bird watcher, and a singer/actor. Was this a meeting of some new investment group? The cast of an Agatha Christie mystery plot? As improbable as it may seem, we were one of 42 groups in the Ottawa area, linked to 2,400 Christian meditation groups in 100 countries of the world meeting on a weekly basis to meditate together.

These groups are at the heart of a global, expanding interest in the silence and stillness of Christian meditation. They share the teaching of contemplative prayer and meditation along with others, including Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr and his Center for Action and Contemplation, and various religious communities, as well as the Orthodox tradition with its practice of the Jesus prayer.

There are now 500 weekly Christian meditation groups in the U.S. and Canada. Recent developments in the U.S. include an introduction to meditation seminar for Google employees in California, and the John Main Center for meditation and interreligious dialogue at Georgetown University, with the center located in the middle of campus.

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A version of this story appeared in the Dec 4-17, 2015 print issue under the headline: "The contemplative path winds on" .

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