There is nothing simpler than meditation. There are no difficult theories to master or techniques to excel in. We need only simple fidelity: and fidelity to the simplicity.
But as anyone who has tried it knows, simple isn t easy. We need all the support and inspiration we can get to persevere in what is a simple but demanding discipline. But what a wonderful demand it makes and what great rewards!
This is why the meditation group meditation is so valuable - to help us meet the challenge and then share the fruits of the practice. The weekly meditation group is a spiritual phenomenon of our time and a source of great hope as we face the many crises we are struggling with, financial, social, religious, political and environmental. The fact that small groups of people in more than a hundred countries meet weekly simply to meditate together and support their personal daily practice may not grab the media headlines. But it is a meaningful sign concerning the kind of society we might be moving towards. For many, the meditation group is a point of hope in an often desolate landscape today.
Meditation groups meet in all sorts of places - homes, churches, prisons, schools and universities, hospitals and places of work - in order to share the simple silence and stillness that connects us all to the common source of our life. A meditation group helps to bring its members and those whose lives they are involved in - closer to the peace we need to flourish as human beings. After meditating together the members of the group return to life charged with the energy of faith that flows from this experience of being in the presence of the One who promised to be with those who are open to him. Where two are three are gathered in my name I am with them.
In one sense, of course, the meditation group is nothing new. People have been coming together to pray and worship since the beginning of history. But in another sense it is radically new because of the deep interiority that unites the group. Meditation has become accepted in the mainstream of public consciousness and more people than ever before in history are curious and eager to learn about it.
As John Main said, meditation creates community. The meditation group is a contemporary expression of this mystical insight that resonates at the heart of Christian life. For the Christian meditator it is possible to say that it is a communityof love. For many people today, however, the meditation group also answers one of the great spiritual appetites that our age has produced, the need to share deeply and authentically with others. It is not so surprising then that The World Community for Christian Meditation has become, in the last two decades since it was named and formed, a global spiritual family that springs out of this unifying experience of meditation together. Since then it has generated a high degree of wisdom among its members about how to share the gift of meditation with others.