World Community for Christian Meditation and John Main
This article is a compilation from John Main. (2009, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:48, May 16, 2009. and World Community for Christian Meditation. (2009, April 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:53, May 16, 2009.
Fr. John Main, OSB (1926–1982), was a Benedictine monk and priest who presented a way of Christian meditation which utilized the practice of a prayer-phrase or mantra. In 1975, Fr. Main began Christian meditation groups at his monastery in London, England and, later, in Montreal, Canada. These grew into an ecumenical network of Christian meditation groups called the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM).
Fr. Main’s teaching was simple: sit still and upright for a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 minutes, close your eyes and say your prayer-phrase (mantra). The prayer-phrase is a sacred word or phrase which is repeated continually. Recite your prayer-phrase and gently listen to it as you say it. Do not think about anything. As thoughts come, simply keep returning to your prayer-phrase.
In this way, one places everything aside: instead of talking to God, one is just being with God, allowing God’s presence to fill his heart, thus transforming his inner being.
The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) was founded in 1991 to foster the teachings of Benedictine monk and priest, Fr. John Main, O.S.B. Fr. Main taught a way of Christian meditation which he based on parallels he saw between the spiritual practice taught by Desert Father John Cassian and the meditative practice he had been taught by the Swami Satyanandain in Kuala Lumpur. The current director of the WCCM is Fr. Laurence Freeman, O.S.B., a student of John Main and a Benedictine monk of the Olivetan Congregation. The World Community has its International Centre and a retreat centre in London. There are a number of Centres in other parts of the world. The Community is thus a ‘monastery without walls’, a family of national communities and emerging communities in over a hundred countries. The foundation of this Community is the local meditation group, which meets weekly in homes, parishes, offices, hospitals, prisons, and colleges. The World Community works closely with many Christian churches.
Annually, it runs the John Main Seminar and The Way of Peace. It also sponsors retreats, schools for the training of teachers of meditation seminars, lectures, and other programs. It contributes to interfaith dialogue particularly, in recent years, with Buddhists and Muslims. A quarterly spiritual letter with news of the community is mailed and also available online. Weekly readings can be sent direct by email. Information on current programmes, connections to national coordinators and the location of meditation groups can be found on the Community website which also offers a range of online audio talks. This site is the hub of a growing family of Internet presence, the Web sites of national communities and special interests, such as the teaching of meditation to children and the contemporary spirituality of priests.
Medio Media is the communication and publishing arm of The World Community and offers a wide range of books, audio and videos to support the practice of meditation. The online bookstore is at Medio Media.