Father Freeman, a Benedictine monk of the Olivetan Congregation, told participants: "Happiness is what we are created for. God created us to know and serve him and to be happy." But this happiness "cannot be taught or produced," he said. It "just happens."Meditation is not dependent on any particular belief system. On the contrary; it is compatible with all belief systems.
He introduced Christian meditation as one way to attain true happiness. This kind of contemplative prayer, or prayer of the heart, calls one to silence, stillness and simplicity through the repeated mental recitation of a sacred word or mantra, he explained.
The monk, who has popularized Christian meditation around the world, recommended reciting Maranatha, which means "come Lord" in Aramaic. Scholars believe this language was Jesus' mother tongue.
"Meditation is all about letting go and 'letting God,'" he said. This can lead one to a deeper experience of God and true self-knowledge, which he described as "the foundation of happiness." Father Freeman led the group in three meditation exercises -- one done while walking and the other two while sitting. He recommended that practitioners meditate 20-30 minutes twice a day.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Maybe you've heard of Father Laurence Freeman. He's one of the big names in the Christian meditation movement. This morning I found an article about a retreat he conducted called "Christian meditation retreat leaves some young people wanting more". Here's part of what it says: