Issue: 2013 December

Dear Meditators

This issue of MEDITATIO, the international newsletter, highlights the John Main Seminar held in Hong Kong in September 2013. Over 400 people attended it, many from the Asian region. It also highlights other developments in the region. Indonesia celebrated their 10th anniversary last September with the opening of a John Main Meditation Centre. Malaysia celebrated their 20th anniversary in November with an inter-faith event, which is reported by Saralee Turner, one of our Singapore meditators who attended the event. This growing interest in meditation regionally is heart-warming for our Singapore community because it reflects the growth of our own community. We are happy that we had the opportunity to help the starting of meditation communities around the region especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong, and more recently in Myanmar.

Meditation in Myanmar Follow-up

We are happy to report a follow-up on our teaching visit to Myanmar in August 2013. Fr Laurence, James and I went there at the invitation of the three Catholic Archbishops, and gave introductory workshops in Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi. On that trip, we were delighted to find a Fr Marco Tin Win, a diocesan priest in Mandalay who had been practising meditation and was very keen to start meditation centres in Myanmar. Fr Marco wrote to James last week reporting that he had started three meditation groups in Mandalay, two at the cathedral and one in a nearby village. He also led a two-day retreat for 75 participants, with four periods of meditation each day. So a Christian meditation community is beginning to form in Myanmar, and we in Singapore look forward to contributing to its growth. We have made a set of five CDs carrying Fr Laurence’s talks during the visit, which we will send to the Myanmar archbishops together with the transcript of the talks. They can then translate the talks into their own language to make the teaching available to a wider local community. We believe this will be a useful resource both for the meditators as well as for those who will be presenting the teaching to newcomers.

Introducing Meditation to Clarity

We have been approached by Clarity to introduce meditation to their staff and other voluntary welfare organisations. Clarity operates under the umbrella of Caritas Singapore (the Catholic Church’s social outreach). Clarity provides rehabilitation, support and training to help people recover from and manage their psychiatric illnesses so that they can find sustainable and meaningful employment. The introductory course will be held on six consecutive Thursdays from 9.30 am to 10.30 am, starting on 20 February. The venue is Clarity Singapore, Block 854 Yishun Ring Road #01-3511. For more information and to register, please contact Lyn John Pereira at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at telephone 67577990.

A Big Thank You to Dominic & Bernie

Our community is wonderfully blessed to have meditators who, by their generous service, have enabled WCCM to share the gift of meditation globally. Over the last eight years, Dominic and Bernie Heng have operated WCCM's publishing company Medio Media International (MMI). In 2005, they were looking forward to enjoying a relaxing retirement. The publishing company then based in the United States was suffering financial losses because of personnel costs and poor revenues from a limited catalogue of publications. In that moment of crisis, Fr Laurence and I turned to Dominic and Bernie for help. They generously answered the call to service.

Under their charge, MMI produced a constant stream of books, CDs and DVDs, which carried our teaching on meditation worldwide. What seemed like a part-time work turned out to be a full-time responsibility coordinat- ing production, liaising with printers, negotiating with distributors and fulfilling their orders, and administering what was effectively a business. Thankfully, they received considerable help from our meditation group at OLPS led by Albert Cheah and Jim Oh who took charge of packing and order fulfilment. Daulet and I also chipped in to help with the publishing. MMI achieved a good profit because Dominic and Bernie declined to take salaries and sometimes absorbed some expenses themselves; neither did the helping team accept remuneration. We have donated to WCCM the profits of their labour of love. The moment has come for them to lay down their responsibility for MMI so as to have more time to enjoy their retirement, having put MMI on a sound foundation.

Dominic and Bernie may be rather embarrassed by my drawing attention to them, but I like to express WCCM’s deep appreciation for their selfless service to the World Community, and also to thank them for inspiring many others in the Singapore community to contribute to the work of helping people draw closer to God.

We are delighted that another of our meditators, Cecilie Dee, has stepped forward to take over the running of MMI. Cecilie’s generosity is another example of how the Spirit sends us help for the vineyard when the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.

May the Feasts of Christmas and the Epiphany of the Lord that we have recently celebrated inspire us to give of ourselves wholly and unconditionally because, in the Incarnation, God has given Himself to us in that way in Jesus.

PETER NG

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