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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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Issue: 2013 October

 

Dear Meditators,

Introducing Christian Meditation in Myanmar

In this International newsletter, Fr Laurence writes about his 12-day trip to Myanmar in August with James Loh, Pauline Peters and me. WCCM was invited to introduce Christian meditation to the Burmese Church by the three archbishops of Yangon (Archbishop Charles Bo), Mandalay (Archbishop Paul Grawng) and Taunggyi (Archbishop Matthias U Shwe).

At each archdiocese, we gave introductory talks and meditated with separate groups of priests and religious, seminarians, youths, lay leaders and lay people. As James and Albert Cheah had gone on an advance mission to help prepare for the teaching trip, the level of interest was strong and enthusiastic.

The latest Meditatio CD, Meditating as a Christian, features the introductory talks to priests and religious at Yangon. Fr Laurence focuses on the Christian tradition of meditation and relates the practice to the doctrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit. With clarity and depth he helps us see how the experience of “Christ in you” is essential to the Christian life, enabling us to transcend the ego and so to live as “temples of the Holy Spirit”. You might like to get the CD from Daulet as the talks deepen our understanding of the spiritual meaning of the practice, and they also are a very good introduction to meditation for newcomers.

Our Singapore community will be following up to help the Burmese Church start their meditation groups. Already, quite a lot of teaching materials are being translated to Burmese..

Day of Recollection for Group Leaders & Helpers

We are beginning a series of Days of Recollection. The purpose is to help meditators deepen their spiritual practice and foster a greater sense of fellowship. The first event will be on Saturday 19 October. We are expecting over 30 participants who are committee members and meditation group leaders or helpers.

Appointment of Office-Bearers

WCCM Singapore is a registered society and so the official office bearers are elected each year. At our recent AGM on 27 Sep 2013, the following were elected:

PRESIDENT: Peter Ng TREASURER: Andrew Kwek
V
ICE PRESIDENT: James Loh AUDITORS: Rebecca Lim, Ronny Tan SECRETARY: Leonard Ong

We have a committee that co-ordinates and organises the work of our Singapore community. The other committee members in addition to those listed above are: Albert Cheah, Anna Goh, Bernadette Heng, Cecilie Dee, Daulet Manecksha, Dominic Heng, Emily Lee, Florence Kwee, Francis Heng, Ignatius Chew, Patrick Prakash, Richard Teo, Stella Kon.

John Main Seminar 2013

The John Main Seminar this year was held in Hong Kong in September. 11 members of our community attended the seminar and retreat, and two of them share their experience with us in the following pages.

In the peace of the Risen Lord

 

 

PETER NG

 

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Issue: 2011 July

Dear Meditators,

INVITATION to TEAM WCCM

~~~~~

Our Singapore Christian meditation community started 23 years ago. In 1988, we formed the first weekly meditation group at Holy Family parish with the encouragement of Fr Alfred Chan. Since then, we have shared the gift of meditation with thousands of people. Today we have 32 meditation groups meeting regularly in 23 parishes. Our Singapore community also contributes actively to our global WCCM community in several ways. We run WCCM's publishing company in Singapore, and we produce for global circulation the quarterly Meditatio CD of the teaching. We have also helped to start meditation communities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius and Hong Kong. The expansion of our work has been possible because we have been blessed with many committed and dedicated group leaders and helpers. I want to share with you my sense that our Singapore community is now being called to a new phase of growth and development and invite your participation in it. Two factors are driving this new phase of growth.

First, more and more people are turning to meditation in their search for peace and meaning in their lives. This interest in meditation is a global phenomenon. Here in Singapore, the public revelation by Mr Lee Kuan Yew that he is practising meditation has stimulated considerable interest among Singaporeans. Recently our two introductory workshops at Holy Family and Queen of Peace parishes were heavily oversubscribed and we could not accommodate everyone. On Saturday 6 August, we are putting on a half-day workshop at Holy Cross for about 300 participants. On Saturday 20 August, we shall be having a similar event at St Teresa.

Second, our Singapore community is actively involved in developing WCCM's outreach which is called Meditatio. WCCM''s conviction is that meditation can make an important contribution to the challenges faced by humanity in critical areas such as the education of children and youth, inter-religious friendship, care for the environment, mental health and business ethics. For children and youth, our Singapore community has started some pilot programmes to introduce meditation to children in catechism classes and to youths at their school camps. In inter-religious friendship, we are planning in January 2012 a meditation retreat to be led by Fr Laurence Freeman to which we will invite participants from the various religious groups in Singapore.

Because "the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few", we need to expand our community's pool of groupleaders, helpers and activists. With this in mind, we conducted an Essential Teaching Workshop the weekend of July 1-3. We had 64 participants, including 15 from Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The focus was to train existing and future group leaders and helpers to take care of our weekly meditation groups. The weekend not only helped them to deepen their understanding of the basic teaching, but also equipped them to give talks and to respond to queries and questions on meditation. I am glad that many of those participants are already now helping out with the groups, the workshops and in other areas.

I am writing this letter to invite you to make a personal contribution to the work of our community. Each of us has a gift to bring to the service of the Kingdom. I myself have found that the work of teaching and leading the community has enriched my spiritual development in incredible measure. The Lord will not be outdone in generosity. A good way of building up and persevering in your meditation discipline is to be more actively involved in the communication of the teaching.

I am attaching a form to this letter to invite you to indicate how we would like to be involved in the work of our community. We will contact you to follow up and will keep you in mind for our next Essential Teaching Workshop.

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones, and help you to grow closer to him.

PETER NG

 

To get involved in the work of our community, please sig

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