YCM News

09/03/2017
Dear friends,

Hope you’re keeping well as we move from a hot summer start to the year into the cooler gentleness of Autumn…

In January a team came together to be a presence at ‘Yurora’ – the Uniting Church National Youth Festival. As Christian Meditators we hosted a quiet space at the festival where people could come for time out, we held regular times of meditation and ran two ‘Introduction to Meditation’ workshops. It was a lovely few days of sharing and meeting new people - welcome to those we met there who joined our newsletter list!

I’m writing now to invite you all to some wonderful events coming up where you can join with others to nourish your practice of Christian meditation.

Firstly, the NSW Younger Christian Meditators are hosting a retreat day on April 8 exploring the question: "How does meditation create community?" led by Andrew McAlister, an oblate of the WCCM who spent two years living at Meditatio House, London - a contemplative live-in community of the WCCM.  

It may seem a strange idea that meditating together can create community. During meditation we don't talk to each other, we don't focus on each other’s presence. Yet why is it that often after meditating together people can sense a closeness and a renewed commitment to each other? And why is it that meditation can help us love a person that we might otherwise avoid or find difficult to be with? This day will be a time to explore these questions. It is hoped the day will help us come to a better understanding of what both community & meditation are.

The retreat day, to be held in the Blue Mountains, will include meditation, talks, discussion, personal reflection and finish with walking the Labyrinth together. Cost: $10 BYO lunch. Morning/Afternoon tea provided RSVP to Donna ychristianmeditation.nsw@gmail.com or phone, 02-4758 7360 


Also coming up in April is a NSW community event to mark Earth Day on April 22, with the theme:  “The Radiant Tapestry of Being”. The day will include teaching from Br Kevin McDonnell on the interconnection of all things, meditation, Lectio Divina and a cosmic walk. There’s more information here: http://www.christianmeditationaustralia.org/pdf/earthday3edited.pdf

National Retreat July: We are fortunate to have Fr Laurence Freeman returning to Sydney in July to lead the 2017 National Silent Retreat from July 9-14 at Riverview College, Lane Cove, on the theme of “Finding Oneself.” Registration information will be available soon, keep an eye on this page: http://www.christianmeditationaustralia.org/pdf/ComingEvents.pdf

Also coming up is a special quiet weekend for younger meditators to be held on Dangar Island on August 18-20. Younger meditators from all over Australia are welcome to gather and join in times of silence and fellowship in this beautiful location - more information to follow.

There are many other events going on in the Christian meditation community around NSW, you can find details here: http://www.christianmeditationaustralia.org/pdf/NSW%20Calendar.pdf

Or keep up-to-date by liking the Australian Christian Meditation Facebook page:

This year we plan to further share the teaching of Christian Meditation with young people by continuing our presence at youth events and festivals, if you feel you would like to be part of the team, just let me know.

Hope to see you soon at one of the upcoming events – feel free to contact me for further information.

blessings,
Donna

PS: If you would like to talk about how Christian Meditation might be shared with young people at your youth group, Uni, school, church etc – please reply and we can discuss! donnamulhearn@yahoo.com.au

27/09/2016
Dear friends,
hope you're all keeping well and enjoying the warmth and beauty of Spring!
It was lovely to spend time in community and silence with some of you at our retreat on Dangar Island last month. Thanks to the kind offer of Paul and Judi Taylor, we hope that this will be a regular gathering for us in this beautiful place.

For now, I'm sending information and an invitation to gather together again at an ACMC Meditatio seminar on the topic of 'Meditation and Ageing, Transformation - the Journey of Life'  to be held in Sydney in November.

It will explore the question: How can a contemplative spirituality make a difference in responding to the challenges we face as we age?

As we are all ageing and passing through different stages in the journey of life this is a seminar for people of all ages. It will invite an inter-generational exchange on the passage from one phase of life to another and will include the participation of several younger Christian Meditators.

The seminar will feature Fr Laurence Freeman OSB along with other speakers such as Sarah Bachelard and Neil Millar, a panel, personal testimonies and small reflection groups, interwoven with meditation and contemplative practices.

Details are included in the notice below and the flyer is attached. Also, discussion has already begun on the blog site http://ageingmeditatio.blogspot.com.au/

Fr Laurence says meditation can help us let go control and embrace letting go and somehow feel much more free when we do, a paradox that life's milestones tech us to the degree that we can understand.

This is set to be a really interesting and helpful exploration of a topic that relates to all of us.

Hope to see you there!

peace & blessings
Donna

18/06/2016
Dear friends,

Greetings of peace and warmth to you at this time as we head deeper into winter…

It was great to connect with many of you at the recent event on Meditation and the Environment – a thought provoking and inspiring gathering. I’m writing now with another opportunity to get together.

In many ways winter invites us to slow down, and in keeping with that sentiment we are offering  a  retreat weekend for younger meditators:  ‘Sharing Silence” an invitation to enjoy the companionship of silence.

The retreat, with a focus on the practice of meditation, will be held on Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River on the weekend of August 19-21, from Friday afternoon (between 4.30pm and 6pm) to Sunday lunchtime.

The retreat will be led by Rev Linda Chapman. There is no set cost but a donation to WCCM Friends is appreciated and meals will be based on contributions by those coming along. Places are limited, if you would like to attend or have an enquiry just reply to this email.

In other news, I was recently appointed National coordinator of the Young Christian Meditators in Australia. I hope to use this role to connect with and support younger meditators across the country on their meditation journey, as well work to introduce Christian Meditation to more young people.

If you are part of a youth group, organisation or upcoming event where you think an introduction to Christian meditation could be included, or have other ideas for outreach, please let me know.

Also if any of you are interested in participating in a committee-style group to share ideas and plan events in NSW or nationally, I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, hope to see some of you at the retreat in August.

blessings,
Donna  

09/03/2017

11/02/2016

Dear friends,

Greetings from the Blue Mountains – I hope your year is off to a great start!

I want to welcome to the list the young people I met at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide in December. It was great to meet and meditate with so many of you!

I’m writing now with an invitation for you all to join in the next NSW Young Christian Meditators gathering in Sydney next month. 

The gathering will include afternoon tea, meditation together and the screening of the acclaimed film Journey of the Universe - An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation (An Emmy Award-Winning Film for Best Documentary, Written by Brian Thomas Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker, see http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/) followed by reflection and discussion on themes raised in the film. 

For those who have time afterwards we will take a walk in beautiful the Whitely Garden on the shores of Lavender Bay. This was the program we planned for last November before deciding to attend the ‘Light The Way Christian Climate Conference’ – thanks to all of you who came along and helped to host a lunchtime meditation for the conference.  

So here are the details for the next gathering:
When: 2pm-4pm, Saturday March 12, 2015
Where: St Fancis Xavier Lavender Bay Parish Hall, next to the church, 17 McKenzie St, Lavender Bay

The eco-spirituality theme of this gathering is intentional in light of last year’s encyclical on the environment from Pope Francis and as a lead up to April’s Meditatio Seminar to be held in Sydney on theme of ‘meditation and the environment’ hosted by the Australian Christian Meditation Community.

The seminar will be an important event for the Christian Meditation Community world-wide. Fr Laurence Freeman will be a keynote speaker along with others prominent in the field of ecology, sustainability and activism. For more information and to register see:http://acmcmeditatio2016.blogspot.com.au/

The Sunday program of the seminar will be more 'youth-orientated' with a focus on taking action, living more sustainably and the balance of action and contemplation. I've been busy planning a great series of workshops for this day and I’m keen to hear from anyone of you who might be interested in helping out with any aspect of the organising beforehand or on the day. 

In the meantime, I hope you can come along on Saturday March 12 to gather and meditate together. The Journey of the Universe film is moving, thought-provoking and inspiring and will no doubt prompt some meaningful discussion and reflection.

Please bring along something to share for afternoon tea, if you can. An RSVP would be appreciated and please feel free to email with any questions. More on the film below.

Peace and blessings,
Donna

"Using his skills as a masterful storyteller, in Journey of the Universe Swimme connects such big picture issues as the birth of the cosmos 14 billion years ago – to the invisible frontiers of the human genome – as well as to our current impact on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics. Through his engaging and thoughtful observations audiences everywhere will discover the profound role we play in this intricate web of life.

From the Big Bang to the epic impact humans have on the planet today, this film is designed to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis."


Dear friends, 11/10/2015

Greetings from the Blue Mountains – hope you are all keeping well and enjoying spring!

I’m writing with an invitation to join in the next NSW Young Christian Meditators gathering. Here are the details:

When: 2pm-4pm
Saturday November 14, 2015
Where: St Fancis Xavier Lavender Bay Parish Hall, next to the church, 17 McKenzie St, Lavender Bay

The gathering will include afternoon tea, meditation together and the screening of the acclaimed film Journey of the Universe - An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation Emmy Award-Winning Film for Best Documentary, Written by Brian Thomas Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker, see http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/
Followed by reflection and discussion on themes raised in the film.
For those who have time afterwards we will take a walk in beautiful the Whitely Garden on the shores of Lavender Bay.

The eco-spirituality theme of this gathering is intentional in light of the recent encyclical from Pope Francis and as a lead up to next year's WCCM Meditatio Seminar to be held in Sydney on theme of meditation and the environment.

This seminar, in April, will be an important event for the Christian Meditation Community world-wide. Fr Laurence Freeman will be a keynote speaker along with others prominent in the field of ecology. There are plans to have a day of the seminar as more 'youth-orientated' with a focus on taking action and the balance of action and contemplation. I'll be coordinating this day and I'm keen to hear from anyone of you who might interested in helping out with any aspect of the organising or on the day. 

also,
Alice Springs retreat, expressions of interest: There's a proposal for a younger Christian Meditators retreat at Campfire in the Heart Alice Springs next year from Aug 19-24. Accommodation and meals would be $95 per day, and airfares/extra travel on top of that. If that is something you might be interested in, let me know. 

Hope you can come along on November 14 to gather and meditate together. The Journey of the Universe film is moving, thought-provoking and inspiring and will no doubt prompt some meaningful discussion and reflection.
Please bring along something to share for afternoon tea, if you can. An RSVP would be appreciated and please feel free to email with any questions. More on the film below.

Peace and blessings,
Donna


Dear friends, 06/07/2015

Greetings from the Blue Mountains on a beautiful crisp winter's day!

I'm touching base to let you know about an upcoming event of the NSW Christian Meditation community, a silent retreat led by Rev Linda Chapman to be held in late August.

But first let me explain why it's me, Donna, sending this notice. Tristan Guzman has retired as Coordinator of NSW Young Christian Meditators, so I am filling in as NSW Coordinator for a little while.

I'm sure you'll join me in giving thanks to Tristan for his work as NSW Coordinator. His organisational skills, social media savvy and passion for Christian Meditation has been much appreciated as he served in this role. Thanks Tristan, we wish you all the best and look forward to catching up at future events.

Following a lovely retreat day in March exploring the Labyrinth, we plan to have another YCM gathering in September/Oct with a focus on eco-spirituality. The event will be a screening of the acclaimed film Journey of the Universe interwoven with discussion and reflection. I'll be sending out the details as they come to hand. 

In the meantime, you are invited to participate in the NSW community's annual silent retreat on a similar theme entitled: "The Human Vocation, Keepers of the Space" to be held at Marymount Mercy Retreat Centre, Castle Hill on August 28-30.  A flier with all the details is here

Our YCM colleague Linda Chapman will lead us in exploring the question: "Who are we in relation to the whole of creation and what is our responsibility to care for the ‘space’ of the environment in which we dwell?" The retreat will explore how our practice of meditation informs us to live carefully within our local and global environment.

A timely topic in light of the ecological crisis we are facing, the recent encyclical from Pope Francis and as a lead up to next year's WCCM Meditatio Seminar to be held in Sydney on theme of meditation and the environment.

This seminar, in April, will be an important event for the Christian Meditation Community world-wide. Fr Laurence Freeman will be a keynote speaker along with others prominent in the field of ecology. There are plans to have a day of the seminar as more 'youth-orientated' with a focus on taking action and the balance of action and contemplation. I'll be coordinating this day and I'm keen to hear from anyone of you who might interested in helping out with any aspect of the organising or on the day. 

Hope you're all doing well, continue to be nourished by your practice of meditation and hope to catch up with some of you at the silent retreat next month or the next gathering.

peace & blessings
Donna

FROM THE NATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR 28/11/2014

Dear YCM-ers,

How quickly we seem to be at the end of the year!! Although we’re not quite there yet!

One major event to come for our meditation community this year is Father Laurence’s visit to Australia in December. Details of his public talks are in this newsletter, and I hope that many of you are able to see him while he is here.

As the year ends, I want to thank three people in particular from our YCM network. Andrea Randall, our Queensland co-ordinator, and Tristan Guzman, our new NSW co-ordinator, have been working faithfully and creatively to open up opportunities for younger people to encounter the teaching of Christian meditation. The Brisbane group has held a couple of retreats this year, focusing particularly on ecological themes. In NSW, Tristan has organised a number of ‘meet-ups’ and is exploring much greater use of social media for connecting with younger meditators.  

Allison Forrest has been our YCM national communications co-ordinator for a number of years now, organising this e-news and maintaining the integrity of our data base. This will be Allison’s last newsletter for us, as she steps down from this role. I thank her not only for her wonderful contribution to our network but for the contemplative and mindful way she has gone about things. Allison reminds me always that our practice of meditation is where we need to centre ourselves, and that only from here will authentic growth and life emerge.

So – grateful thanks from us all to Andrea, Tristan and Allison for all they have given us – and an invitation to any of you who would like to be more actively involved in our network to be in touch.

I hope to see some of you at the events with Father Laurence, and wish you happy meditating amidst the stresses as well as the joys of the Christmas season!

Blessings, Sarah

YCM NEWS November 2014
National Conference
As Sarah mentioned, Fr Laurence Freeman is visiting Australia in December and will be leading the National Conference on 5 – 6th December “Christian Meditation – The Heart of Creation”. The conference brochure is here.

Laurence is also speaking at these events in other cities:
Brisbane - Tuesday 2nd December “The Sacred Language of Christianity”
Melbourne - Monday 8th December “Contemplative Life and Public Space”
Sydney – Wednesday 10th December “Contemplative Life and Public Space”

Details about each event are on the Australian Christian Meditation Community website.
The Australian Christian Meditation Community website is worth visiting regularly for updates on events in your state, plus news from around Australia.

Keeping in Touch

State co-ordinators
Tristan Guzman co-ordinates the YCM community in NSW. His email address is ychristianmeditation.nsw@gmail.com
Tristan sends out a regular NSW e-news, but wants to give advance notice of the first event for 2015 – a day retreat in the Blue Mountains at Donna and Martin's place. They have recently constructed a labyrinth on their property and we'll be spending a day of contemplation with them on the journey of meditation and life and how this relates to the passage through the labyrinth.
More details to follow but save the date: Saturday 7th March, 2015. 

Andrea Randall is the state co-ordinator for Qld. Contact Andrea at andrearandall5@gmail.com
Younger meditators are part of these weekly groups in Brisbane:
  • ACU: Meeting Room EC.01: Wednesday 10am during Semester. Contact Jess 0408 611 585.
  • QUT Gardens Point, S Block, Chaplaincy:  Wednesday 12noon. Contact Andrea 0402 590 150.
  • St Paul’s Anglican Church, Vulture Street East, East Brisbane: Wednesday 6:30pm. Contact Adam 0419 798 285.

The other states don’t have a co-ordinator at present so if you’re located anywhere other than NSW or Qld, for the time being contact Sarah Bachelard, the National co-ordinator sarah.bachelard@gmail.com

On Facebook
Monastery without Walls - General news and info for Younger Christian Meditators in Australia. Please join, post your own news and reflections, and share Christian meditation with others on FB.

Art of Depth: Rock and Spiritual Experience continues to be active with posts and traffic. On the page you will find songs posted along with reflections about how each song can be relevant to the spiritual life and the practice of Christian Meditation. Have a look, see what you think. Like the page and then post a comment, and even post a song with reflection. Follow the link here.


Allison Forrest
National Youth Coordinator (Communications) | Australian Community for Christian Meditation (ACMC)
World Community for Christian Meditation: wccm.org

Australian Community for Christian Meditation christianmeditationaustralia.org