Tuesdays at 7.45am & Saturdays at 8am
We host twice weekly morning meditation. Tuesday morning is a walking meditation using the Labyrinth. On Saturday mornings we explore a range of meditation and contemplative practices.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of cultivating the capacity to be fully present in the here and now. There is nothing weird or esoteric about meditation; it is simply the practice of mindfully paying to what is occurring within and around us without judgment. Mindfulness meditation recognises that the habitual patterns of the mind and our incessant stream of thoughts lead us away from the present moment, to thinking about the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness is the discipline of learning how to come back to the present moment in order to be fully alive and present in our life.
Jesus challenges us in his teaching to wake up:
- “Recognise what is before your eyes, and the mysteries will be revealed to you” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 5).
- “The Kingdom of God is among you.” (Gospel of Luke 7, v21)
Do I have to be a Christian to join this group?
No. We create an inclusive atmosphere; the group is open to people who would like to develop a regular mindfulness meditation practice in their life. We draw on a range of texts including the Bible, Christian mystics and Buddhist teachings on meditation as well as the insights of Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose writing on mindfulness is not associated with any specific faith tradition.
“Is there anything I can to make myself enlightened?”
“As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.”
“Then of what use are spiritual exercises you prescribe.”
“To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.”
Zen master to his disciple
I’m a Christian. Isn’t meditation just for Buddhists?
No. In Christianity, meditation, or contemplative practice as it is often also called, is an ancient spiritual practice dating to the Desert Fathers and Mothers in the 4th & 5th centuries. In the last century John Main, an Irish Benedictine priest, founded the World Century for Christian Meditation and did much to re-introduce the spiritual practice of meditation to Christians. In Contemplative Fire, a Fresh Expression of Church within the Anglican Communion, we refer to three rhythms of the spiritual life: contemplative practice (being), creative practice (learning), and compassionate practice (compassionate action in the world).
Is this something I can do as a beginner?
Yes. No prior experience of meditation or labyrinth walking is needed.
What is the labyrinth?
The labyrinth is an archetypal image which emerged in different cultures over 4000 years ago; it is a mirror or metaphor for the spiritual journey and the evolutionary spiral of life. The Labyrinth is a single, spiraling path that leads to a central area. You walk the same path back out returning to the beginning. There are no tricks or dead ends unlike mazes.
On Tuesday mornings we walk a five circuit labyrinth that is modeled on the 12th Century Labyrinth found in Chartres Cathedral, France. In the last thirty years, walking the labyrinth has re-emerged as a meditative practice and a symbolic image of pilgrimage, not in the geographical sense, but of the journey we each make through life: a journey to the centre, a return to the heart, back to the Spirit who faithfully waits for us.
How long does the meditation last?
On Tuesdays the meditation lasts approximately 45 minutes, starting at 7.45am and finishing around 8.30am. On Saturdays meditation starts at 8am and finishes at 9am. On both Tuesdays and Saturdays there is an opportunity if you wish to stay for a light breakfast of tea/coffee and a croissant. A donation to cover the costs of breakfast is welcome.
How frequently do you meet?
We meet each week on Tuesdays and Saturdays except for the month of August when we take a month’s break.
Do I have to come every week?
Some people come to both Tuesdays and Saturdays every week, others come to just Tuesdays or Saturdays, and others come occasionally.
Contemplative Fire is a Fresh Expression of Church within the Anglican Communion. The local group in Brighton & Hove works in partnership with All Saints Church, Hove. John Watters is the contact for Contemplative Fire in Brighton & Hove.