Sorry for not posting this earlier I had a hectic week, though some of it was fun, some of it was not fun, and some of it was informative and peaceful.

What I want to talk about here is the informative and peaceful part, the Younger Meditators Community Afternoon. After a drive through the lush hinterland of Moreten Bay I arrived at Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre situated on the bay side. The centre was the location of our community afternoon. I was greeted by Sarah, Andrea and Alison. Sarah had just lead a retreat with the wider community and now was offering her time to our little younger meditators community. Andrea, the Queensland coordinator for younger meditators, was also at the retreat as a participant. Alison was new to the group and was a welcome sight. Fanny, Thuy and Lucy turned up soon after I arrived.

The afternoon with Sarah had an informal relaxed atmosphere which allowed our group to express ourselves freely when asking questions and offering ideas. The afternoon was divided into four main parts. First part was about each person in the group sharing the story of how they come across Christian meditation.

Secondly we discussed the basic understanding of what makes meditation Christian meditation. Roughly summarised here as the following. Because God is transcendent God is beyond words and beyond ideas so to know God more intimately we must surrender our words, ideas. By itself surrendering our words and ideas is not enough, we must receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit than transforms us into the living body of Jesus Christ. Through Christ praying in us we are then united to the Father. Meditation is a way of surrendering our words and ideas and opening ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit. This type of prayer is one way to follow Jesus' word to "Take heed, watch... And what I say to you I say to all: Watch."

After talking about this understanding is was time to actually practice it, to actually meditate. Then after meditation we discussed some ideas about how we might help people to become aware that meditation and contemplative prayer is part of the Christian tradition.

At the end of the afternoon we discussed L'Chaim (L'K-ah-im). L'Chaim is Hebrew word meaning 'to life'. The Jewish community use it for toasts, similar to the way English speakers say 'cheers'. L'Chaim is practiced in a group setting and is designed to support a person's vocation whatever that may be: teacher, mother, student, carpenter, father, and so on. It is described as formation in contemplative action and so includes a contemplative or Christian meditation practice. In addition to the practice the group aims to find the internalised beliefs and perceptions that shape our motivations and actions. This done through group sharing. Each person in the group, before the group meets, is to write down any personal encounter they'd like to explore. Then each person brings that personal encounter to the group. Then the rest of the group, in a non-judgemental, caring way, explores the issues with the person. The rest of the group is not to give advice but simply help the person see more clearly and deeply into the personal encounter and into themselves. Not only does this help the person who has shared the personal encounter it also helps cultivate deep listening skills in each person of the group and they can take and apply those skills to the rest of their lives.

At the end we took a photo, which I'll try to get and put up here, and we parted ways.