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Thursday, 02 January 2020 20:46

Co-Meditation: A Sacramental Experience

Written by John Moritz
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John Moritz – Affiliate Board member / NE Florida Chapter

After about two years of co-meditation in a small Maryknoll contemplative group, I am sharing and putting into words what our experience is and what it means to me. Since I have many years in the traditional church structure, I approach my experience of our co-meditation group within the context of sacrament.

These definitions clarify my use of the term sacrament:

The Sacramental Principle: That which is always and everywhere true (the eternal Cosmic Christ), on occasion needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated. —Michael Himes,1996

Fr. Himes uses the term true; I expand that notion to that which is beautiful, transformative, anything which leads us to an in-depth encounter with our true self and the other.

The Sacramental Process: Sacrament (Ritual) leads us from Separation through Participation into Reintegration.—Diarmuid O’Murchu, 2004

Our Maryknoll co-meditation group follows this process in our Skype meetings:

Check-In (5-10 minutes): We begin with 3 minutes of silence. This separates us from our daily routine. Emotionally and spiritually, a transformation takes place. The check-in is the beginning of deep listening and sharing together.

Reading a Short Reflection (3 minutes): The ritual sharing of a reflection evokes a deep personal response that is expressed in the still but not silent time. At each meeting, we take turns providing a reflection. It is a short invitation to spend some time, to dwell on a thought or an image. For me, seeing the faces of each person by Skype during this time is extremely meaningful.

Contemplation Together (20 minutes): A time of stillness follows in which emerging images begin to stir within us a desire to share and meditate each other. We are all participants in the process. The recognition that I have something to bring into the group is both humbling and gratifying. It is amazing to me that the way one of us might say a single word says more than the word itself. Usually, by the end of this time, nothing is being said; nothing needs to be said.

Harvesting Wisdom (10 minutes): Returning to a more active consciousness, we consider what we have experienced. What has this time together meant to me? What is my state now? I am always fed by this experience.

Sharing Maryknoll News (10 minutes): Because we are all related through our common bond of Maryknoll, we spend some time sharing things that are going on and are meaningful to all of us. This is a way of reintegrating us back into our individual lives.

Closing (1 minute): We end our time together with one last minute of silence. This allows us to savor what has taken place. Within the span of just an hour, we become what I describe as sacrament to each other.

About twice a month our small community acknowledges and celebrates that which is always and everywhere true. I participate in this communal gift of self, a very real communication of “I am the group, the group is me.” Nourished by the group, I am sent out once more, refreshed and rested, to be what I am called to be.

Through modern technology (Skype), we share this sacrament despite being separated geographically. I am grateful to Ann Carr, Fr. Russ Feldmeier, Mary Massaro, Sr. Norie Mojado, and Mary Moritz for their gift of self in making this co-meditating a reality. We come together from various expressions of the Maryknoll family, and this adds a fullness to the experience. I believe that this is a paradigm leap within my experience of Maryknoll, one that defies my ability to describe it. For me it is a new paradigm of a meaningful religious community.

 


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