Grahamstown Spiritfest to Offer Contemplative Prayer
By Samantha Carolus – Contemplative prayer will again form part of Spiritfest at this year’s Grahamstown Festival.
Spiritfest will be hosting a collaboration between the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) and the Centre for Christian Spirituality to offer Christian-centred meditation to all festivalgoers. This will take place as one-hour morning sessions at the city’s St Patrick’s Catholic church.
The WCCM, founded in 1991 and based in London, promotes meditation in over 100 countries.
Besides the teaching of a mantra-based meditation in the school of John Main to the public, it has special outreach in many fields such as education, health, leadership, social justice, science and technology and interfaith dialogue.
The Centre for Christian Spirituality was established in 1987 to help people deepen their prayer lives. It offers Christian meditation, centering prayer, retreats, quiet days and spiritual direction.
In November 2000 Fr Laurence Freeman, the director and spiritual guide of the WCCM, established a link between the Centre for Christian Spirituality and the WCCM.
Fr Freeman is scheduled to visit South Africa in September.
Each meditation session will include some history and background of the practice of meditation in the form of audiovisual material produced by the World Community’s outreach arm, Meditatio.
“The method of this way of ‘pure prayer’ will be explained, and short periods of practice will be included so that those attending get a taste,” said Paul Faller of the South African branch of the WCCM, who will be leading the sessions. “There will also be time for questions and discussion,” he added.
A variety of resources will be available to buy.
Mr Faller noted that meditation has many benefits proven through research and that with regular practice will bring about spiritual fruits.
“Many people in South Africa have a guarded or negative attitude to meditation because of its association with eastern religions,” he said. “But meditation is a universal practice, found in all major religions.”
The one-hour sessions will run daily from July 1-5 at St Patrick’s church from 9:30.
For more about Spiritfest see www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest