“I discovered a pathway to peace”
As we approach the New Year, I hope this inspiring testimonial from a member of our practice community will touch and encourage you on your path.
Jon, the Principal of a secondary school, shares his experience of the life-changing impact of Christian meditation.
“Career pressures have, in the past, left me completely broken.
Where medical therapies have proved useless for me, talking therapies were my only support option and got me back on an even keel and working again. Returning to school leadership has been a joy, though not without its stresses and strains, particularly in the era of the pandemic.
I was invited to an introductory workshop on meditation in the Christian tradition led by Chris as a support for headteachers during the exceptional COVID challenges.
Being secular in outlook and with a science background, I was skeptical to say the least. I did not go in expecting to gain much. But I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the practice and glimpsed for the first time how meditation might help me to deal better with my everyday challenges.
I started to attend the weekly online sessions of the practice community and it soon became obvious that I was being helped to find and retain a sense of calm through these troubled times. Within a month I was meditating every morning and evening and I am learning more about the practice all the time.
It is hard to express the significant difference the practice makes.
Apart from feeling calmer, when discussing whether I should arrange a session for my whole staff team I asked a colleague whether they thought the practice was having any effect on me. I was genuinely shocked by their reply — that in the 10 plus years they had known me, they had never seen me so calm and balanced despite us facing the toughest challenges we have ever faced.
Furthermore, they said my calmness was becoming infectious across the organisation. Subsequent discussions across my senior leadership team, staff and students confirm this as being a noticeable change in me since I started the practice.
It is difficult to see these things for myself, but that has given me encouragement to continue the practice. Having introduced the idea to staff already, the School of Contemplative Life will soon be working with my academy to explore how the practice can help us as an organisation across all staff and students. We are especially keen to see how we can use the practice to support some of our most vulnerable children, who desperately need healing and support.
I do not begin to understand how the practice of silent meditation is proving to have such a positive effect on my relationships, but I feel more at one with those around me and with God than I have ever experienced before. My continued practice is therefore inevitable as calm relationships are the only way I will get through these troubling times.
I and many of my colleagues have discovered a simple pathway to mental peace. It has been revolutionary. Rather than skilling us up, it has started a movement. I have come through the toughest of years with a smile in my heart.”