Dear friends and fellow Christians, I am a deacon at First Christian Church and have been directly involved, along with Rev. Steve, Tad Frantz, Nita (my spouse), and others in developing a program utilizing the Chapel at the Church. Since we share all the facilities together, I would like to cordially invite the Saegil congregation to be with us during any of the quiet meditation/prayer times. It is as much your space as it is ours. I describe what is currently being offered below, and I also would like to specially invite the Saegil members to take part in the Morning of Silence and Meditation, Saturday, October 27. The program is described below. It is the first of its kind at the church. We will probably have another such event during lent in February or March of 2013. I look forward to seeing you. Thanks, Ken.
EXPERIENCE A SPIRITUAL GEM AT FIRST CHRISTIAN[
When Nita and I first started meditating in the Chapel at First Christian Church in the spring of 2012, we were surprised. We had previously meditated in many venues, but this exceeded our expectations. In silence we experienced the warmth and unexpected color of the room in the morning with ever-changing hues of light streaming in through the beautiful stain glass windows as the sun rose in the east. We also found the pews comfortable and inviting. It is definitely a place to discard anxieties and stress. We are grateful that the church maintains this special space for use of the congregation and for anyone who wishes to pray, meditate, conduct a small service, or even nurse a baby on occasion.
We encourage everyone at the church to experience the Chapel, as well as visitors and sojourners who just need a quiet break. The church has graciously made it available for meditation on Saturday mornings from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and from 8:15-8:45 a.m. for prayer, meditation, and scripture reading before the morning services on Sunday. A morning of Silence and Meditation is planned for Saturday, October 27. This will include an extended period of meditative sitting, walking, and/or scripture reading in silence followed by a discussion and breaking bread together at lunch. Please join us if you can. Ken Truitner.
Half day of Silence and Meditation at First Christian Church
Meditation Retreat Description
When: Saturday, October 27, 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Chapel, First Christian Church Burbank, 6th and Angeleno, Burbank, California.
Who: Anyone who wants to do a half day of silence and meditation with the support of a group
Why: Meditation and silence have become important practices in many religious traditions. They have been associated with non-anxiety, calmness, spiritual centering, discernment, and awareness.
Contact: Ken Truitner for more information. email@example.com
7:00 a.m. The side door of the church leading to the Chapel will be open. Participants may go to the Chapel for quiet sitting, prayer, or meditation at that time. Those who need some preliminary instruction may go to the library (music room). Descriptions of meditation techniques will be available on paper and an experienced meditator will also be there to answer questions and give brief instructions.
7:30 a.m. All Participants should be sitting in the Chapel for the first hour of silent meditation. A bell will be sounded on the half hour at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30. Participants may leave for a short break at any time, but they are encouraged to limit their movements to the first 15 minutes of the hour period*.
*Participants may choose to do walking meditation in the Fellowship Hall or outside during the first 15 minutes of the hour period, starting at 8:30. They may also go to the library for reading during this time. Materials related to meditation, prayer, and contemplation, as well as Bibles, will be available in the library. After 15 minutes everyone is encouraged to return to the Chapel for the final 45 minutes of silent meditation during the hour period.
11:30 a.m. Participants will have a brief 5 minute break and assemble in the Fellowship Hall for a 45 minute discussion led by Steve Borgard. During that time, participants will be encouraged to talk about their experiences and ask questions. Several participants with experience in various types of meditation will serve as resources for the discussion, including Steve, Tad Frantz and Nita Truitner.
12:20 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and a dish to share if they wish. This will also be a time for informal conversation.
1:00 p.m. Retreat ends.
Note: Although participation is encouraged for the entire time, we understand that some may only be able to stay for part of the retreat. If a participant must leave early or arrive late, please respect the silence of the retreat atmosphere and try to leave only after the bell rings.
Types of Practice (this includes just a sample of the most common ones):
1. Awareness of breathing is perhaps the most common practice. It involves focusing the mind on the breath as it flows in and out. There are variations of this practice, including mentally counting the breath (e.g. in groups of 10) or letting the breath simply flow naturally. Some yoga practices involve controlling the breath by making it very long but this is not commonly done in most meditation traditions.
2. Silent meditation can have a special focus, e.g. on body sensations or on certain mental constructs, such as love, God, impermanence... One form of meditation involves contemplating a word or phrase in order to better discern its meaning.
3. Slow walking meditation focuses on the movements of the feet, e.g. the lift, the move forward, the touch down, the flexing of the foot again, repeated again and again for a period of time. Faster walking meditation just notes the movement and sensation without breaking down walking into its constituent parts.
4. Some meditators silently recite entire prayers, scriptures, poems, chants...while sitting. Popular topics for this longer discursive contemplation may include love, peace, service, devotion...