About the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM)
What's the history of the World Community?
The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) is a global and inclusive contemplative family.
The roots of WCCM lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity dating back to the 4th century. In 1975 John Main, an Irish Benedictine monk (1926-1982), started the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. The first of the family of weekly meditation groups around the world began to meet then.
At the John Main Seminar in 1991, led by Bede Griffiths OSB, meditators from around the world came together to shape the future direction and organization of the community as a ‘monastery without walls’. They named it The World Community for Christian Meditation because it was not only formed and nurtured by the practice of meditation but existed to share this gift with others.
The symbol of the Community
Two birds looking in different directions but resting on the chalice - representing the union of the contemplative and active dimensions of life.
Where are we?
The WCCM is now present in over 120 countries.
Individuals, weekly groups and meditation centres share the peace and compassion that are the spiritual fruits of meditation. Groups meet in homes, parishes, schools, offices, hospitals, prisons and universities. There are groups for the homeless, for those in recovery from addiction and a special emphasis of the community is to share this gift of meditation with the poor and marginal. Christian Meditation Centres, such as the John Main Centre at Georgetown University, help to share the teaching. There are also online meditation groups.
Because meditation is a universal wisdom, contemplative dialogue with other faiths is a priority. The relationship with the Benedictine monastic family is especially valued and a WCCM Oblate Community grows within the larger community of meditators.
Recent initiatives have led to teaching Christian meditation to young children, as an Eleventh Step practice, and in the worlds of medicine, business and finance where personal integrity and corporate wisdom are needed, with those working in difficult conditions for peace and justice and with clergy of all denominations and the sick and dying.
What are our activities?
WCCM presents an annual John Main Seminar, retreats, seminars and introductions to meditation developed by its School of Meditation. It supports the practice through the quarterly Meditatio Newsletter, social media, a daily and weekly mailings, phone apps and an online radio.
On its 20th anniversary, WCCM opened its Meditatio program (outreach), revised its governance structure and undertook a development of its outreach in crucial areas of social concern, technology, leadership, healthcare, education and the training of young meditators for the next generation of leadership.
The Meditatio Centre in London coordinates a diverse program of seminars and workshops. Training programs share the insights gained in this way with national coordinators and group leaders around the World Community. Meditatio's spiritual outreach thus bridges the religious and the secular and the local and the global. Meditatio House forms young meditators from different parts of the world as interns or as part of the "Oblate year" formation program.
Medio Media, the publishing company of WCCM run from Singapore, produces books, CD’s and DVD’s. Many countries have national WCCM websites and, there are special pages for specific fields in which the Community shares its gift of meditation.
Our Mission Statement
The Mission Statement of the World Community is part of the WCCM Constitution accepted by all national communities:
About WCCM - Australia
What's the history of the Australian Community?
A Melbourne couple, John Little and his wife Mila, lived in Montréal from 1974 to 1978. There they meditated at the Monastery with John Main. On returning to Australia, John and Mila established the first Christian meditation group in their home in Mt Martha in Victoria. In 1983 Sr Elizabeth Funder OSB from the Benedictine Abbey (then in Pennant Hills, Sydney) went to Montréal as well. She arrived not long after John Main died (that was at the end of 1982) and stayed at his Monastery there. The Benedictines were very much involved in introducing Christian Meditation in New South Wales and in Victoria; indeed throughout Australia.
In 1991 the World Community for Christian Meditation was formed in New Harmony, Indiana, USA. By 1995 an Australian national community was emerging with developments in each state. A meeting was held at the Littles’ home in Melbourne in 1995, attended by Laurence Freeman and other interstate meditators, to develop a more national body. I came back from that meeting as the first National Coordinator of the ACMC.
In 2001 Sydney hosted the WCCM annual John Main seminar at which Archbishop Rowan Williams, later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, gave the memorable talks on the desert tradition.
Now 20 years later, the WCCM is approaching its quarter-century, the ACMC its 20th year and bear in mind that the Christian Meditation Network preceded that by 10 years. Australians have contributed at all levels of the WCCM for many years.