Kristen meditasjon

Hva er kristen meditasjon?

Hvordan vi mediterer

Jeg vil sitte

Jeg vil tie

og jeg vil høre

hva Gud sier i meg.

Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1327)

Fasterefleksjoner 2023 av Laurence Freeman

Mt 21:1-11

Today liturgically, after forty days wandering the wilderness, we begin entering the mystery that leads to the promised land. To make any sense of that we need to participate, to the extent we allow ourselves to, in the sacred games: especially the game of telling a story which becomes firstly a key into the enigma of our own life; secondly, a passkey into the mystery of all being and existence.

The word mystery might make us think of an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes story which gets rationally unravelled and explained. Or, more interesting, it suggests the termmysterion, used twenty-seven times in the New Testament. This refers to amysticalreality that everyone can experience but that is super-rational or super-logical. In ancient times the ‘mystery religions’ were cults by which aspirants were ritually initiated into secrets that should never be revealed to outsiders. Early Christianity has some similarity to these but with the great difference, as St Paul puts it, that the ‘secret is Christ in you, the hope of a glory to come.’ The telling of the story of Jesus through the scriptures, is the essential ritual of this Holy Week, connected to other liturgical rites that a child can enjoy – and that we can, too, if we can be childlike. Here at Bonnevaux, weather permitting, we will begin the Palm Sunday procession with a donkey which a trusting neighbour has lent us. On Saturday, at the Easter Vigil, we will do what everyone enjoys doing, and light a mystical bonfire.

A mystery is something we encounter but that awaits exposure and interpretation. We feel we are awakeningin the mysteryas we may sometimes become awake in a dream. Hidden in the story we are entering, there are many archetypes. If we can listen to the story subtly, these will help us approach the roots of consciousness; and we will sense an interior structure of meaning emerging, rather than an explanation we are imposing. We will experience the kind of meaning that is a deep connection and resonance, engaging with our own most intimate life-experience, incomplete but fulfilling. Wearethe story we tell about ourselves butwhatwe tell depends greatly onwhowe are telling it to, and how they listen and then the connection created with them


The setting of the story of Holy Week is the mystical city of Jerusalem, sacred to three of the world’s major religions. People still cannot live together there peacefully, perhaps because they haven’t listened carefully enough to the stories that each§§ tell about it. Today opens with cheering crowds, like a football team successfully arriving home after the World Cup. Jesus is the prophet they have been waiting for. Hosannah! The story soon ends in rejection and failure with a crucifixion on Golgotha, the garbage dump of the holy city. ‘It is finished’.

But, of course, the story is endless, because of the presence, the ever-present presence that we feel in the events and in their central figure. The presence is mysteriously eternal, impossible to verbalise. But it becomes stronger and stronger until, after a short and totally painful disappearance, it returns bringing with it a new dimension of reality, that is more real than anything and life-transforming.

Fasterefleksjoner 2023 av Laurence Freeman

5. søndag i fasten

Walking in Rome yesterday I passed a large powerful building with the inscription ‘Ministero di Grazia e Giustizia’. ‘Ministry of Grace and Justice’. Really? The combination seemed odd for a secular institution associated with crime and punishment. Do judges really dispense grace as well as fines and prison terms?

Later, when I mentioned it to some Romans they were surprised. ‘Yes it does say that, but we never thought about it’. Seeing it now, from a stranger’s perspective, they felt how strange it was. Was the apparatus of policing, lawyering, trials and prisons predicated on a mystic marriage of grace and justice? ‘Justice and mercy meet’ in God… but in the ministry of justice? ‘In theory’, someone said. Another, probably a lawyer, wondered if it meant the long delays in the legal system which mean you might die before your case is heard.

Yesterday I quoted Wittgenstein, one of the most difficult of philosophers but also most drawn to wonder about the significance of ordinary daily things. ‘The most important aspects of things are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity’, he said. We fail to see something, not despite its being in view, but precisely because it is before our eyes. Things are transparent. Layers of consciousness overlap.

Jesus is present and exerts an incremental effect on the evolution of human consciousness. His presence, too, is simple and familiar. Possibly, we have made up our mind about him, whether we exalt him as the final and full revelation of God or simply as one of the great players in the premier league of wisdom traditions. We walk past him without seeing his presence or how fully the mind of Christ reconciles all things. Like everyone else, Christians find paradox, the portal into mystery, deeply disturbing. Much easier to reduce his transparency and vision of reality to the lower levels of consciousness where dogma and morals rule. Doing that, it wasn’t hard to resurrect the Law that he fulfilled by seeing through it and for the church to slip back into an imaginary God of reward and punishment.

The lawyers brought him the woman caught in adultery. A human piece of property they callously used to embarrass him. Was he orthodox and would he implement the Law sentencing her to stoning? Or a liberal who wouldn’t accept divine justice?

His response shows his conscious presence, then and in the ever-present now. Hearing them, he bends down and writes on the ground with his finger. They persist and he says let the one of you who has never sinned throw the first stone. He bends down and writes again on the ground. One by one the mob melts away and he is left alone with the woman. Has anyone condemned you? No, sir. Then go home and sin no more.

His silence means he cannot be entrapped in other levels of consciousness. Writing in the dust shows that our minds are as impermanent as thought and actions. His tone to the woman with whom he is left alone and whose presence his overlaps, empowers her to keep learning the difficult art of being human. His presence is wholly transparent. It influences everything without force. It exposes everything without judging it.

Fasterefleksjoner 2023 av Laurence FreemanFjerde søndag i Fasten

Jn 9:1-41

This is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind. After he had healed him, his disciples asked Jesus ‘who sinned, this man or his parents?’ A naïve view of karma. If something bad happens someone must have done something bad to deserve it. Jesus who embodies a higher law than karma, says that in this case no one sinned. The meaning of the blindness and its healing is as a manifestation of mercy.

Jesus then disappeared into the crowd but the man he had healed fell victim of the jealousy of the Pharisees. When he failed to deny what had happened, he was expelled. Jesus hears of this and seeks him out so that the cure he had performed can be upgraded to a full healing. The symbolic meaning of the event is manifested when Jesus reveals his true self to the man. It is not described from the perspective of the man, as the glorious self-disclosure of Krishna to Arjuna is in the Bhagavad Gita, but the man is shown something utterly overwhelming, surpassing the ordinary mind. The man declares his belief in what he has been seen and falls down and worships him.

The last part of the story zooms back to the pharisees who have been watching all this and try ineffectually to continue their confrontation with Jesus. In response, he says, ‘it is for judgement that I have come into the world’. This contradicts what he says on another occasion (Jn 12:47) that ‘I did not come to judge the world but to save (heal) it’. The larger and deeper meaning of anything depends upon seeing how it and its opposite can merge.

In the 15th century Nicholas of Cusa was on his way back from Constantinople where he had been part of an unsuccessful attempt to reunite the Eastern and Western Churches. He said on his journey he had a mystical vision which made him see that the ‘least imperfect name for God’ was ‘the union of opposites’. Jesus says he did not come to judge and he says he came for judgement.

The Greek word for ‘judgement’ gives us a frequently used word in our news bulletins today: crisis. Crises judge us; they make us investigate, weigh the different sides and expect us to decide what to do. All of these are aspects of judging. Blaming and condemnation may be necessary but they are not the essence of right judgement. The pharisees on the other hand (we have a tribe of pharisees operating undercover in our psyches) were harsh and unfair judges who leapt to condemnation before pondering the case. It is these nasty judges, operating within us unconsciously, whom Jesus does judge and call out of their hiding places into the light of consciousness. To be called into self-knowledge like this is about healing the ego-domination of the psyche, being saved from our dark side


We live in a highly judgmental culture. At times, commonly on social media, it generates the violent collective mind of the lynch mob. When someone, especially a figure who has been put on a pedestal, has their dark side exposed, do we judge in the right sense or, taken over by our own shadow, do we rush to condemnation and revenge? Jesus doesn’t say we should hide the dark side. But he says, if those who cannot see, deny their own blindness they have a guilt that sticks to them in a very ugly and dangerous way.

Fasterefleksjoner av fr Laurence Freeman.

3. søndag i fasten 2023

One direction of religion is upwards transcending this world into a realm of breathtaking clarity and freedom beyond the limitations of both mind and matter. Most religions get stuck in these limitations and entrapped by the other direction. The second direction is downwards into human culture. Religions form institutions, belief and symbolic systems which are useful only for as long as they provide the resistance necessary for transcendence. Hence the inherent contradictions of religion.

In our time religion itself is being changed by the crisis humanity is passing through. The Catholic church’s inner turmoil reflects what is happening in all Christian institutions and in the surrounding cultures. Some key issues recur and become intense battlefields, particularly sexuality and women. Yet the forces of these two directions of religion are being reconciled. Whatever else is being worked out, it is reshaping a patriarchal religion into one with a vision of humanity based on equality not out of date hierarchies of power.

Other religions, like Buddhism and Islam, are going through similar revolutions. As they do, all religions may come together in an unprecedented way. Human culture will be transformed. Instead of competition they will find communion in the greater, common direction of transcendence. Religions have a core mystical consciousness from which they emerge but also quickly forget, falling prey to the collective egotism of power and polarisation. In recovering the transcendent force, within itself, each religion discovers that it is – astonishingly – one in the same force as every other religion.

One hot day Jesus was walking with his community when about noon he became tired and sat by a well. His disciples left him to go and buy food. A Samaritan woman, who is not likely to be dominated by any man, came to the well. Samaritans and Jews were sworn religious enemies


He asks her politely for a drink from her well. This breach of cultural norms – him speaking to a single woman and she a Samaritan – astonished her. It leads to a conversation within which they soon come to a deep mutual recognition. She refers to the immense religious divide between them and he replies that the hour is coming when truly religious people will transcend all their divisions. The hour will come – ‘in fact it is already here’, he adds -

When true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. And that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. Because not culture not a religious figure - but ‘God is spirit’.

This extraordinary encounter leads Jesus to confess openly to her, a foreigner and a woman, as to no one else, who he is, the Messiah: ‘I who am speaking to you, I am he’. For a Christian this is very moving and revelatory. But I think to anyone with a spiritual eye, this conversation affirms the truth of humanity’s oneness waiting to be discovered beyond religion and culture in the spirit.

When will this be realised? Are we in a birthing of a new manifesting of this truth? We are if we choose to be. The time is coming but in fact it is already here.

Fasterefleksjoner 2023 av Laurence Freeman
2, søndag i fasten

plutselig dekket en lys sky dem med skygge, og fra skyen kom det en røst ... (Mt 17:1-9)

Først må jeg oppdatere deg om læringskurven min om sauer og geiter. Læreren min i saken, som du kanskje husker, korrigerte meg i forrige uke, har informert meg om en annen viktig innsikt. Hvert av dyrene er i en annen slekt, men tilhører samme underfamilie, familie, orden og klasse. Røttene til godt og ondt er viklet inn.

I den første lesningen av liturgien i dag ser vi Abraham befalt av Gud å ‘forlate ditt land, din familie og ditt fars hus’ for et land Gud vil vise ham. Generasjoner av keltiske munker gjorde det samme. Abraham som gikk som fortalt er "faren i tro" til jøder, kristne og muslimer, men ikke mindre en modell for alle trosretninger av menneskets svar på det ultimate mysteriet med menneskelig eksistens. Abraham eksemplifiserer total og enkel løsrivelse i lydighet til en intuisjon som forvandler oss selv om den ikke kan forstås fullt ut. Han eksemplifiserer ett-trinns metanoia, som også tar et helt liv med meditasjon og å prøve å behandle andre slik vi vil at de skal behandle oss (selv og spesielt når de ikke behandler oss på den måten). Kontemplasjon og handling, meditasjon og tjeneste. På vår langsomme, snublende måte lærer vi av dem som i ett ledd hoppet inn i lyset.

Bildet for denne uken kommer fra de lange, brede klosterkorridorene ved Monte Oliveto. En dag forlot jeg rommet mitt for morgenkonferansen til WCCM-retreatet som vi holder der årlig, da jeg møtte en gammel munk som gikk sin langsomme og ensomme morgentur opp og ned de blankpolerte gulvene i korridoren. Han hilste meg med et mildt smil av gjenkjennelse. Vi snakket en stund. Han ønsket ikke å snakke om helsen sin, slik mange eldre forståelig nok gjør, men stilte spørsmål om meditatorene fra hele verden som han hadde sett i kirken. Da vi skiltes snudde jeg meg og så ham gå rett inn i lyset. Han døde kort tid etter, forvandlet til lysstyrken som allerede skinte gjennom ham, som jeg hadde vært begavet å se, i løpet av de siste dagene av livet hans.

I Matteus’ beretning om forvandlingen tok Jesus med sine nærmeste disipler til toppen av et fjell kort tid etter å ha fortalt dem om den mørke skjebnen som venter ham. På fjellet blir han åpenbart som den nye Moses og oppfyllelsen av den profetiske tradisjonen. Alt er lys. «Ansiktet hans skinte som solen». Peter føler at han må si noe om hva som er usigelig og tilbyr å bygge tre telt. I dag ville han ha sagt til Jesus: «Bare bli der et øyeblikk, så tar jeg et bilde». Folk tror ikke en hendelse har skjedd eller at de har vært et sted med mindre de tar en selfie av den. Men det er mørke også på forvandlingens fjell. En lys sky omslutter dem alle og dekker dem med sin skygge. Det sterkeste lyset, de beste tingene i livene våre, kan kaste den mørkeste skyggen når noe – som et kamera eller en selvbevisst tanke – kommer i mellom.

Alt vi kaller eller beskriver som en "opplevelse" har faktisk allerede blitt et minne underlagt våre sinns svakheter og bedrag. Mens de går nedover fjellet, ber Jesus dem om ikke å fortelle noen om opplevelsen av belysning før etter oppstandelsen når Kristi gjennomsiktige sinn kaster et nåværende lys over alt.

Lent Reflections 2023 by Laurence Freeman
Ash Wednesday

Doors and windows always seem wondrous to me. I often can’t resist taking a photo of them even when they are actually very ordinary. But anything ordinary becomes wondrous when it catches your eye in some sudden, unexpected way and you look twice at it or even gaze at it. They don’t explain themselves rationally but seem to return the attention you give them.

This is why I thought of using this photo of a door that is just open enough to show us what is on the other side. In this case, a calm ocean the same colour as the clear light blue sky above it, both merging on the horizon. Horizons, of course, are merely illusions in the mind of the observer because when we see with the clear eye of the heart there is no horizon, only unity.

As we start the forty days of Lent, we can think conventionally of giving something up (usually something we may be even slightly, unconsciously addicted to, like sugar) and doing something extra (usually something we think we should want to do more of, like meditation). This is a good thing if it is done as a simple childlike practice. Then it reminds us we are dust and unto dust we shall return. The ashes drawn on our forehead like a temporary tattoo impress on us that we are made of earth and belong to the animal kingdom. But it also reminds us that our short journey in life is towards and beyond every horizon. We are luminous and conscious and capable of ever greater degrees of love.

In the gospel today Jesus teaches us to give up something and to do something. We need to give up the self-consciousness of the performer (or the observer) worrying about what God or other people are thinking about us. This typical concern of the ego blocks us from wonder and closes the door of consciousness. So this Lent why don’t we catch ourselves whenever we start to be controlled by the desire to look good or be admired. Jesus also tells us to do something, to go into our inner room, close the door and pray there in the clear light of God. Then we merge.

When we feel wonder the ordinary is reborn. Lent is the celebration of the ordinary. All w e have to do is return to the present. If we are sad it is a sign we are living in the past consumed with our thoughts and memories. If we feel anxious we are living in the future. But if we are at peace within ourselves and with others sadness and anxiety are overcome and we are in the present moment. We shouldn’t look back at past experiences of peace trying to recapture them. Nor should we postpone now the work of returning to the present until we have solved our problems and secured ourselves against the worst.

Whether we give something up and take on something extra, or not, we can do the most important thing of all that brings us to peace and benefits others: the practice of the presence of God.

Refleksjoner fra Bonnevaux 2022 ved Tone Mjaavatn

I 2022 deltok fem av oss som mediterer i WCCMs grupper her i Norge på retreat på
Bonnevaux for første gang. Det har gjort sterkt inntrykk.

Vi har ventet lenge. Denne retreaten ble planlagt for høsten 2020, men ble, på grunn av
pandemien, utsatt til nå. Så det var godt endelig å få opplevd stedet. Og miljøet rundt det.. "I feel Bonnevaux is a place of serenity", sa taxisjåføren som en lys, varm ettermiddag hentet oss i forhåndsbestilt drosje fra Poitiers etter at vi hadde ankommet med TGV-tog fra Paris. "And I like that very much"l

Det gjorde vi også. Og vi skjønte fort at han hadde rett. For det første som møtte oss da vi kom frem var nettopp roen. Vi tenkte på det som stillhet, men veldig stille er det egentlig ikke på Bonnevaux, ikke ute i hvert fall; fuglene synger uavbrutt, sikader og frosker holder på, bier og humler også, og lyden av et tog og et og annet fly gjenkjente vi også iblant. Likevel hviler denne stillheten, eller roen, sjelsroen, over hele stedet, ute og inne. Det kjentes som en kraft, en omtenksom, vennlig kraft: "Vær stille, og kjenn at jeg er Gud".

Vi merket det i låven, der vi deltok i kommunitetens faste bønn- og meditasjonsliturgi, i
spiserommet der alle måltidene var tause unntatt middagene. I begynnelsen ønsket jeg meg lav musikk til maten, men det forandret seg da vi lærte å konsentrere oss om det som er vårt (på vår tallerken) og ikke la oppmerksomheten drive mot naboen(s gaffelklirring).

Og i naturen. Langs skogsveiene, gangstiene, langs vide åkre og intenst blomstrende enger. På
Korsveien, ved den lille innsjøen vi har sett så mange bilder fra hjemme. Under de enorme, eldgamle trærne der vi innimellom satt og småpratet lavt eller leste eller undret oss alene når solen var på det varmeste. Var det ikke 400 år gamle de var?

I atmosfæren. Tross mye arbeid og sikkert vanlige frustrasjoner bak kulissene: i vennligheten og
imøtekommenheten fra både faste og frivillige som er kommet fra hele verden for å hjelpe
til på hver sin måte og være en del av dette. Noen som fast stab, andre som mer
kortsiktige husfolk. I hjelpsomheten når vi ikke fant frem, i smilene oss alle i mellom når vi
ikke fant ordene. Latteren, som vi av og til ikke kunne dy oss for, i Giovannis yogatimer,
eller ved middagsbordet der vi kunne bli litt kjent med hverandre. Kjøkkendøra ut til hagen
som sto åpen til sent på kveld og viste at det var folk der. Lettelsen og gleden over å så
lett bli inkludert i - og oppmuntrende utfordret av - dette fellesskapet, ikke minst gjennom
våre daglige små (hus)arbeidsoppgaver, for visst er dette et sted for bønn, men også for

Og i arkitekturen. I de små detaljene fra den gamle "Abbyen", i det lille kapellet fra det opprinnelige klosteret, i låven, som også var stedet for yogaøvelser og fr Laurences grunnleggende foredrag, i den gamle stallen som nå inneholder gjesterommene, kjøkken og spiserom, bibliotek, den lille bokhandelen, kontorer …

Dette var en av de første retreatene på Bonnevaux etter pandemien og ferdiggjøringen av første etappe i restaureringen av dette tidligere Benediktinerklosteret fra 1200-tallet. Da WCCM kom over det for 6 - 7 år siden var det som å komme hjem, fortalte fr Laurence. Et stort arbeid ble satt i gang, finansiert av velvillige donasjoner. Blant annet ble alt arkitektarbeid gitt gratis av en vel anerkjent (mediterende) arkitekt i Singapore. Stedet er blitt imponerende nennsomt vakkert og funksjonelt restaurert - så langt; Det foreligger planer for mye mer.

Så var det Labyrinten.

Dette gamle kristne symbolet ble vårt tema disse dagene.

Som fr Laurence underviste oss i, så vi forsto viktigheten i

å gjenkjenne forskjellen på en kanskje fristende "maze"

(den ble illustrert med noe som kan likne en QR-kode, det

nærmeste norske ordet er kanskje "forvirring") der livet

virker fritt og fristende fullt av valg, men også (ofte

underholdende) distraksjoner, men som er uten kjerne, og som vi etterhvert blir slitne og mismodige av å befinne oss i, og en labyrint, som kan virke lukket og fastlåst fordi den bare består av én vei, én liten smal sti. Men som leder til livet. John Main kalte det å praktisere meditasjon "en pilegrimsvandring til det helligste stedet i verden. Og det helligste stedet i verden er menneskets hjerte". Labyrintens sentrum.

Det syntes vi at vi merket da vi, etter å ha satt labyrinten sammen steinplate for steinplate i
stekende sol over flere timer, en sen ettermiddag kunne bevege oss langsomt fremover innenfor de begrensende, men også klargjørende grensene den består av, helt inn til midten, med "mantraet som nøkkelen som hjelper oss å holde retningen". Der ble vi stående i kveldssolen, og holde hverandres hender. Svalene sang, sirissene spilte, en og annen humle surret. Vi hadde ikke ord.

Noe la seg til ro i oss der på Bonnevaux, på dette gamle, gamle klosterstedet. Og noe
våknet i oss. Noen ante at en indre helingsprosess kunne være på gang. Noen snakket
om "to unfold". Noen om å komme til rette med seg selv, finne veien og tørre å gå den. Noen om velsignelse.

Selvfølgelig var det rart å komme hjem. Selvfølgelig var det rart å oppleve at livet her
fortsetter som før.

Men det gjør ikke det. For oss. Ikke helt. For det er noe med denne atmosfæren på
Bonnevaux, livsnær, skapende, uhøytidelig og seriøs, båret av stillheten og denne roen,
sinnsroen, som ligger under hele tiden, den som taxisjåføren fra Poitiers snakket så
hengivent om, som har inspirert oss dypt. Som kanskje er det som modner oss for denne
livserkjennelsen, dette Kristusmøtet, som ligger i kjernen av denne urkristne
meditasjonsformen vi holder på med. Som i labyrinten. Og som vi jo har visst om, men
som vi gjenopplevde så tydelig på denne retreaten. Og som vi ikke vil gi opp, men gå mot,
ta i mot. Hver dag. Hver meditasjonsstund.

Kontakt WCCM Norge:
Tlf: 95 20 66 64 (Tone)

Velkommen til å utforske vår side på:FACEBOOK (

Kontonummer 1822 76 19658 VIPPS: 51 20 00 eller WCCM Norge