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Showing posts from November, 2010

The God You Don't Believe In Doesn't Exist

I recently watched "The Big Silence" on BBC IPlayer.  It's a documentary about the experiences of four people who volunteered to attend an eight day silent retreat at a Christian centre in North Wales.

Having been on several week long silent meditation retreats at Buddhist retreat centres myself, I was fascinated by the similarities between my experiences and those of the volunteers, and by the differences in emphasis from the two traditions.

The most compelling message I took from the programme was a confirmation of a long-held belief of mine:  that the human experience at the heart of Christian contemplation and prayer is exactly the same human experience which Buddhists meet in meditation.  Buddhists may talk about Jhanas whilst Christians talk about Grace, but it is the same experience.

I was particularly struck by something a monk said to one of the volunteers, who had experienced something very profound, but was unwilling to describe it as an experience of God: "…

A Silent Hour

This morning we had 2 minutes silence across the school.  It was at the start of my lesson with 10 S1 pupils.  After the silence ended, I told my class about the silent meditation retreats I had attended, and about the school on Vancouver Island which has a silent morning for the whole school [I can't find a link to this - anyone help?].

One of the pupils said "Oh - can we do that this lesson!"  The rest of the class was up for it, so we did the entire hour lesson in silence.  It was a lovely experience, and the pupils were very positive in their learning logs.