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Meditation can be helpful in being ‘true to self’

by
12 July 2013

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From the Revd Roger Gibbard

Sir, - In their new promise, the Guides and Brownies (News, 21 June; Letters, 28 June, 5 July) are saying something very important.

The laying aside of the traditional religious language of the old promise (to do my duty to God) and adoption of the more personal terms of the new one (to be true to myself) is a challenge to us all to discern God's presence in our innermost being.

No matter that it is a response to the reality of our modern pluralist society, where a girl wanting to join a Brownie pack or Guide company is as likely to come from a totally non-religious family, or one following a different faith, as from a Christian one. (We also have to respect that a young person these days is likely to have beliefs that comprise a rather inchoate amalgam of ideas and influences borne in upon them by the internet.)

The commitment to seeking the truth of one's own being as well as "to develop one's beliefs" is nothing less than the spiritual quest, which most of your readers would describe as the search for God. But God is not a word or a doctrine, but a reality to be experienced and lived - whatever the language in which we try to express it.

Surely, any youth group dedicated to "being true to themselves" must find a welcome and support in the Church of Christ, whom we trust to be Truth, and "the light which enlightens every person".

In this connection, I would commend to Brownie and Guide leaders the important work being done by the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) in teaching meditation to hundreds of schoolchildren in the UK. We are finding that even quite young children take to meditation almost naturally (one minute for each year of their age).

This helps them create precious inner space, counteracts the tendency to over-stimulation in our hectic world, and links in to their often quite natural sense of the divine presence.

ROGER GIBBARD
Anglican priest and WCCM volunteer
97 Barnsley Street
Wigan WN6 7HB

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