“...increasing not so much their knowing about God, as rather knowing God, experiencing God."
Every year, members of the Contemplative Network of Aotearoa New Zealand meet in retreat, to reflect and meditate on spiritual growth.
The venue for this year’s retreat was Wellington’s Home of Compassion Centre in Island Bay.
Mike Gourley was invited to speak with Network members at retreat’s end. Having spent nearly five days, mostly in silence, Mike found a number were willing to talk about their time together, using silent reflection, chanting, centring prayer, and inspirational teachings to further their spiritual growth.
Many of the retreat participants talked of their institutional Church background, in some cases, Catholic, in others, other protestant denominations. But all said that they’d grown tired of the words that cluttered up those traditions, and looked forward to times of silent reflection and meditation, that allow them to remove the daily distractions, the analogy of “raising the water buffalo”, as opposed to times of silent reflection, “eating rice”. For Piripi Whaanga, it was as simple as seeing the steam rise from a cup of tea.
Mike Gourley meets up with members of the Contemplative Network.