About Us

The World Community for Christian Meditation is  a global and inclusive contemplative family, now present in more than 120 countries. Our roots lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity, dating back to the 4th century. In the Christian tradition meditation is often referred to as "pure prayer" or "prayer of the heart", because it is a prayer without thoughts, words or images and so takes us beyond the imagination and the ego.  When we meditate we are not thinking about God or speaking to God.  We are simply being with God in the silence and stillness of the present moment. We move from the mind to the heart.  It is a prayer of silence, stillness and attention.  The essence of all prayer (and love) is attention.

In 1975  Fr. John Main OSB, 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.  After his early death in 1982, the Community, by then centered in Montreal Canada, continued on and matured under the leadership of Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB.  Fr. Laurence's efforts have helped to produce the worldwide community that we are today.

At the John Main Seminar in New Harmony, Indiana in 1991, led by Fr. 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 (our logo) - the two birds looking in different directions but resting on the chalice - is a modern version of an ancient way of representing the union of the contemplative and active dimensions of life.  Read more about Fr. John Main and Fr. Laurence Freeman here.....

At this time National Communities are under their own autonomous leadership, but receive support in maintaining a common vision and guidance from Fr. Laurence and an International Guiding Board and reciprocate by tithing a portion of their donations.


The Mission Statement of the World Community for Christian Meditation, is part of the WCCM Constitution, and accepted by all our national communities:

To communicate and nurture meditation as passed on through the teaching of John Main in the Christian tradition in the spirit of serving the unity of all.


The World Community for Christian Meditation in the USA currently has over 300 groups in many states, some of whom meet in churches of every denomination, and some of whom meet in other venues such as hospitals, Y's, and private homes. Our organization is run entirely by very dedicated and hard working volunteers. Some parts of the country have Regional Coordinators, volunteers who get to know group leaders in their area, help to nurture communication between groups, and to publicize more localized events.  WCCM has only one paid part-time administrative employee. We meet yearly as a National Council to conduct business, in conjunction with an event with a speaker. This gathering rotates between different geographic areas of the US.  The leadership of WCCM-USA plans and assists in hosting Fr. Laurence's retreats and lectures, as well as inviting other nationally known practitioners of contemplation.  We have hosted the John Main Seminar several times over the years, an event with worldwide attendance, most recently in 2017, in Houston.  We also provide ongoing support for emerging leadership in some of the smaller countries in the Southern hemisphere, such as Mexico, Trinidad, Haiti, etc.
Current members of our Executive Committee:

  • Jay Stewart: U.S. National Coordinator
  • Eugene Bebeau
  • Lucy Beck
  • Pat King
  • Sr. Cynthia Comiskey

A major goal

A major goal of the current US National Coordinator is to focus on the "Community" part of the World Community for Christian Meditation.  This goal reflects on the organizational level, a growth step that each individual meditator takes along the path of meditation.  First, one meditates for how it benefits oneself.  The fruits are calmness, patience, self-acceptance and self-improvement.  Then the meditator leaves his seat and goes out to use these fruits to benefit others.  Building community within the US organization will allow meditators to connect and inspire each other, and then reach out to benefit others in charity and love.

The Covenant of WCCM-USA is available here.