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In the midst of the many demands and challenges of work and life, how do we find the peace that Jesus promises in John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”?  Chris Whittington’s recent lunchtime meditation session “Establishing Peace in Ourselves: Meditation and the Discovery of Peace in Daily Life”, explored this issue. 

Chris spoke with clarity about how many of our everyday habits and ways of relating to life overlay a radical truth at the heart of the Christian message: the peace we seek is already here, buried in the field of our lives like a precious jewel, even if, for a great deal of the time, our lives can feel very far from being peaceful.

After looking at how we routinely fill our minds with mental noise and clutter, Chris invited us to practice a simple way of meditation that the 4th century desert monk Evagrius of Pontus described as “The raising of the heart and mind to God – by the laying aside of thoughts”, that we might know this ever-present peace in our own experience.

It’s powerful to share silence in the heart of the business day: as one participant put it, “it was almost surreal how so many high-level business people could sit in stillness in a city office space, with a common focus on our faith”.

The full text of Chris’s talk is available here.

If you’d like to explore this further, Chris Whittington is leading a half-day ChaplaincyPlus Retreat on the morning of Saturday 22 June at St Luke’s Church Centre, Great Colmore Street, a short walk from New Street Station (just beyond the Mailbox), cost £10. Book your place here – places are limited, first come, first served.

The feedback from the recent lunchtime meditation session confirms how much people appreciated:

“The distilled wisdom presented by Chris.  Chris’s measured and calm delivery.  The opportunity to practice.”

“Space in the midst of the working day.  A moment of peace and a greater understanding / encouragement to seek peace for myself.”

“The silence and stillness of the meditation.  I’ve been feeling stressed and the meditation was really helpful.  I love the simplicity of meditation and hope I can incorporate into to my life regularly.”

If you’d like to meet to discuss this, there’s an open offer to arrange a coffee – just contact Sarah Thorpe on sarah.thorpe@chaplaincyplus.org.uk or Steve Bavington on steve.bavington@chaplaincyplus.org.uk or Chris Whittington on chris.whittington.uk@gmail.com.