Christian Meditation and Mental Health Advice
Meditation is often endorsed as being beneficial to our health and wellbeing. There are many different meditation traditions, they vary widely, and are not all are appropriate for all people, or at all times.
Intrinsically, Christian Meditation is a safe practice. It is well structured and the periods of meditation, 20-30 minutes twice a day, are not too long or too onerous. It is passed on mainly in a group setting with the fellowship and support of the group as well as the guidance of the group leader.
Christian Meditation is a spiritual path – not a treatment. However, sometimes people with mental illness find their way to meditation hoping it will be the answer to their problems. When dealing with this, it can sometimes be helpful to distinguish between mental health and mental illness, which is where the mental health advisors can help.
Mental Health Advice is mainly a resource for Group leaders or members in our UK community. There are two members of the community who can make themselves available to offer Mental Health Advice in the context of our meditation practice. These volunteers are there to discuss concerns, give advice where appropriate and may help to prevent the blurring of boundaries.
Sometimes mental health issues will arise either individually or in the group. On these occasions, it may be helpful to talk to a mental health advisor about how best to manage the situation. A referral back to the individual’s mental health professional to talk things over is often the best solution. Other times it can be managed in the group, providing it is remembered that group members are meditators, not counsellors. Indeed, it is important that the group remain true to the tradition of John Main and not become a support group.
The two meditators in the community who can be contacted are Birgit Duncan (email link) and Shelagh Layet (email link). They both have a background and training in Mental Health.
- Birgit Duncan is also regional coordinator for London (Northeast).
- Shelagh Layet is a group leader of long standing in Nailsea and elsewhere, and a member of the steering committee for the Bristol and Bath region.
Please make the initial contact via the UK Office email and we can then arrange a call.