A couple of days ago, I was invited by a friend, Kathy, to her house for a small group meditation session conducted by a Catholic Father. I was very excited to learn meditation from any masters of all schools and groups. I had been told, very strongly, by some of my closest Catholic friends and some Christian friends (not certain which denominations), that meditation is not permitted by their church elders. Hmm.. I failed to convince them that it has little to do with religion, God or any spiritual worship. Meditation is just a journey into our inner self to find that pure inner peace and happiness that we had forgotten as we live in our material world.
Some even countered : "But for a Buddhist like you, meditation is part of your religion." They did not know that I was not and am NOT a Buddhist. Just because I was ordained as a monk, and studied the Buddha's teaching for year, did not make me a Buddhist. We tend to differentiate people by labels, race, ethnicity etc, even though we know we should not, but inside our mind, we still do.
After I was ordained as a Buddhist Monk in 2017 and 2019, I made it a personal mission to spread the benefits of meditation experience to as many people as possible, aiming to reach 1million people before my life is done. I don't need to convert everyone to be a meditator, only to share and hopefully spark their journey to find inner peace through meditation.
When I met Father Laurence Freeman, I was not disappointed. He provided a simple and clear way to explain meditation to a room full of Christian, Catholics and Buddhist. He introduced a mantra to guide one's mind into stillness during meditation that I found very soothing. The mantra is Ma-ran-na-tha which means "come lord". I am trained by Buddhist monks to use "Samma-Ara-Hung" as the mantra, which means "the Pure and Virtuous". Both mantra are very easy to recite and somewhat rhythmic and soothing to the mind. We meditated for about 15 minutes and felt very refreshed.
After his sessions, I felt a lot more confident that Christians and Catholics do meditate too! He asked about my journey and experience in Thailand being a Monk and he had also meditated in Thailand with Buddhist monks as well. I gave a copy of my book, "A CEO an Entrepreneur, a Tourist and the Monk" to Father Laurence and he gave me his book titled "Good Work". I am reading it now, and already found it very good. It helps me understand perspectives from the biblical side and certainly reaffirm my hope for world peace through inner peace. Father Laurence started a meditation center for christians as part of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), in France. I hope I get to attend a retreat there some day and expand my exposures to meditation from a Benedictine monk.
For more information about Father Laurence meditation, you may visit this link: