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Speaker Series: Imageless Prayer and the Power of Imagination

A monthly series of inspiring and refreshing speakers from around the world.
Liz Watson

Leader

Liz Watson

Liz Watson is a member of The World Community for Christian Meditation and lives by the sea in Cornwall,UK. She has served the meditation community in various capacities over the past 28 years, including a term as UK National Coordinator. She now focuses on teaching meditation in a wide range of settings – speaking and writing – leading retreats and offering spiritual direction. For WCCM she has recorded the CD ‘Images of Meditation’ with its accompanying booklet, contributed chapters to the book ‘Journey to the Heart’ and to the website ‘Contemplative Path through the Crisis’.

Date

Jun 10 2021

Time

FRENCH TIME
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Location

Online Only

Conducted via Zoom or live-stream.

Category

It doesn’t sound as though imageless prayer and the activity of the imagination will be good companions. But many things take us by surprise when we habitually give ourselves over to meditation. “Once again I have been suddenly redeemed by an image”, Etty Hillesum notes in her diary, as prayer works its transformation in her.

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Introducing this talk

“She couldn’t really make life work the way she imagined it could be or should be. But then at a certain point, from a standing start you might say, she began to find God in her life, and she began regular prayer, and in particular, she discovered silence in her life. And that gradually, although in some ways quite quickly, began to change things quite radically for her. She discovered that there’s a depth in her which she hadn’t known before.”

ABOUT THE SERIES:

Speaker Series

Drawing on the global richness of our spiritual community we are bringing inspiring and refreshing speakers from around the world to this monthly series in 2021. 

SERIES SCHEDULE

 

  • 21 JAN – Reconciling Opposites in a Polarised World with Sarah Bachelard
  •  9 FEB – Meditation – With or Without Expectations? with Rowan Williams
  • 9 MAR – Changing the Climate of Aggression and Restoring Trust with Herman Van Rompuy 
  • 30 MAR – Mary Magdalene and Attention of the Heart with Cynthia Bourgeault
  • 8 APR – Listening to People We Don’t Like with Charles Taylor
  • 20 MAY –  Ways to Go Beyond with Rupert Sheldrake
  • => 10 JUN –  Imageless Prayer and the Power of Imagination with Liz Watson
  • 15 JUL – A Healthy Society with Dr. Julia Kim 
  • 16 SEP – A Caring Economy with Bela Hatvany 
  • 7 OCTA Quest for Wisdom with David Lorimer 
  • 9 NOV – A Healthy Intelligence for Our Digitised Societies with Marco Schorlemmer 
  • 16 DEC – Why Meditate? with Kim Nataraja 

 

UPCOMING SESSIONS

 

15 JUL –  A Healthy Society

with Dr Julia Kim

What are the different ways of viewing “health”? Dr Julia Kim will explore these and offer her perspective on Gross National Happiness as an alternative paradigm, particularly in contrast to focusing on biomedicine and the healthcare system in isolation from the larger social justice and environmental concerns.

 

16 SEP – A Caring Economy

With Bela Hatvany 

Our current money system creates a painful sense of scarcity – hot having – and high disparities between rich and poor. Bela is not suggesting a revolution but an intelligent evolution recognising that the pillars of the economy are food and energy but that we work better together in empathy and care as ‘homo empathicus’ not just ‘homo economicus’. Money is created as debt but it can be distributed as rain. A change of vision and consciousness – in which meditation plays an important part is called for now.

 

7 OCT – A Quest for Wisdom

With David Lorimer 

This talk will draw from a newly published collection of David Lorrimer’s Essays highlighting the inescapable need to find a sense of purpose on the path of our lives. David brings a contemporary and erudite perspective to the timeless questions of the nature of life and death, meaning and purpose and the secret of living in harmony with each other and the planet.

 

9 NOV – A Healthy Intelligence for Our Digitised Societies

With Marco Schorlemmer 

In this talk we will reflect on the phenomenon of intelligence and its role in today’s highly digitised societies, which mainly emphasise the functional, problem-solving dimension of intelligence, to the neglect of its evaluative and liberating dimensions. We will also highlight the need of nourishing a more balanced and healthy intelligence for these societies, and thus argue for the importance of experiential wisdom practices today. 

 

16 DEC – Why Meditate?

With Kim Nataraja 

There are many articles in newspapers and magazines extolling the virtue of meditation as an anti-dote to stress. It is definitely a very valid and effective way to deal with the prevalent dis-ease of our age. But there is more to meditation, as many discover after a while. Meditation practised as a spiritual discipline leads not only to health but furthermore to total Wholeness of being.

 

PREVIOUS SESSIONS

 

21 JAN – Reconciling Opposites in a Polarised World

With Sarah Bachelard

Always deepening her insight into what ‘contemplative Christianity’ means and what the options for the church of the future are, Sarah will tackle the dilemma of modern discourse – how to be committed to a good cause without increasing polarisation, how to practise peace in a culture spoiling for a fight.


9 FEB
– Meditation – With or Without Expectations?

With Rowan Williams

Should we expect “results” from meditation?’  We wouldn’t meditate without some kind of expectation but there’s the danger of turning meditation into a way of getting what we want (or think we want). Rowan will explore what sort of transformation we look for in and through meditation, and then think about how to find the balance between the risk of low expectations and the risk of ‘functionalising’ meditation to serve our own purposes. 

 

9 MAR – Changing the Climate of Aggression and Restoring Trust

With Herman Van Rompuy 

How can we better understand those who feel acutely misunderstood, abandoned and lonely and so help change the societal climate, turning fear into hope, not for a few, but for many? There is still a ‘healthy’ ‘silent majority’ but this does not always make history. Since 2018, we have lived in a succession of crises (multiple crises) that reinforced fear and insecurity. Corona comes on top of it. How can we restore trust and avoid enemy thinking?


8 APR
– Listening to People We Don’t Like

With Charles Taylor


How can we explain the deep divisions which have arisen in so many democracies today associated with what is called “populism” (even though I don’t think this is the best term)? I will offer some ideas about how to understand these disturbing and dangerous problems: and then consider how to overcome them. It must involve learning to listen to and understand others who may at first seem alien and even repugnant to us. The role of meditation in this enterprise is new at a social level. It has obvious relevance to helping us meet the challenges-  and can be transformative.
 

20 MAY – Ways to Go Beyond
with Rupert Sheldrake 

Combining scientific research with his knowledge of mystical traditions, Rupert will look at seven spiritual practices that are personally transformative and have measurable effects. Including sport, fasting, animals and holy days and festival, he will show how these practices give a greater sense of connectedness and happiness. He will also discuss whether spiritual experiences are illusory, as some claim, or if they give direct connections with higher realms of consciousness.A

Liz Watson

Leader

Liz Watson

Liz Watson is a member of The World Community for Christian Meditation and lives by the sea in Cornwall,UK. She has served the meditation community in various capacities over the past 28 years, including a term as UK National Coordinator. She now focuses on teaching meditation in a wide range of settings – speaking and writing – leading retreats and offering spiritual direction. For WCCM she has recorded the CD ‘Images of Meditation’ with its accompanying booklet, contributed chapters to the book ‘Journey to the Heart’ and to the website ‘Contemplative Path through the Crisis’.

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