Guild Contemplative Groups
After Father Thomas Keating visited Bar Harbor in the summer of 2008, the Guild began to sponsor Centering Prayer workshops and groups at Maine’s several locations. Many of these continue. Reflecting the Guild’s ecumenical calling and respect for each person’s unique spiritual path, some groups practice other forms of silent, contemplative prayer.
All these groups welcome everyone who desires to begin or deepen their practice of contemplative silence. All groups provide initial instruction in practice and opportunities to share questions and responses. Some groups offer spiritual resources beyond practice—for example, opportunities for reading and discussion in their desire to nourish their members’ spiritual journeys.
Newcomers are most welcome in all these groups. To register, please contact a facilitator of the group where you plan to participate.
If you would like to begin a Guild Contemplative Group in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Guild Contemplative Gatherings
Blue Hill Peninsula
Coordinator: Holbrook Williams, 207-359-4428, or email@example.com.
Silence in Candlelight every Wednesday at 5 pm at the Blue Hill Congregational Church in the Sanctuary, aka Sunday church service room. Two 25 minute times of silence with a short “stretch break” in between. Bring a flashlight in case the church is dark, the way I prefer it. Come late, leave early, if that is your preference, but please respect the silence.
Coordinator: Paul McNulty, firstname.lastname@example.org. No Frills Meditation Group of Blue Hill gathers at the Blue Hill Town Hall from 8-9 AM every Tuesday for a period of silent meditation and contemplation. We sit for 40 minutes and have an opportunity for discussion afterwards if people wish.
Any form of silent meditation is welcome. Our purpose is to provide an experience of silence in concert with others to enhance our private meditation practices. Enter by the rear door of the town hall, and take the elevator to the second-floor theatre.
We are now meeting once a week, Tuesdays, from 4:00 – 4:30 pm for one “virtual sit” on Zoom, plus a little poetry and a little check-in. If you would like to join, contact Rick for more information and a Zoom link.
In non-pandemic times, we meet on second and fourth Tuesday afternoons, 4:30 – 5:30 pm at 24 Summer St. on the Topsham Riverwalk adjacent to the Prayer Wheel Garden. Prior to contemplation, participants gather to talk or walk the labyrinth from 4:00 – 4:30 pm.
Deer Isl ARea
Coordinator: Ann Hooke, 207-348-6933 or email@example.com, Interfaith Meditation Group.
Given Covid, we have shifted our time to 8:30 – 9:30 am on Thursday mornings. We welcome new members and ask anyone considering joining us to contact Ann, who sends out the Zoom URL the day before.
Weekly leadership still rotates between volunteers from the group. The hour divides roughly into 5-10 minutes of joining, 10 minutes of leader speaks (might be personal reflections, readings, etc.), 20 minutes of silence, 15-20 minutes of reflections and sharing. Readings often from Richard Rohr’s daily meditations and from the Almanac for the Soul. Other readings are frequently used as well.
In non-pandemic times, we meet year-round on Thursday mornings, 8:00 – 8:45 am in the new meeting room of the Deer Isle Congregational Church in Deer Isle – the white church at the top of the hill in Deer Isle. The group size ranges from 2-5 in the colder months and 4-10 in the warmer months.
We have been meeting since 1996. Each week different volunteer readers facilitate. Participants represent both Christian and other spiritual foundations. Questions? Contact Ann.
Contemplative Prayer Group, Mondays 4:30 – 5:00 pm at St. Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church, 627 North Deer Isle Road, Deer Isle, is now meeting on Zoom, still on Mondays at 4:30 pm and open to all. Anyone interested in joining us should email Miriam for the current Zoom link and be listed on the contact list.
Meets second Sunday of the month, in Lamoine (call or email for directions) from 4:00-5:30 pm. Time and location may change and will be announced in advance via email.
TEMPORARY change due to Covid-19:
We are meeting via Zoom every Sunday from 4:00-5:30 pm. Please give Chris your email address to be included in Zoom meetings.
This Contemplative Silent Prayer Group is in the tradition of ancient and contemporary mystics, Father Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, St. Theresa of Avila, Father Thomas Keating, and others. It is about silence as a pathway to deep knowing through self-emptying, unitive non-dualism, illumination by the Spirit, and unknowing.
Chris may email a link to a spiritual teacher’s talk before the group meeting, which is unnecessary for group participation. We will enter in silence, have a reading, then practice 30 minutes of silent, centering meditative prayer. Those who care to can then choose to share once about their own inner spiritual experience.
We will close with a moment of silence. When the session is over, we enjoy a time to visit, connect, and build community. While focused on the Christian Mystical Tradition, the group celebrates, welcomes, and benefits from all spiritual traditions; Buddhist, Sufi, Indigenous Cultures, Kabbalist, Native American, Quaker, and more.
Mount Desert Island ARea
Bar Harbor, Monday afternoons, 1 – 3 pm, in the Christian Centering Prayer tradition including 20 minutes of centering prayer plus time for faith sharing and mutual support, as well as reflections on CDs, books, and other resources for spiritual nourishment. Call for details and location.
Coordinators: Sandy and Burt Haggett, 207-288-0085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesdays 11 am – 1 pm at 8 Shannon Rd. Bar Harbor. Buddhist-influenced Meditation Group and Sangha. Meditations based on Lama John Makransky’s book, Awakening Through Love, affiliated with the Foundation for Active Compassion.
Soul Rest Quiet Time. We now meet via Zoom on Tuesday afternoons, 3:00-4:30 pm. We welcome new participants. Contact Lyta who will send you a link to the group.
Our time together includes an inspirational reading, after which we quiet our minds and relax our bodies in silent openness to the Holy for 20 minutes, walk meditatively for 5 minutes, listen to the reading again, and return to silently resting in the Presence for 20 minutes. We then listen to the reading a third time, followed by an opportunity for sharing.
In non-pandemic times, we meet Tuesdays afternoons, 3:00-4:30 pm in the sanctuary of the Somesville Union Meeting House UCC. In the colder months (October-March) we gather in the Pastor’s study in the Parish House (at the rear of the parking lot).
Coordinator: Beth Hood, 207-644-8242, email@example.com
Friday afternoons, 4:00 – 5:30 pm at the Parish House of the Union Church UCC, Middle Road. Call to confirm. Contemplative prayer depending on interest; usually a book study.
Facilitator: Donna Yellen, 207-767-2631
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. Tuesdays, 8:15-9:15 am at St. Bartholomew’s Roman Catholic Church, Rt. 77, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107. We gather in the small group room on the right as you enter. For more information, call Donna Yellen or just show up!
Coordinator: Stan Scott, 207-838-7927 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. Opportunity for conversation afterward. Mondays, 5-6 pm. at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (upstairs from the sanctuary), Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth. For more information, call Stan.