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Taking time to nurture our spirituality

Contemplative Meditation for Groups

Homewood Publications 2013

RRP $20

Reviewed by Noel Preston.

Ken Davidson's own sacred story — told early in the script — begins in the Queensland Methodism of the 1950s.
The critical point of its development is undoubtedly the traumatic death through cancer of his young wife, Margaret, in the 1980s.

Sparked by that traumatic event, Ken's life is enriched by years of contemplative experiences and retreats which enable him to share his wisdom in this resource and as the initiator of a weekly group still meeting in inner-city Brisbane.

By profession an engineer, the influences on his contemplative practice are ecumenical.

Meditation, as he practises it, is not necessarily religious, though it takes the spiritual seriously.

Ken's view is that much of institutional Christianity has lost its way with a preoccupation on doctrine.

He agrees with the twentieth century Catholic theologian Karl Rahner that Christianity's survival depends on its capacity to focus on mysticism.

There is much to inspire the reader in the informed discussion about meditation, but for me this book's ongoing strength and usefulness rests in the short meditations on themes which the author has used in his own leadership.

Though the focus is more on being contemplative/attentive/present in life's ordinariness, there is no doubt the author commends the benefits of meditation for stilling the mind and allowing insight to emerge in crises and therapeutic settings.

I will value this book as a spur to nurture the inner life. It is also a reminder of how appropriate it is, in so many settings, to establish groups whose purpose is nothing more than “taking the spiritual seriously” through weekly meditation meetings.