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An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB,“Dearest Friends,” Newsletter of the World Community for Christian Meditation, Vol. 31, no

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An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB,“Dearest Friends,” Newsletter of the World Community for Christian Meditation, Vol. 31, no. 3, October 2007, pp. 6 and 7. A community of love does not dissolve when its size expands or contracts. It does not cling to the friends it has made and defend itself against strangers or charge admission or check people’s credentials. It does not cease from exploring the experience of love it began from and which must inevitably, eventually, lead it to a peak from which ones sees the boundlessness of love. When John Main died there was not a lot to show for his vision. . . .There was a small monastic community and the bare beginnings of a global one. But he recognized even then that it needed to change direction, even further from the institutional and deeper into the mystery of community that is achieved at the price of solitude. He saw that the vision of his community of love was to be seen in people, not structures or institutions. Before his last illness he felt drawn to a more withdrawn life in order to better realize his vision of community. His death became that step into solitude. Even today when one celebrates the expansion and diversification of his mission worldwide, a community of love that has spread to so many cultures and penetrated so many forms and ages of life, with the exception of the monastic which ironically had been his immediate wish, we cannot mistake community for institution. It would be wrong to approach the celebration of the expansion of his work triumphally. Celebration is more than a triumph; it is about personal growth and development. [ . . . .] Just as we don’t measure progress in meditation by results or feelings so the growth of a community of love is personal, interior not statistical. [. . . .] A community of love demands much work, as does the inner work of meditation, but its mystery is seen in grace, as the free gift of the spirit who starts the work from the beginning and sees its completion in the eternal present. It is this work of the spirit that we celebrate. It is a work in progress that John Main became a great and selfless teacher of. [And that] countless meditators around the world continue. After Meditation, “Two Kinds of Intelligence” The Essential Rumi, tr. Coleman Barks (Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 1997) p. 178. There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts from books and from what the teacher says, collecting information from the traditional sciences as well as from the new sciences. With such intelligence you rise in the world. You get ranked ahead or behind others in regard to your competence in retaining information. You stroll with this intelligence in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more marks on your preserving tablets. There is another kind of tablet, one already completed and preserved inside you, a spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness in the center of the chest. This other intelligence does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid, and it doesn’t move from outside to inside through the conduits of plumbing-learning. This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out.

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