The Heartfulness Circle meets on Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern Time for practice and conversation, both in person and by Zoom. All are welcome who are interested in mindfulness and meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer. This is a time to talk about our practice and share insights or questions about it, and also a time for more general spiritual support.
You can find a brief description of the format along with Centering Prayer instructions here: Heartfulness Circle Format and Instructions
We are thrilled to have people join us by Zoom from afar or from home! The format is interactive—Zoom attendees are full participants in the conversation along with those attending in person.
If you would like to attend by Zoom and all you need is the link, here it is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83105680256
You can find more extensive Zoom instructions below if you need them.
Here is a little more about the weekly Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle. We meet in the United Church of Strafford Parish Hall. You are invited to be part of the circle anytime—come when you can. There are no prerequisites, commitments or religious affiliations required. You may arrive as late as 7:10. (If you are new to any form of meditation or mindfulness, it would be helpful to be in touch with Pastor Tom Kinder in advance, but beginners are more than welcome! You can reach Tom at email@example.com)
The format will be:
- 7:00 to 7:10 PM Silence
- 7:10 to 7:50 PM Conversation
- 7:50 to 8:10 PM Silence (depart in silence when you are ready)
The circle takes place in a generally Christian context and instruction will draw primarily on the Christian contemplative tradition, especially the abundant resources that are burgeoning now in the field of Centering Prayer. Individual members of the circle, including Pastor Tom Kinder, have training in Buddhist and many other forms of meditation and mindfulness, and these all work in creative conversation with the Christian tradition.
Background: The participants in our 2017 Contemplative Advent program requested an ongoing group to learn and practice more. In response, Pastor Tom Kinder and Lisa and Mark Kutolowski launched Heartfulness Contemplative Training, a program that is offering this weekly gathering for contemplative training and practice as well as other opportunities for spiritual direction and deeper immersion. Mark has led a half day workshop on Centering Prayer, and Tom has led a six-week Lenten book study of Thomas Keating’s introduction to Centering Prayer, Open Mind, Open Heart. We have also read Cynthia Bourgeault’s book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. We have also read Martin Smith’s A Season for the Spirit, readings for Lent.
Centering Prayer is similar to other forms of meditation but with some distinct differences—in fact, it takes some unlearning of other forms in order to master this one. Other traditions are based on mindfulness or concentration, sharpening the mind’s attention, while Centering Prayer teaches a wide open receptivity and working with intention more than attention.
One of the distinctions it makes is to talk about “heartfulness” in addition to “mindfulness.” It also teaches that the fruit of the practice is not in the time spent in silence, as beneficial as that time may be. The greatest fruit is in our lives in the world as we open to let the heart and mind of Christ fill us and the work of the Holy Spirit flow through us. Centering Prayer transforms us and we then help to transform the world around us—because as Christ so clearly understood, transformed people transform people and make the world more like God’s realm of mercy, justice and peace.
Directions On How To Use Zoom
Download the Application to Your Computer First (if you will be using the computer)
Open your internet browser and go to zoom.us
On the top, charcoal colored bar, click
‘Resources=>Download Zoom client’
On the Download Center page that opens, choose the top option ‘Zoom Client for Meetings’
You will get a Zoom installer file appropriate for your computer.
Run that file and it will install a small, client application that all the Zoom Meeting links will use.
Once you successfully install this, you should be ready to join any Zoom meeting, using the meeting links that you receive.
Joining a Zoom Meeting Remotely
You will be able to join a meeting by computer (audio, video), smart phone (audio, video) or “dumb” phone (audio only). Join by computer or smart phone if you can — it works better. Instructions for all 3 ways to join a meeting are below. You will need a log-in link (computer) and a Meeting ID (computer, smart phone, “dumb” phone)
Please note: ANY computer that has speakers and Internet access can join a Zoom meeting. If you do NOT have a webcam (either built in or added on to your computer) you will still be able to see other people — but they will not be able to see you.
To join a Zoom Meeting by Computer (audio & video):
1. Log into the link for the meeting you are joining. For Thursday evenings: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83105680256
Topic: Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle
Time: Every Thursday 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
2. “Allow” Zoom to download the Zoom Client app used in Zoom meetings.
3. If asked, enter the Meeting ID number for the meeting you are joining. For Thursday evenings: Meeting ID: 831 0568 0256
4. Join the meeting using video and computer audio.
To join a Zoom Meeting by Smart Phone or Tablet (audio & video):
1. Install the Zoom Cloud Meetings on your Smart Phone or tablet (available at the App Store or Google Play).
2. Double click the Zoom Cloud Meetings to join a meeting.
3. Enter the Meeting ID number for the meeting you are joining. Thursday evenings Meeting ID: 831 0568 0256
4. Join the meeting using video and computer audio.
To join a Zoom Meeting by “Dumb” Phone (audio only):
1. Call 1-929-205-6099 (toll call New York City)
2. Enter the Meeting ID number for the meeting you are joining, followed by #, then # again Thursday evenings Meeting ID: 831 0568 0256