"we need no wings to go in search of God but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon God present within us."Teresa of Avila
The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth with many different programs and services. One of the distinctive attributes of The Carmelite Way is Stillness & Silence. Three weekly events offer an opportunity for Stillness & Silence.
While gatherings at the Carmelite Centre are suspended, we are offering a number of ways to stay connected.
Tuesday afternoon Meditation
Thursday evening Meditation
Friday morning Lectio Divina
Tuesday Centering Prayer Meditation
While gatherings at the Carmelite Centre are not possible at this time, we invite you to join us online for Meditation – Centering Prayer.
- You may like to use this app for your Tuesday afternoon meditation. Download HERE You can find the app in the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store if you have an Android; search for Centering Prayer, select the one by Contemplative Outreach.
- Watch an introduction to Meditation – Centering Prayer with Kathryn Pile HERE
- Receive a weekly email meditation from Kathryn Pile, such as those below, and join us at home at 1.00 on Tuesday or anytime that suits you.
WEEKLY MEDITATION REFLECTIONS
Tuesday 4 August
A further word from Richard Rohr’s book, The Divine Dance, invites us to see and know ourselves as partners in the divine dance – the relationship that God has already drawn us into by his grace and mercy. This doesn’t come easily in the cultural waters in which we swim, particularly in these troubling times of CoVid restrictions, in terms of the way we live and interact with each other, in this system we call world.Centering Prayer meditation 11 4 August
Audio Centering Prayer 4 August
Tuesday 28 July
Richard Rohr in his book, The Divine Dance, offers us a divine image of Vulnerability to reflect on this week. Amid disturbing news in the community as unrelenting virus cases mount, let us consider what it means to be open to interior vulnerability, as a Source of peace and strength.Centering Prayer 10 to Dear Meditators 28 July
Tuesday 21 July
This week we will reflect on one more of the images from Sacred Spaces by Margaret Silf, Groves and Springs. She uses the image of the spring as a symbol of something that rises up, giving pure water without our effort…Centering Prayer Meditation 9 21 July 2020
Tuesday 14 July
Dear Meditators, This week we will reflect on another image and the words contained in Sacred Spaces by Margaret Silf. Important at this time of isolation is our focus on the positive, those moments when we have experienced God’s grace, love and intervention in our lives; those ‘hilltop’ moments when were inspired with a vision to reach out towards what is utterly beyond ourselves. In the chapter, Hilltops, Margaret suggests the symbol provides a view – a new perspective of the land from which we have come… Weekly Centering Prayer meditation 8 14 July
Tuesday 7 July
This week we will return to an earlier work shared in our meditations sessions, Sacred Spaces by Margaret Silf. As we now re-enter a period of more restrictions in the wider community due to the virus, it seems pertinent to focus on our own sacred spaces in meditation – places where we can reflect and connect to the divine within us assured of His peace and strength. In the chapter, The Infinite Knot, Margaret uses the symbol in a way to convey an infinite weaving process…Tuesday weekly meditation 7 July
Tuesday 30 June
This week we will consider more words from the contemporary inspirational author, Cynthia Bourgeault.In the chapter, Living in the Mercy, of her book, Mystical Hope, Cynthia describes the body of hope as the fuel that drives human life towards its divine fulfilment, and “the mercy” the water we swim in. Mercy is the length and breadth and height and depth of what we know of God – and the light by which we know it…we simply cannot get away from Mercy, it confronts us at every turn, as a reality of our faith.
- Cynthia reminds us of the words of Christian mystic Thomas Merton – that at the centre of our being is an innermost point of truth, which shares not only the likeness, but even the substance of God’s own being. We cannot find this innermost, but only be found by it in our wholehearted willingness to join it at the point of nothing.
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, to slow your breathing, and enter your silence, allow yourself to accept this innermost point of truth, using a word, image or your breath.
Consider the invitation from scripture; Psalm 103:11 – For as the heavens reach beyond the earth and time, we swim in mercy as in an endless sea. Love and every blessing, Kathryn
Tuesday 23 June
Dear Meditators, Over the last few weeks we have used the words from mystics of the past, The Cloud of Unknowing, and Teresa and John as our focus in centring our meditation. This week we will consider the words from a contemporary inspirational author, Cynthia Bourgeault.
- In the chapter, Journey to the Wellsprings of her book, Mystical Hope, Cynthia writes of the human condition where you know hope is missing and you want to find it. Not the kind of hope the world gives which is tied to a good outcome, but rather something to do with presence – that immediate experience of being met, or held; an abiding state of lightness of being, despite the circumstances. She calls this the invitation to the secret of Jesus, the great inner journey.
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, to slow your breathing, and enter your silence, allow yourself to accept the invitation towards divine fulfilment, a bare energy of openhearted expectancy, and a new way of seeing hope.
- Consider the image from scripture, of the woman at the well, John 4:13 – 14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” This encourages us to bear fruit at a psychological level in the sensations of strength, joy and satisfaction – produced from within, like a body of hope. Love and every blessing, Kathryn (Mystical Hope– Chpt 1 – Journey to the Wellsprings, p 1 – 18.)
We will be with you in prayer this afternoon at 1pm. We are using this app to assist. https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/centering-prayer-mobile-app
Remember to watch an introduction to Christian Meditation with Kathryn. You can see it here
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US CONTINUE OUR WORK
Tuesday 16 June
Dear Meditators The wisdom from St John of the Cross, and St Teresa on our deep longing to be in union with God is again this week’s meditation focus. John and Teresa had a profound appreciation of what we now call the unconscious…it is this unconscious dimension of the spiritual life that John and Teresa term as dark, or ‘obsuro’. John says this dark night is full of guiding grace…and is working to heal us and protect us…and is a totally loving and liberating process…”a guiding night more kindly than the dawn”. A co-participation between God and the person…with God at the centre, it can be no other way. In place of striving, controlling, managing everything…one finds a growing willingness, a receptivity, a sense of welcoming and awareness of standing on truly sacred ground.
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, to slow your breathing, and enter your silence, let yourself become aware that love is at the core of everything, and sit with that deeper longing for God’s Presence.
We are reminded in scripture, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”. This verse means more than rest or relax…it encourages us to reflect on who God is…a call to be in awe, and be silent and meditate with listening ears towards God; to stop striving. Love and every blessing
Dark Night of the Soul – Chapter 3 – A Deeper Longing, p 63 – 101.
Tuesday 9 June
Dear Meditators. As we prepare to meditate, this week, let’s reflect further on some words of scripture and wisdom from St John of the Cross and St Teresa on love. Gerald May in his book, Dark Night of the Soul, looks at their theology of finding God and living in union with God. They didn’t believe that this was something that could be achieved, for the simple reason that union with God already exists. Teresa heard these beautiful words from God, “Seek yourself in Me, and in your-self seek Me”…And John, “know that God is present in substance in each soul…that this kind of union with God always exists.” Love is at the core of everything in John and Teresa’s theology.
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, to slow your breathing, and enter your silence, let yourself become aware that love is at the core of everything, and sit with that longing love for God’s Presence.
We are also reminded in scripture, Acts 17:28, We are born in union with God and we, “live and move and have our being” in God throughout our lives. Love and every blessing, Kathryn
Tuesday 2 June
Dear Meditators, this week as we meditate, let’s reflect further on some words of scripture and more from The Cloud of Unknowing (written by an unknown author, and one of our great Christian mystics from the 14th century).
The ‘Cloud’ suggests, when preparing for meditation…”to ensure that all is left behind…” But how, we may ask, can we do this is work in meditation of showing up, and waiting with faith and longing of our will? The ‘Cloud suggests that no words can express this, that “the transcendent experience of God in meditation is like, the knowing by unknowing, and the seeing that is not seeing…that it is only to our intellect is He incomprehensible: not to our love.”
God’s infinite and unconditional love for us is expressed by Jesus in John 15:4, ‘Abide in me, as I abide in you.’
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, slow your breathing, and enter your silence. Let your focus centre, and in the words of the ‘Cloud’ “persist with this longing after Him who you love, and through God’s mercy, be inseparably united to Him in spirit here and hereafter.”
Love and every blessing
Kathryn (Cloud of Unknowing, p 60-63)
Information below relates to the regular program. (when no Covid restrictions apply)
2020 Weekly Tuesday Afternoon Meditation (except in school holidays, month of September, and Cup Day on 3rd November)
This program draws on the Christian tradition of meditation from the heart centre, using themes from spiritual writing and scripture, to help us experience beyond limited intellect, the total mind we call Heart, deepen a way of being in God’s Presence. It’s a surrender method, a practice based on letting go of thoughts as they arise, deepening a relationship with God.
It is an invitation for all with an open heart who are seeking to bring unity and wholeness into their daily life, whether or not from a Christian background.
The one hour sessions offer an opportunity to experience:
– how meditation practice can enable us to bring contemplation into every aspect of our lives
– how to be still and become calm to give us a reflective space from which to act
– how to harness our breath, center our thoughts, and bring peace and well being to our lives
– a place where we can share with others the deepening relationship, which comes through meditation, with that central part of our lives.
Please book via the website site. Cost: $5 per session (Go to the Events tab and scroll down to the date you want to book.) In the Malone Room, 214 Richardson Street, Middle Park. (First door on the left when you enter from Richardson Street.)
Thursday Evening Meditation
While face to face gatherings at The Carmelite Centre are currently not possible, use these online opportunities to meditate at home.
Thursday 30 July Meditation
Here we are nearly in August! Who could have predicted that our shutdown would last all these months? Well I guess we have our meditation and mindfulness practices that have been a vital spiritual source for many thousands of years and a source of growth and renewal for people in good times and in bad. Meditation is an ‘insight’ for all ages, even this peculiar time when our lives have been altered so dramatically. Meditation On Line 30th July 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 30 July 2020
Thursday 23 July Meditation
I listened to an interesting Podcast during the week featuring Paul Haller who grew up Catholic in Belfast, and in pursuit of meaning has since taken him around the world. Now a Zen priest…Meditation On Line 23rd July 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 23 July 2020
Thursday 16 July Meditation
It seems that everyone I talk to, usually at a distance or by phone, Skype or Zoom is feeling jaded, exhausted and weary. Lockdown has been like a long-distance run and now that we are in Lockdown 2.0 it’s especially draining. Meditation On Line 16 July 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 16 July 2020
Thursday 9 July Meditation
Dear Friends, 16 weeks we have been doing this Thursday meditation on-line.Goodness knows how many more weeks we’ll be in strict lockdown but it provides an opportunity to slow down, to spend more time in contemplation, to meditate and to live mindfully. Enjoy the winter sun.Peter
Meditation On Line 9 July 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 9 July 2020
Thursday 2 July Meditation
Today I’d like to quote from the book, “Meditation Workbook: The Practical Guide to Doing It Your Way” by Greer Allica. (David Lovell Publishing, 1990) Achieving an inner calm and serenity in combination with a busy full life can seem a….Meditation On Line 2 July 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 2 July 2020
Thursday 25 June Meditation
Meditation can be of great benefit in this time of crisis in our world. I don’t know about you but since the announcement a few days ago that restrictions were once again being tightened I have felt a general malaise…and the weather doesn’t help! …
Meditation On Line 25 June 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 25 June 2020
Thursday 18 June Meditation
Dear Friends, What a beautiful winter’s day it is today, ideal for walking the dog and bumping into neighbours. Not too close, of course! Attached is the reflection for this evening together with an audio file. Enjoy the day and we will be with you in spirit at 7 o’clock this evening. Peter
Meditation On Line 18 June 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 18 June 2020
Thursday 11 June Meditation
Dear Fellow Meditators, Attached is the printed version of tonight’s reflection together with the audio version. The signs are promising so I expect it won’t be too long before we can resume our weekly meditation practice together rather than virtually. We’ll be with you in spirit tonight at 7pm. Peter
Meditation On Line 11June 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 11 June 2020
Thursday 4 June Meditation
Dear Fellow Meditators, As I type the sun is shining and although there is considerable noise from the builders renovating the house next door it’s a nice day for a leisurely walk. Three attachments today…the usual printed material and audio file but in addition information about a Mindfulness and Meditation Research study being done by the University of Melbourne. They are looking for participants! At 7pm tonight we will be with you in spirit. Peter
Meditation On Line 4 June 2020
Mindfulness and Meditation Research
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 4 June 2020
Thursday 28 May Meditation
Attached is the reflection for tonight both in printed and audio form. Also there are details of our zoom meditation program for this Saturday 30 May between 10-11.30am. If you would like to join us just enter the meeting.with the link provided. The ID and password are attached. Tonight when we meditate at 7pm we’ll be with you in spirit.
Meditation On Line May 28 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 28 May 2020
Thursday 21 May Meditation
There is optimism in the air as restrictions are gradually eased however I suspect it will be a little while before we meet face to face. Attached is the printed reflection for tonight together with the audio file. A reminder that on Saturday 30 May we have a zoom program of meditation. Peter
Meditation On Line May 21 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 28 May 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 21 May 2020
14 May Meditation
Attached is the Reflection both in print and audio form. There is also important information about a Zoom program, “Sifting Hope from the Ashes” – Meditation in these Days of Crisis which we plan to have on Saturday 30 May between 10am – 11.30am. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this program could you please forward them the link which you will find in the attached printed material. We empty our mind when we meditate but in doing so we fill it with good and marvelous things especially those things that help us to care for others. Peter.Meditation On Line May 14 2020 a
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 14 May 2020
Thursday 7 May Meditation
Remember the Roberto Benigni film about the Holocaust which he titled, “Life is Beautiful”? There was in that title an astonishing affirmation It’s about the power of the human spirit to defeat a crisis by celebrating even in isolation Trust you are coping OK with the burdens of the lock-down. Peter
Meditation On Line May 7 2020
Listen to the meditation audio from Peter 7 May 2020
Thursday 30 April Meditation
Dear Fellow Meditators
It’s extraordinary and wonderful the spate of meditation on-line at present. Almost every day I seem to receive something from some part of the world indicating that people are meditating. You don’t have to Google too deeply to see that meditation centres of all kinds have seized this moment to remind the world of the value of meditation. I hope you can join us tonight at 7 o’clock at we meditate, admittedly more than 1.5 metres apart but nevertheless together in spirit. Peter
Meditation On Line April 30 2020
Audio Meditation 30 April 2020
Thursday 23 April Meditation
Meditation On Line April 23 2020
Audio Meditation 23 April
Thursday 16 April Meditation
Meditation On Line April 16 2020
Audio 16 April
Thursday 9 April Meditation
Meditation On Line April 9, 2020
Audio 9 April
Thursday 2 April Meditation
THURSDAY MEDITATION 2 APRIL AUDIO
NOTES FOR THURSDAY MEDITATION 2 APRIL
Meditation On Line April 2, 2020
Experience the benefit of meditation as a way of bringing peace, harmony and joy to your life.
Meditation is a way to assist us to live a ‘mindful’ life to enhance our day-to-day awareness by living in the present moment.
Meditation and Mindfulness Podcasts
Peter Thomas who facilitates the usual Thursday evening meditation has produced a series of podcasts available below. Listen to each of the podcasts to gain some appreciation of the value of meditation and mindfulness to your life. Treat each episode as a ‘lesson’, as though you are doing a course in meditation. Study the questions that arise from each podcast and answer the questions supplied as best as you can.
Four-Week Meditation Program
Should you wish to purchase a small booklet that offers a progressive step-by-step approach to meditation and mindfulness these are available from the Carmelite Centre for $12 including postage. Purchase here.
Meditation & Mindfulness Podcasts
SEE BELOW FOR 10 INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION MODULES
Listen to each of the podcasts to gain some appreciation of the value of meditation and mindfulness to your life. Treat each episode as a ‘lesson’, as though you are doing a course in meditation. Study the questions that arise from each podcast and answer the questions supplied as best as you can.
To gain maximum benefit contact the Carmelite Centre and request The 4-Week Meditation program booklet. The booklet is available for a cost of $12 including postage. This booklet can be purchased here
Episode 1 - Introduction
Words of encouragement as the listener embarks on a journey of meditation
- What does happiness mean in the midst of suffering?
- Success and failure.
- A whole of life experience.
- Living the meditative life.
1. Are there moments of meditative practice already in your life, moments you can build on?
2. What are your expectations for meditation?
3. How can meditation become a ‘whole of life experience’ for you?
Episode 2 - Meditation & Mindfulness
- Distinction between meditation and mindfulness.
- Points of concentration.
- Aim – ‘living in the present moment.’
- Taking control of life.
1. Reflect on the difference between meditation and mindfulness.
2. What are some simple mindfulness practices you could incorporate into your life?
3. Do you understand what is meant by ‘living in the present moment’?
Episode 3 - The Technique
- The Breath.
- Try the ‘breath’ technique. Does it work for you?
- Why must we sit in a certain way?
- Why do we pay attention to our eyes and hands?
Episode 4 - Interiority
- Aids to meditation including wraps, shawls (prayer shawls), blankets; etc.
- Wisdom and knowledge…the difference?
- Two main categories of meditation.
- No meaning in success or failure.
- Do you understand the notion of interiority?
- Are you the sort of person who expects to fail?
- Are your expectations for meditation unrealistic?
Episode 5 - Silence & The Present Moment
- Embracing silence.
- Hindrances to silence.
- Sense stimulation.
- Being in the Moment.
- Each moment is unique.
- Gratefulness and meditation.
1. What does silence mean to you?
2. How can you incorporate silence into your life?
3. How can you bring meditation and a sense of gratefulness together?
Episode 6 - Traditions; Spirituality & Secular
- Spiritual Traditions – Jewish, Islam,
- Buddhist, Christianity, Hindu & others.
Is Meditation an escape?
- What do you know about meditation in spiritual traditions other than your own?
- Is the spiritual aspect of meditation important to you?
- What do you say to those who see meditation as an escape from reality?
Episode 7 - Meditation as Therapy
- Candle Meditation.
- It’s the intention that matters.
- Meditation as a complimentary path.
- Ref Ep 7…Meditation is rooted in ancient spiritual
practice and a topic of modern science. The science of meditation
and mindfulness is well advanced through clinically-validated research.
A quick Google internet search will reveal a surfeit of material from some of the most respected educational institutions around the world.
1. Have you investigated the scientific evidence for the value of meditation?
2. Can you see meditation as a complimentary therapy?
3. Are you meditating to assist you with a physical or mental illness?
Episode 8 - Questions & Answers
- What is mindfulness? / What is meditation?
- What are our expectations from meditation?
- Is mindfulness just another word for meditation?
- What should I concentrate on?
The questions are as above. Try and answer them as best you can
Episode 9 - Spirituality & A Four Week Program
- Meditation as prayer.
- Four week program of meditation and
- Is meditation part of your prayer routine?
- In what way is meditation beneficial as prayer?
- Are there mindfulness practices that are prayerful?
Episode 10 - And So The Journey has Begun
- A summary… How to Meditate
Four-Week Meditation Program
Should you wish to purchase a small booklet that offers a progressive step-by-step approach to meditation and mindfulness these are available from the Carmelite Centre for $12 including postage. Purchase here.
As there is no substitute for communal meditation its best that you seek out a meditation group that you can attend on a regular basis. The Carmelite Centre in Melbourne offers such opportunities however there are numerous groups nationwide run by Christian churches, yoga centres, Buddhist temples and numerous other organisations. If the opportunity to join a meditation group is not available or groups in your locality are unsuitable have confidence in your own ability to develop a private practice at home. The Carmelite Centre is always available to assist you with advice.
The presenter of this series, “Meditation & Mindfulness” is Peter Thomas, facilitator of a meditation group for 25 years and a meditator for over 30 years. He has provided workshops and training to a range of community organisations, schools and spiritual centres. He convenes a weekly meditation group at the Carmelite Centre in Middle Park.
All music used in this series is Royalty and Copyright Free. ‘Meditation & Mindfulness’ is a podcast presentation of the Carmelite Centre Middle Park, Vic. Australia.
Friday Morning Lectio Divina
While face to face gatherings at the Carmelite Centre are not currently possible we offer a number of ways to stay connected.
Weekly Readings and Reflections
Join our virtual community on Friday mornings at 10.00am for Lectio Divina.
LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 26 JUNE READING AND NOTES
LECTIO DIVINA 13th Sunday OT Sunday.
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LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 19 JUNE READING AND NOTES
CAH 12 Sunday of Ordinary Time
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LECTIO DIVINA OT. 12thSunday.A
LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 5 JUNE READING AND NOTES
LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 29 MAY READING AND NOTES
LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 1 MAY READING AND NOTES
LECTIO DIVINA FRIDAY 24 APRIL READING AND NOTES
Lectio Divina, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. Whether individually or in groups, Guigo’s description remains fundamental.
Lectio Divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality recommended by the Carmelite Rule. Carmelites practise it every day, to grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ. In this way to put into practice the Apostle Paul’s commandment: “Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts; and whatever you must do, do it in the name of the Lord.”
A group meets each Friday morning for Lectio Divina in the Lady Chapel at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church in Middle Park at 9.30am (after 9:00 Mass.) If you are interested and have any questions please call the Carmelite Centre on 03 9690 5430 or contact us online.
Download Lectio Divina for each day of this month here.
If you are interested in finding out more about Spiritual Direction or making an appointment, please contact the Carmelite Centre by calling 03 9690 5430 or email us. Spiritual Director sessions are currently available via Zoom or Skype during the pandemic.
The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth. Spiritual Direction is one of the supports offered by the Centre to those interested in developing and deepening their spiritual life.
Listen to Bernadette’s podcast on Spiritual Direction.
Spiritual Direction is a series of conversations about your life in the light of your faith or values. The focus is on your spiritual journey through the day to day experiences of your life. These conversations assist discernment of what is life-giving for you, and what is binding you or holding you back from becoming all you have the potential to be. With greater clarity and self-knowledge you can then choose the way forward on the spiritual journey with greater freedom.
The conversation may begin with an overview of what’s going on in your life – the joys and sorrows and challenges. Through talking and listening together the broad sweep may begin to focus on a deeper level. The content of this focus may be a surprising and helpful revelation. Or the session may begin with a particular aspect of your life that you want to talk about. It’s your time so it’s up to you.
If you are interested in finding out more about Spiritual Direction or making an appointment, please contact the Carmelite Centre by calling 03 9690 5430 or email us. You will be put in touch with a Spiritual Director to arrange a suitable time to meet.
(Podcast Music Bed – [email protected] MacLeod)
Spiritual Direction can be particularly helpful if you feel a need for change in your life in response to a calling to a deeper spiritual life; or feel stuck and dissatisfied in your spiritual journey; or when you are dealing with difficult circumstances; or when you feel a desire to talk at a deeper level than day-to-day conversations allow; or have a persistent yearning for a more intimate relationship with God. Speaking about what’s happening, receiving the undivided attention of another, focused on what matters to you, can in itself be most helpful, supportive and encouraging on your spiritual journey.
Is Spiritual Direction different from counselling?
The main focus in Spiritual Direction is your spiritual journey. The main focus of counselling is problem solving. Both deal with the concrete reality of your experience of life and both encourage deepening self-knowledge. In counselling such self-knowledge serves the purpose of dealing with the problem or on-going difficult life situation. In Spiritual Direction such self-knowledge enables greater freedom to respond to the fullness of life to which God is calling you, that is, to more fully become the unique person you are created to be. With an appropriate counsellor, counselling can certainly facilitate this journey too without being the primary focus.
Spiritual Director qualification
The qualification of ‘Spiritual Director’ is through a Graduate Diploma which involves both theory and practice. Spiritual Directors themselves receive regular Spiritual Direction and also Professional Supervision.
About the Spiritual Director
Bernadette Micallef has been working as a Spiritual Director at The Carmelite Centre since 2012. She has a Bachelor of Theology and a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction) and equivalent to a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies). She is married with three sons (and a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren!) and has been a member of the Carmelite Order since 1991.
[Pastoral Supervislon is also available at the Centre. Scroll down for details.]
Getting to Middle Park by public transport
No. 12 Tram from Collins St to stop 135 (on Mills Street) then 220 m walk down Richardson Street.
No. 96 Tram from Bourke St to stop 129 (on Canterbury Rd) then 450 m walk down Wright Street.
Pastoral Supervision with Damien Peile
Please contact Damien for further information on 041950341 or email the Centre. Pastoral Supervision is currently available via Skype, Facetime or phone during this time of pandemic. Damien is an associate member of the Australasian Association of Pastoral Supervision
Listen to Damien’s podcast on Pastoral Supervision
Pastoral Supervision provides professional and personal support to people working in Church ministry. Offered in a trusting and confidential setting, the benefits can include improved workplace relationships, renewed sense of vocation, clarity of roles, support and managing stress.
For many years I have worked as a spiritual mentor, counsellor and social worker. During this time, I have met with many people working in Church communities including ministers, pastoral workers, students of theology and volunteers. Among the many issues arising in our conversations are:
- The need to gain greater balance between the demands of ministry and home life.
- A lack of professional development in ministry – I sometimes feel unskilled in my ministry with some current clients
- A feeling of isolation in ministry and a lack of teamwork with the result resulting in feelings of burnout
In a culture of ‘quick fixes’ with pressure to succeed in the work place, little time is left to step back, and reflect and ponder on what is being done or why it is being done. My approach to supervision includes contemplative practices such as stillness and silence, prayer and meditation. I have found that these practices add a rich source of inquiry to the thinking mind in dealing with problems in ministry, by creating a space to take time out to reflect and ponder on what needs attention.
Pastoral supervision is for
- Clergy and ministers
- Chaplains in hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, aged care or other
- Employees of church organisations
- Teachers in church managed schools
- Carers and volunteers working in Church based organisations
- Students of theology
What happens in the pastoral supervision process?
At early meetings the following is covered:Brief introduction about the nature of pastoral supervision
- A definition of pastoral supervision
- Understanding & Preparing for supervision
- Confidentiality & Disclosure information
- A Supervision Agreement is developed covering short and long term goals
- Agreement on ongoing sessions
Benefits of Pastoral Supervision – what others say
It was a joy to be listened to with deep respect and regard, no matter how trivial or serious. There were many mountain top and valley experiences. Thank you Damien for guiding me to develop a deeper more authentic relationship with our God. It’s a gift in this busy complex and beautiful world. Susan
I had conversations with Damien regarding discernment and vocation and found the experience extremely helpful. Damien helped me find clarity and confidence going forward. Wendy
A quiet space to contemplate and reflect on work and life’s challenges. Michele
I have been seeing Damien for some time and I have appreciated every meeting. His deep listening, his wise responses and his understanding of the challenges and graces of human life all combine to be such a gift to me. I value the sacred space he provides where I can share what is on my heart and continue to grow as a loved child of God. John
Damien is warm and welcoming. He is a ‘companion on the journey’ providing a safe place to talk through the highs and lows of my spiritual quest in work and life. He encourages open, frank and non-judgemental dialogue. Suzanne
My meetings with Damien are a spiritual blessing as I ponder how God had been at work in me. Sometimes the preparation for our meetings illuminated God’s activity in me and then there would be the questions Damien would ask that required deeper thinking to appreciate God’s work with me and the challenge to move on in the Spirit. Damien helped me to clarify and validate my walk with Jesus. Philip
What issues or concerns do people bring to pastoral supervision?
Anything is appropriate that arises from the actual experience in ministry including vocational questions, time management, establishing boundaries and communication skills. It is helpful for the supervisee to bring along a goal or statement such as:
- In my ministry at the moment, I feel…
- This specific pastoral incident has occurred and I need to discuss it…
- I want an outcome regarding …
How is pastoral supervision different from spiritual direction or counselling?
The goal of pastoral supervision is reflection on one’s work-practice. It is a forum to reflect and review workplace ministry practice in order to find new learnings and insights. This process helps build an accountable and professional ministry as well as a more satisfying one. Counselling addresses the mental and emotional well-being of people and spiritual direction focuses more on one’s relationship with God. There are overlapping processes in Spiritual Direction, Counselling and Pastoral Supervision but that doesn’t take away from the distinction between them.
Supervision and confidentiality
In most instances, pastoral supervision is completely confidential. In situations where the supervisor identifies potential abuse or other actions requiring further exploration, a discussion with the supervisee takes place with a view to information being shared with the employer organisation. The supervisor is guided by the legal and ethical standards of the profession.
Contact Damien for further information on 041950341 or Contact us
Damien is also available for skype meetings.
[Spiritual Direction is also available at the centre. Scroll up for details.]
Listen to Damien’s podcast on Pastoral Supervision
THE CARMELITE LIBRARY OF SPIRITUALITY & MYSTICISM
Located within the Carmelite Centre precinct the Carmelite Library of Spirituality and Mysticism provides a unique resource for students of religion, theology and spirituality throughout Australia. With its wide membership which includes graduate and post-graduate students and researchers, clergy and lay people, the library is a popular resource centre for all things spiritual.
Philip Harvey (Librarian) and assistants Susan Southall and Tim Hennessy provide care and support in the Carmelite Library, home to many hundreds of books, arguably one of the largest collections of theological and spiritual books in the nation. You are most welcome to visit the Library to browse. You can also become a Library member and borrow from our extensive collection.
The Carmelite Library is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association Ltd. This Association seeks to foster the study of theology and religion by enhancing the development of theological and religious libraries and librarianship.
The Carmelite Library of Spirituality & Mysticism
The Library is currently closed until further notice.
Library Opening Times
Tuesday: 12 midday – 8.00pm
Wednesday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Library Contact Details
Phone: +61 (03) 9682 8553
Fax: +61 (03) 9699 1944
The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) Program
CIBI is a collaborative initiative of the British and Irish Provinces of Carmelites and the Angelo-Irish Province of Discalced Carmelites. CIBI is currently offering students a postgraduate programme - Master's of Theology (Carmelite Studies) accredited by St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. At under-graduate level there are three programmes available :
- Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)
- Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)
- Baccalaureate in Theology (Carmelite Studies)
The Discovering Carmelite Certificate Programme is an initial level programme offering a foundation in various aspects of Carmelite studies. For more information, please visit the CIBI website.