Home Group, Ilfracombe—On December 16th Mr. Allen gave an address on "Meditation." He spoke so earnestly it felt to be truly "out from the heart." He said how needful meditation is in daily life. In the West it has become almost a lost art; our life is too outward; there is too much stress and strain, so that people have come to think there is not time for meditation, forgetting that it is to the spirit what food is to the body. In cultivating the habit of meditation we can take either of two paths, the intellectual or the devotional. For the intellectual a subject would be chosen it would be analyzed, viewed from all aspects, considered in relation to life, and examined from every imaginable side till it was fully understood. For devotional meditation, some quality would be chosen such as love, mercy, pity, &c.; or some great and noble character, as the Christ and His teaching; until at last the virtue meditated upon becomes part of one’s self, when it is possible to speak from knowledge. Mere book-learning is not knowledge, but something committed to memory. At first, like the child’s lesson, meditation is irksome, the thoughts wander, but by cultivation it may become a joy, and till the life with peace, for it leads to purity of thought and calmness of mind under all circumstances, to the development of character and poise.
The discussion which followed showed how interesting and important the subject of meditation is, for, as one said, the uneducated are quite as capable in this respect as the learned, if only they have the wish to carry it out. In reply to a question Mr. Allen said that to those whose lives appeared to be a constant rush from morning to night, it was especially needful, for by that means spiritual insight is attained which helps to the mastery of difficulties.
December 23rd, Mr. Foyster read a selection from the poems of Whittier, in order to illustrate the poet’s religious ideas, beautiful in breadth and simplicity. Hell is not God-made but man-made, by his choosing darkness in preference to light. He concluded with some verses on Salvation. Mrs. Foyster also read a poem, and Mr. Allen read “The Ladder of St. Agustine," by Longfellow.
January 6th, Mr. Allen opened with a short address on "All things work together for good." He said that whatever happens to us, whether joy or sorrow, pain, loss, disappointment, and even sin, leads through experience, to good. We are apt to see everything with the limited sight of selfishness, but when able to rise above the self, to eliminate all feelings of selfishness, we shall then realize that all things work together for good. —A. S. Wormall Secretary.
West London Group—On December 28th a very happy and well-attended meeting was held at Mrs. Worley’s. The Chapter, "Mental Influences," from Chas. Brodie Patterson’s "The Will to be Well," and a little tract on "Stillness" were read by members, which, combined with the music and the interchange of helpful thoughts and ideas, made the presence of the Spirit of Love be felt strongly within our midst.—R. O. Gercke, Secretary.
North London Group—At a meeting held on January 7th, Mr. Rist (who represents the Birmingham Group) read a paper on "Appreciation" by Mr. F. Blizard (Birmingham Group.) The subject was excellently treated, and the writer’s views so thoroughly endorsed by everyone present that there was no need for discussion.
A helpful interchange of thought followed on the Christ of history and of personal experience. Matters of business connected with our future gatherings were then discussed and a general Committee meeting of the North and West London Groups arranged for Jan. 16th.
Evening meetings for enquirers and friends who cannot attend the ordinary meetings are being arranged in various parts of London. Readers who can attend are requested to communicate with the Secretary, Harry J. Stone, 25, Marriott Road, Tollington Park, N.
Liverpool and Birkenhead Group—January 9th. After full particulars had been given of the dates and hours of the Editor’s addresses in Liverpool and district, the Secretary read selections from Trine’s book, “What all the worlds’ a seeking," showing that "it is the all-round fully developed life that is needed for action and service here and now. The man and woman with all the faculties and functions, fully unfolded and used, all in a royal and bounding condition, but all rightly subordinated. Adding that this perfectly harmonious bodily expression could only be the result of perfect harmony within; also that, thanks to modern hygiene, much ignorance and many hindrances to the perfecting of the body had been removed. The February meeting was arranged to take place at 10, The Park, New Ferry, at 3:30 p.m., when the Editor has most kindly consented to give an address.—A. C. Duckworth, Secretary.
Birmingham Group—January 10th. There was a most interesting discussion anent Mr. Jowett's strictures upon "New Thought," followed by a very good paper by Mrs. Ridley Smith, which led to many interesting comments after the reading. Great interest was evinced at the announcement of the Editor's forth- coming visit to our group.—Francis S. Blizard, Secretary.
A Group for South and South West London is in process of formation. Those wishing to join should write to Mr. Rudolph O. Gercke, 5, Elm Gardens, Brook Green, W.
A lady in Eastbourne wishes to form a Group in that center. Those wishing to join should communicate with the Editor.
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.