Weekly Teaching from the International School of Meditation

Letter 12: Evagrius, the Origenist monk

Evagrius was one of the most influential of the Desert Fathers, who had the greatest influence on John Cassian. I have quoted him many times; let me tell you a bit about who he was.

Letter 11: True Detachment

In the centuries following the flowering of mystical prayer amongst the hermits in the desert the essential rules of their way of life were summarised as poverty, chastity and obedience, t

Letter 10: The importance of silence, solitude and ceaseless prayer

Early Christian mysticism is really a spirituality grown out of the harsh, uncompromising but hauntingly beautiful environment of the desert with its profound silence and solitude.

Letter 9: Obedience, Conversion and Stability

The main reason for the hermits being in the desert was their intense longing to follow the way of life and teaching of Jesus and thus enter the ‘Kingdom of God’, to live in the Divine Presence.

Letter 8: Daily life and prayer

“The typical desert monk dwelt in a hut of stones covered with branches from a nearby oasis.

Letter 7: The beginnings of the flowering of the mystical tradition in the desert

As we have seen the result of the Emperor Constantine making Christianity the Church of the Empire in the period between 313- 325 was that many Christians withdrew into the desert to revert to a pu

Letter 6: Finding our way back

In The Sayings of the Desert there is the following story: “It happened that one of the brothers at Scete committed a serious sin.

Letter 5: Spiritual friendship

In order to be able to act so ‘purely’, we saw that we need to be aware of what hinders us.

Letter 4: Do not judge

One of the important teaching coming from Jesus and the Desert Fathers and Mothers is their insistence on not judging others.

Letter 3: Back to the beginning

Having described the ‘mountain top’ it is time to go back to the marketplace.

Let’s revisit the Desert Fathers and Mothers, who in the writings of John Cassian so inspired John Main.