The Fellowship of Meditation began in 1932 when weekly meetings for meditation were held in London by its founder, Marian Dunlop. She had not set out to found an organisation but found herself being asked for teaching on meditation. In the sketch of its beginnings, which she wrote in 1953, she recognises two particular influences:
- Her own practice of meditation based on the teachings of Dr. Porter Mills (1908) and the effects it had
- A series of talks on spiritual healing which she was asked to give
Some of the talks were later published in her book “Stillness and Strength”. She was concerned that people should understand meditation as a “way of living, a process of remaking the whole consciousness”. Groups sprang up in different parts of the country.The monthly notes on meditation had begun in 1927 and, with the outbreak of war in 1939, became an important way of holding the Fellowship together. The first gathering was held in 1932 at High Leigh. In 1948 a house was purchased to be a centre for the organisation, Longdown, in Guildford. The Fellowship became a legal entity in 1950.
Marian Dunlop House in Prince of Wales Road, Dorchester became the home of the Fellowship in 1974. Marian Dunlop died after a short illness in April of that year, the day after she had heard that the Fellowship’s new home had been purchased.
From the booklet “The Fellowship of Meditation”:
As we repeat the words we “listen” to them inwardly and deeply with a mind alert with interest and expectation… Gradually our attention becomes one–pointed and the significance of the words begins to grow and deepen in a wonderful way… We rest in the Spirit and let the Spirit have free course in our hearts and minds.