Teresa Yerkes, the Founder of Christian Meditation Center, has been a Christian since 1983 and has practiced Christian meditation since 2000. She is the author of three books, Come Closer: The Practice of Christian Meditation, God Within You: The Case for Christian Meditation and Making Love: The Spiritual Act of Love. She teaches and leads Christian meditation trainings and facilitates sessions. She is a public speaker, facilitates book clubs and leads retreats. Teresa is a Certified Lay Speaker and Lay Counselor. She brings nearly forty years of her own personal discovery, along with highly specialized spiritual direction training provided by the Shalem Institute.
Teresa is a wife to her husband, Bill, a mother of three children and grandmother of five grandchildren. She loves their two yellow labs, Lucy and Peaches, and cat Gracie. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with family and friends. She enjoys reading and taking walks with her husband.
The Inception of the Christian Meditation Center
My personal story leading to the inception of the Christian Meditation Center began many years ago. I had been a Christian for seventeen years and still found myself dealing with obstacles that came between myself and a closer relationship with God. I was really struggling with painful emotional issues and a lifelong addiction to alcohol. I felt frustrated and defeated. Frankly, I felt unworthy to be called a Child of God. Even though there had been many victories, such as quitting smoking, healing in other relationships and spiritual breakthroughs, I was still unable to feel right with God. I so wanted to feel whole and totally in control of my thoughts and actions. I knew this was possible because the scriptures told me so. I wanted my reality to mirror the Fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.
And then the answer came! One day sitting in my family room God made it clear to me that he wanted me to spend time with Him in stillness and rest. I knew that he was calling me to a more intimate relationship with Him. So began my journey to experience the presence of God. I was drawn by many Christian authors that wrote on the subject of contemplation, meditation, quiet prayer, centering prayer and other genres associated with this practice of just being still and quiet before the Lord. I also began a regular practice of resting in the Lord by moving my attention out of my head and just focused on my breathing. During this time, I learned to stay open to allow God to move in me any way He saw fit. I started to see amazing positive changes in my personality and demeanor. People began to comment on the peace and the calmness they saw in my life. I no longer had obsessive thoughts that defeated me emotionally. God removed in me the desire to drink alcohol and through His peace I was finally able to overcome the addiction.
Throughout this time, God has placed on my heart this yearning to share this path to a closer relationship with Him to others. I knew that if it was successful in my own Christian walk that it might help other Christian’s understand and ultimately heal the issues in their lives that prevent them from sharing the same peace that the still and quiet time alone with God has brought me. I realized that God was about to use me for his will and was directing me on a journey to find a way to share meditation with others. It was over a course of twelve years of praying and seeking advice from others before God showed me the way.
Then it happened, God placed it in my heart that we needed to start a nonprofit organization to serve as the vehicle to teach his people how to meditate and develop a closer relationship with Him. Subsequently, the nonprofit business, Christian Meditation Center was formed. Now the journey expands, with Christ minded brothers and sisters helping to share the power of meditation to anyone who wants to have a more intimate relationship with God.
We see our families, friends and neighbors integrating meditation into their daily lives to foster a deeper relationship with God. We see church congregations returning to the practice of meditating, as an integral part of their Christian faith.
Our Mission and Programs
The Christian Meditation Center (CMC) has been established to serve as a vehicle to introduce people to the benefits of meditation and to train them how to meditate. We want to partner with the leadership within churches to offer meditation programs to their members. CMC offers seminars, retreats, individual and group spiritual direction, book clubs and resources to serve as tools to further promote the benefits of meditation.
Our primary goal is to provide meditation programs in churches, healthcare and addiction facilities, workplaces, prisons, and the community at large.