Quest for the Spirit

The YMI Quest for the Spirit introduces youth to the ancient spiritual disciplines that have offered a hundred generations of the faithful gateways to the experience of God. This quest draws together meditation forms from ancient monastic traditions (e.g. Benedictine lectio divina and Gregorian chant) guided meditations developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, Quaker “centering down” exercises; Protestant “centering prayer;” and Orthodox gazing exercises with icons. Following the lead of many modern Benedictines and Jesuits, some of the exercises are enriched with movement and breathing exercises borrowed from Buddhist or Yoga traditions.


The idea of meditation will not be new to your youth. They are keenly aware of the popular culture’s growing fascination with mindfulness, awareness, or transcendental meditations. What may prove revelatory is our introduction into the rich and varied Christian meditative traditions that date back to the desert fathers and before. Moreover, as we have learned in leading Quest for the Spirit programs in local churches for over twenty years, young people’s growing yearning for personal experience and “authenticity” creates fertile ground for the ancient provenance and experiential core of Christian mystical traditions.
As we have framed the offer in our invitations to youth since 1999:

What if instead of just being lectured about God you could experience God yourself? What if instead of just reading about what Jesus said to others 2,000 years ago, you could hear what Jesus has to say to you today? What if instead of just listening to speeches about peace and love, there was a peaceful weekly refuge where you could be with a bunch of friends seeking to live out the vision? Now, that would be a Quest worth taking. Where Indiana Jones and Monty Python sought the metaphorical Holy Grail, we quest for the true grail behind the metaphor: the true joy and peace God promises for those who seek him.


Labyrinth Walk

Fit for Time and Joy With God

Body Awareness

Faithful Memory

Faithful Memory

Christian Life as Holy Resistance

Breath Awareness

Welcome and Surrender

Loving Your Enemies

Loving Your Enemies

Yale Youth Ministry Institute