Home News Study Groups Events Calendar Newsletter Contacts

Study Groups: FAQ, What Is A Study Group?
A.R.E. Greater Boston Area

Here are some of the more frequent questions people have about study groups, founded by Edgar Cayce over 75 years ago.

  1. What goes on during a meeting?
  2. Does it cost anything
  3. Do I have to buy a book?
  4. Do I have to be a member of the A.R.E.?
  5. Why should I join a group?
  6. Some people have been doing this for 30+ years. How am I going to fit in when I’m just starting?
  7. I’ve been into Cayce for years on my own. Why should I join a group now?
  8. I don’t meditate or rarely meditate. What if I’m not capable of doing it with the group?
  9. Who leads the group?
  10. How many people are in it?
  11. How long does it last?
  12. How often are meetings held?
  13. There are homework assignments?
  14. Where do meetings take place?
  15. Can I bring a friend or family member?
  16. What kind of people are in the groups?
  17. Is it a religious group?
  18. Since it’s about God, how intense is it?
  19. Is it a therapy group?
  20. I’m interested in the Cayce health remedies. Do groups talk about that?
  21. What if I don’t like it?
  22. Why isn’t there a study group in my area?
  23. Are there other ways I can be connected?




  1. What goes on during a meeting?
    There are several groups in the Greater Boston area and each is going to be a little different. But here’s the general agenda of a typical evening in the Quincy, MA study group.
    • Setting up - and chatting and snacking
    • Opening words
    • Business (5-10 minutes) - sharing of Cayce-related events and info
    • Sharing of homework experiments
    • Book reading and discussion (about 50 minutes)
    • Set homework assignment for the week
    • Break and munchies - those not remaining for meditation leave
    • Opening prayer
    • Group meditation (about 10-15 minutes)
    • Group prayer (about 15 minutes)
    • Healing - if time is available
    • Closing prayer
    • Dream interpretation - if time is available



  2. Does it cost anything?
    There is no cost. However, you are welcome to leave a free-will donation, which is collected during meetings. Donations go to the greater Boston A.R.E. and the main A.R.E. Spiritual Growth office in Virginia Beach, VA. When meetings are held in a rented public space, donations go there.



  3. Do I have to buy a book?
    No, a book is not necessary to participate. We often share books during the meeting. (Even owning a book doesn’t guarantee that it won’t be forgotten at home!) Most people do end up buying their own copy though. Members can instruct you where to find and buy the book—just ask.



  4. Do I have to be a member of the A.R.E.?
    No, you do not need to be a member of Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment. All you need is an interest in the Cayce material and the desire to gather with and learn from others with the same interest.



  5. Why should I join a group?
    Over the past 75 years, feedback from people who’ve worked with the Search for God books in this way find that groups offer:
    • Support for personal spiritual growth
    • Clarification and feedback
    • Motivation to persevere
    • A safe environment in which to explore spiritual ideas



  6. Some people have been doing this for 30+ years. How am I going to fit in when I’m just starting?
    We are all growing. As Cayce put it, “we don’t go to God, we grow to God,” so in the most important sense we’re all at the same level. Each person has gifts that we can all learn from. Many insightful, introspective teachings come from “beginners”!



  7. I’ve been into Cayce for years on my own. Why should I join a group now?
    The Edgar Cayce readings recommend study groups as the best way to grow. You can certainly learn a lot on your own but, in a group environment, amongst others of similar mind, you’ll learn so much more. Rather than just reading through a book, group members discuss their understanding of the information. And the meditations...! Meditating with others in Spirit is truly a gift. According to the 231 series of readings that Edgar made for the Glad Helpers prayer group in Virginia Beach (which is still active, by the way), meditation is putting the knowledge you’ve learned into action. Meditation is a physical action. Sitting in quiet meditation and prayer with a small group of others can be a powerfully uplifting experience.



  8. I don’t meditate or rarely meditate. What if I’m not capable of doing it with the group?
    We’ve heard many times that people find it easier to meditate with the group than solo—regardless of whether they have a daily meditation practice or none at all. The combined energy of the group, in Spirit, lifts us all. The readings say that meditation is putting knowledge into action and this is truly a gentle, safe, rewarding way of doing so. (If you’re interested, the main A.R.E. website offers a free two-hour online class called Meditation for Everyone. Click here to go there.)



  9. Who leads the group?
    Group members take turns facilitating so that no one person leads the group every time. (Being a facilitator is optional; members are invited to take a turn only when they feel ready.) The Cayce readings say that this provides each person the opportunity to play a different part within the whole. There is a set agenda and process for each meeting that the facilitator sticks to.



  10. How many people are in it?
    According to EdgarCayce.org the optimum group is 2-12 people, but the usual number is around 5-7. Every group and every meeting differs. A group with 7 core members may have 2 attend one week and 20 the next.



  11. How long does it last?
    If you stay for a whole meeting, depending on the group, about 1-½ to 2-½ hours.



  12. How often are meetings held?
    Some groups meet weekly and others, bi-weekly or monthly.



  13. There are homework assignments?
    There are experiments that are done outside of class. The idea is to take what we learn in study group, practice it at home and work, and see what comes of it. The point is for you to test out for yourself what you’ve learned during study group, to see what comes of it. Does it work for you or does it not? Members collectively decide—based on the book pages they’ve just read—the one experiment that members will work on until the next meeting. For example: For every “good” or “bad” thing that happens to you, be grateful. At the next meeting members share their insights from the experiments.



  14. Where do meetings take place?
    Ideally, one person in the group hosts the meeting in their home. Sometimes members rotate the home they meet at. If a private home isn’t available then members can arrange to meet at a public space such as a church, temple, or library.



  15. Can I bring a friend or family member?
    Yes, please do! Bring friends, family members, and acquaintances, as well as your mail lady, mechanic, lawyer, piano teacher, softball coach, and French tutor.



  16. What kind of people are in the groups?
    The age of “regulars” ranges from 20-something on up to 102 (really!). We come from all walks of life: nurses, business managers, artists, machinists, teachers and professors, designers, mechanics, contractors, caretakers, retirees, students, parents, grandparents, etc. What the women and men have in common is an interest in the work of Edgar Cayce, a desire to learn from others on the same path, and to apply what we learn to daily life.



  17. Is it a religious group?
    It’s more of what’s currently termed a spiritual group. People from different religions gather together in harmony. Study groups are based on growing closer to God and Love and Spirit. The way it is accomplished is usually by reading, chatting with others, laughing, meditating, and listening—lots of active listening. Members find that being in a study group enriches their relationship with the Creative Forces, whether or not they currently consider themselves part of an organized religious practice. Some people also refer to it as a metaphysical studies group.



  18. Since it’s about God, how intense is it?
    It’s as intense as any lighthearted joyful search.  :-) The Cayce readings, as do those of other prophets, remind us that God is Love. A search for God is to remember Love. The ingredients of Love—including profound joy and wisdom, patience and faith, hope and kindness—make for uplifting group experiences. The search for God, for Love, is your own search within.



  19. Is it a therapy group?
    No, a study group is not a therapy session or a support group. It’s more like a book group, a class, and a meditation group all rolled into one.



  20. I’m interested in the Cayce health remedies. Do groups talk about that?
    According to Cayce, good health, meditation, and prayer go together very well! Many group members do use Cayce health remedies and share their experiences. A study group is a good place to meet and meditate with such people, and, although the topic does come up, the main focus is on health of the spirit. The Boston-area team does offer health-related talks. Check our calendar page for upcoming health topics. Also, see our Health & Wellness page for a list of local healers who incorporate concepts from the readings.



  21. What if I don’t like it?
    You won’t know unless you come, will you? Attending one time does not mean you have to attend every time thereafter. Some people only come a few times a year, others attend every meeting, and everything in between. A person might visit two groups until deciding which works best for them. And yes, some only come once and that’s okay. Sure, it might turn out not to be right for you—or not for you right now—but then you’ll know, instead of wondering. On the other hand, like many of us, you could get that “I’m home!” feeling and never want to leave.



  22. Why isn’t there a study group in my area?
    We would love to increase the number of groups! These groups are an important way for people to feel connected, to be uplifted, and to continue “the Work,” as it is sometimes called. (Here’s our meeting schedule.) If you don’t find a group in your area we hope you will consider starting one. (See this page for info on starting a new group.) Also, here’s info on EdgarCayce.org on starting your own group—with the help of our regional study group coordinator, Patty McCarthy. And, last but not least, there are online study groups hosted by EdgarCayce.org (see last section of that page). Worldwide study group members don’t converse in real-time, but communicate through email at a time of their choosing.



  23. Are there other ways I can be connected?
    Yes! Once a month we host a regional meeting of study group teams, followed by a Cayce-related presentation. You are welcome to attend both parts or just the one. Meetings occur on the third Saturday of every month at Bethany Congregational Church in Quincy, MA. It’s a good opportunity to meet people who belong to study groups and see what we’re like. Twice each year we also offer a day-long workshop in Lexington, MA. The events are open to all: you do not need to be a member of A.R.E. or a study group to attend any of our events. Please see our calendar for details.

If you read this far, then you’re just the sort of person who’d probably enjoy a Search for God study group! We hope you’ll join us. Click here for a list of study group people to talk with about it.

©2009–2015 Greater Boston A.R.E. All rights reserved worldwide. | www.edgarcayceboston.org