are quakers really interested in silence

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Are Quakers really interested in silence?
I thought I would go for the shock value here.
This from the newsletter of The School Of the Spirit-I am a graduate of the, On being a spiritual nurturer program-

Over the years the contemplative retreat has tended to incorporate more silence than indicated in the letter which was sent to Friends in advance. This posed a challenge for some attending for the first time, particularly those who had planned to meet as a small group within the context of the full retreat group. This matter was discussed on the first evening and accommodations were made so that the needs of all might best be met.

In deepest humility and respect, silence cannot be experienced by talking about it.
I attended Friends worship and workshops and retreats for 30 years and it was not until my second week living, working and being in silent community that I came to know silence and it's gifts.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has a traveling "extended" Meeting for worship quarterly, where Friends gather for about 3 hours of Worship. I know that many who attend are longing for more, and like me don't know where to find it and experience it.
That is the main purpose of this blog- to find others who want to journey along with me in silent community and make it possible for other to join us.
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Views: 44

Comment by Robyn Josephs on 9th mo. 6, 2009 at 7:03pm
yes- listening is a large part of silence, and worship and koinonia. I often think in meeting for worship for business that we are clearly not all clled to say everything there is about each order of business.
speak less, listen more.
thanks for the comment and please check out my blog
Comment by Forrest Curo on 9th mo. 7, 2009 at 1:08am
More time in worship is definitely worth doing.

Arranging to spend more time specifically in silence... is like more time in music, more time sitting... possibly useful but not necessarily what we'd be led to do by longer worship. The fact that words can get in the way is not an argument for doing away with words, but for being silent long enough to see what will emerge from that this time, for allowing time that could potentially be spent silently.

It isn't talking that's the problem; it's that when people talk they often lose consciousness of what they're doing, allowing habits of thought and speech to carry them away from the center. But it's being at that center that matters; it's possible to talk while keeping that connection (except that all our habits work to pull us away unless we're really being attentive in the process.)


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