Yesterday I joined with a group of Quakers to celebrate Christmas. I don’t know if you’ve ever met a Quaker or participated in their meetings, but in their gatherings, silence is golden. During the hour or so when the group met we sat in a circle in complete stillness. In their tradition, no preacher or authority speaks or imparts teachings. The Society of Friends, which is another name for Quakers, believes deeply that we are all Divine and no one needs others to tell him or her what to do. They are the least ritualized and most informal group I’ve practiced with and that includes Buddhists.
The aim of coming together is to “know each other in the things that are eternal.” One member wrote, “There’s no creed. There’s nothing to sign up for, no one to challenge your beliefs or bother about what you mean by words like god…” If someone is moved to speak from spirit then the silence may give way to this witnessing. The focus remains on the Light within which all of us carry. When a large group gathers with such an intent focus on consciousness awareness of the divine Light, the power of the energy among us felt palpable, as if I could cup my hands and drink it into me.
After the hour of silence we joined together for a casual Christmas meal at the Quaker’s United Nation’s office. In addition to opening their doors for Sunday gatherings they work quietly and humbly behind the scenes to create awareness of practices of non-violence, draw attention to food and seeds, and to the importance of wise water policies. You may never hear of them directly but diplomats and decision makers join them in their offices to discover wide, embracing ideas about life that are deeply filled with spirituality. Should you ever have a chance to join them, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. It’s an unforgettable experience that may open the doors to a new way of understanding the Divine. You may make some new Friends in the process.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” (Llewellyn Worldwide, February 2013). A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld