Monday, September 21, 2009

silence and worship

My dear friend Joan Broadfield wrote
"About 'silence': It's all about what the invitation calls us to.
If the invitation is for silence, it would not speak to me.

If you are talking about longer than an hour to sit in a listening/waiting way, I'm very interested.

If you are talking about dedicating a worship time of an hour to come to listen in quiet expectation, I'd be interested.

But for me, when the emphasis is on SILENCE, it means nothing to me about spirituality. It is dictating a form, which gets in the way of expectation and listening to God.

I've had my fill of the rhapsodies of silence. That's not to say that a depth of a covered meeting is not important to me: in fact, it is. But I have never had a god-connected experience in one that is emphasizing silence. Paradox: those meetings that are 'covered' are mostly without words."

yes. There are two experiences here. One is weekly worship and I have always maintained that it is in the silence that we worship, not silence itself. I have not experienced an benefit from being silenced.
Many monthly meetings are learning the value of longer worship time. Media has extended worship once a month. All are welcome to this time of open worship that may or may not have a lot of silence.
Individual meetings can discern for themselves the frequency and length of worship.
I'm an advocate of communities and i see Monthy Meetings as communities being visible to themselves.

In addition some are called to live in a state of worship, prayer, communion with God that asks for more than a monthly meeting can provide. When this life called to me, I could not find anywhere, within, or even close to my faith community where I could go for an extended period of life , mostly in silence, within an supportive , nurturing and guided community ;where I was welcomed to just be, in worship and meditation to spend as much time as I needed with my inner and outer Light.

I’m still looking and this is what this blog is about.
I’m willing to create Still Waters Refuge and share it’s gifts with all seekers and I cannot do it alone.
Please join me. In Spirit, prayer, and comment.

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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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

on silent refuge

these words from the Great Tree Zen Temple

Silence is an opportunity to communicate with our whole being, our body language, our unspoken thoughts, and a creative expression which speaks more clearly than words. It is authentic and all inclusive – in Silence we are able to hear, express, and engage from the core of our Being.
At Great Tree Zen Temple, ‘Silent Retreat’ means to enter into every activity with mindfulness and a desire to honor the quiet within, being present in the moment without the distraction of unnecessary words or discussion. Amidst our busy lives it is often difficult to imagine communicating without words. A silent retreat offers an opportunity to explore and honor the gifts and insights which arise from SILENCE.

These friends speak my mind. It is my prayer to facilitate the being of Still Waters Refuge to support and nurture the space for Friends to retreat in silent refuge, under the care of Friends.
Keep praying
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