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.


heartgarden said...

This Friend speaks my mind.
What I am hearing is a calling to the deepening experience of the Divine that is nurtured in a "being" community rather than a "doing" community. This includes Friends' tendency of "doing" silent worship rather than being in presence of the Divine.
Ultimately, our worship and practice is about living out of this depth, from the well.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful posting.

I am wondering if you have ever read Sara Maitlands moving book 'Silence' - her quest for silence lead her to live in an extremely remote part of Scotland for several months. It is a beautiful book.

I believe in polarity work - in being able to hold both polarities - of 'doing' and of 'being' - so the the 'being' - being in the precence of the Divine, of the spirit is indeed as heartgarden said, living out of the depth.

AND, at the same time, what makes quakers - we 'practical mystics' so special is that we can also hold the 'doing' pole. But we need the being to nuture and replenish us.

Susie Day said...

Off Topic - Just letting you know that I've added you to the Quaker Blog list at Sorry it took me so long!

Keep up the blogging!