Inward Light

Seventieth in Nagasaki

At 11:02 on August 9th, 2015, the bell at the rear of Nagasaki Peace Park began to peal. It was the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of that city. A siren’s wail soon overtook the bell with its shrill, piercing alarm.

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Money, that Tainted Thing

As Friends and as a people of faith, we walk a narrow tightrope between using wealth as a means to bring light and life into the world and allowing it to become a snare. The snare can draw us into a prison of world and wealth centeredness, or can trap us into such self-imposed poverty that we rely on the wealth of others to live.

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The Economy of Unknowing

As an economist, I study and teach about money, markets, and the economy. Given that I have been on this professional journey for nearly half a century, something makes me feel that I should have it all pretty much figured out by now. But I don’t. In some ways, I know less now than I once did. Perhaps this is good.

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Play + Work = Plork

The double doors open to the sun-dappled yard and a breeze stirs the smaller pieces atop the huge mound of fabric scraps. Four young people bend over their white cotton panels, carefully applying colorful shapes of fabric to their designs. A camp counselor at the sewing machine attaches completed panels to the large curtain quilt.

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Quakers in the Arts

The constructive, healing, and expressive qualities of play can be experienced through artistic ventures. This is one principle behind the Quakers in the Arts program offered for the past five years at the annual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM) at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

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The Abundant Benefits of Play

Play is one of the most lauded – yet undervalued – parts of our lives. In the work I do with artists and creative professionals, I help each person develop or revive a practice of regular play. I have seen these practices transform people’s relationships, increase their incomes, and improve their abilities to give their gifts to the world while staying healthy and grounded.

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Focus and Immersion in Present Experience

Waiting for sunrise on a desert morning this March, my focus came to the inward Truth only. I had walked in darkness with a quiet dog to a saddle between two hills in the middle of the Mojave Desert Preserve. In wild lands, especially in dry lands, I find less cumber between God and me. I can feel a presence in my middle. With Light arriving, I reflect on my feelings and what I’m led to do.

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Those Other Quakers

The majority of liberal Friends in the West share similar traits: First, very few of us grew up among Quakers; we arrived as adults, often fleeing dogmas or religious paths that we now reject. Second, many of us feel a sense of “homecoming” in Friendly traditions like our Peace Testimony, silent expectant worship, and the general spirit of tolerance in our meetings.

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