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Information on Public Education: Ask the Students Dear Editor: I was not surprised to find that my article in the March/ April issue of Western Friend, “My Quest to Change the Education System,” was controversial to some Friends. Regarding Gary Miller’s letter to the editor, I would like to write my own response in my defense.

On Heritage (July 2016)

Body-Mind-Spirit Preparation Over the last few years, I have been clarifying a spiritual practice that has been a part of my life for some time, but which I have only recently been able to articulate. My time as clerk of my monthly meeting these last couple of years has helped me to understand it as a necessary part of what I do to keep myself spiritually balanced and present.

On Flesh (November 2016)

Two children’s picture books about mindfulness - Review Charlotte and the Quiet Place (2015) is a story for ages five to nine, set in one of the noisier places in North America: New York City. Charlotte and her dog find a quiet space in a park, where she notices her breathing and inner quiet. She learns how to re-create that space in other parts of her world, closing her eyes, breathing deeply, and taking her mind back to that park.

On Insight (March 2017)

Snowflakes “I don’t want to think about that stuff and I’m not going to write about it either.” John grabbed his backpack and stalked out the door.  I had pushed too hard. It had happened in a moment, and he was gone.

On Insight (March 2017)

Resource on Friends and Politics Dear Editor: How perfect! We are about to have a retreat here in Flagstaff with a focus on the question of Friends and politics. We were going to try to put together a compilation of quotations from “historic Friends” on this topic. And we have found on your website that you have done it for us. You are always so timely and in tune with Meetings in the West! I hope we can share with Western Friend what comes out of this retreat.

On Balance (May 2017)

Who Left their Dishes in the Sink? I began exploring my spiritual path through Buddhist meditation in my early twenties. Since that time, I have attended five weeklong, silent, Buddhist retreats. These were pivotal to my spiritual growth and developing self-awareness. My last one was in December, and I realized two things. First, to be in silence is a practice that gives me the space and grounding I need to seek authentic wholeness and to strive to align my life with a higher purpose. Second, I realized that because I knew no one at these silent retreats, I was essentially surrounded by strangers, and I left with unsettling feelings of emptiness. In the last decade, I have grown to love the continuous community of Quakers. Recently, I have been feeling more guided to keep my spirituality contained within Quakerism, as it is my home.

On Home (September 2017)

On Garbage Henry Ford, the father of mass production, is famously known for declaring, “History is bunk.” Thus, he relegated “History” to “the trash heap of history.” (The word “bunk” comes from the Dutch word for “rubbish,” bunkum.) Histories exist to make sense of people’s lives, to reveal the meanings of humanity. Assembly lines exist to maximize the output of people’s lives, to boost the means of production. Between history and industry, humanity and mass production, tensions are too often resolved by treating the sacred as garbage.

On Garbage (November 2017)

Beyond Red and Blue The creatures in the ocean were dying. An old woman sneaked up to the shoreline and quietly picked up a few emaciated fish – red ones and blue ones. She put them in her pockets and took them away. She nurtured them back to health in a clean pond where they thrived and propagated. When she had a large number of each, she took them back to the sea. Everything turned purple and flourished.

On Expansion (May 2018)

The 9/11 Truth Movement Dear Friends: The event known today simply as “9/11” happened in 2001, 17 years ago – some would say so long ago that it is not important today. For the three of us, 9/11 is an ongoing Concern. We use the term “Concern” in the Quaker sense of a spiritual leading that constitutes an imperative to action. None of us has a reputation for irrationality or dogmatism. We have been convinced by a significant body of serious and competent scientists, engineers, architects, and others who form the scientific core of what has become known as the “9/11 Truth Movement,” and we have participated in that movement.

On Children (September 2018)