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Forging a Relationship with Self When I was a child, I craved quiet places where I could be alone with my feelings. Sometimes I would go along the side of the house where camellia and pomegranate grew or down the stone steps to a small orchard under a tangerine tree in full fruit. Later in life, when I was old enough to be trusted, I would venture to a meadow and lie down in the tall grasses or climb high in a tree. Each of these places offered an essential opportunity to experience my inner being. [pullquote]Children have access to this “still small voice” in nature, preferably alone, where they can connect with their dreams and harness themselves for disappointment, which will surely come in life.[/pullquote]

On Place (May 2022)

The Meaning of Membership Dear Friends: I’m sad that so many people – including so many “recorded Friends” – misunderstand what “membership” in a meeting means.

On Place (May 2022)

William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” (review) I’d be interested in this book even if I weren’t a Quaker.

On Normality (July 2022)

Quaker Culture: Gather Together And know the life of God in one another, and the power of God in one another . . . Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s hearts; meet together everywhere.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Dancing with History (review) The title of this book beautifully describes George Lakey’s preferred way to engage with the world: Dancing with History. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir about Lakey’s roots and his path over eighty-four years.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

God (or Not) among Quakers [This article was excerpted from a more detailed original, which is published online at: https://westernfriend.org/media/concepts-god-or-not]

On Conflict (January 2023)

Beyond Linear Thinking (review) Beyond Linear Thinking (2022) is a page-turner in which Linda Seger uses humor, spiritual wisdom, and practical advice, supported by scientific research, to describe ways of moving beyond linear, competitive, hierarchical, patriarchal thinking – toward cooperation, equality, and diversity. I love the metaphors of line, circle, spiral, and web that she uses to explore these different thinking models. I also like her repetition of this point: holding a goal larger than the self is one way to avoid the pitfalls of pride and the pettiness of hierarchy.

On Perception (March 2023)