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Meditation, Worship, Science In 1969 in Seattle, getting help from the American Friends Service Committee on my application for conscientious objector status, I went upstairs to see what the Quakers were about. That Sunday meeting was my first experience of mindful meditation. “We sit in silence and listen for thoughts from God,” they told me. I liked the silence, and I liked that there was no dogma, but I didn’t believe in God. Even so, what people said in Quaker meeting made more sense than anything I was hearing anywhere else. I remember sitting in meeting the first few times, checking each thought that entered my mind: Is this one from God? It was pretty clear that hardly any were candidates for consideration.

On Secrets (July 2020)

Stages of Worship Dear Friends: What are the stages of silent worship which lead to the unity of a Collected or Gathered Meeting? The first stage is Settling into Worship, though not so comfortably that one has a hard time keeping awake. Focus on what is going on within, rather than distractions. This is known as Centering and includes awareness of similarly minded worshippers.

On Patriotism (January 2014)

Worship by Approximation Calm your mind. Breathe. Take a deep breath. Let it out. What’s on my shopping list? Breathe. Take a deep breath. What’s going on in the world? Is my family okay? Breathe. Take a deep breath.

On Secrets (July 2020)

Soledad Worship Group In the five years I have lived in California, the deepest public worship experiences I have had, without a doubt, have been during my two visits to the Soledad Worship Group. This group is the “best-kept secret” in Pacific Yearly Meeting. There you find Friends with faith strong enough to humble you on the spot. I believe the worship in Soledad is especially deep both because many of its members are committed to personal transformation and because their circumstances require them to hand their lives over to God (however named), which is what it takes to truly hear the Word, to become Christ-like, and to experience covered meetings.

On Mixture (November 2018)