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Quaker Culture: Direct Experience [The] Lord opened my spirit . . . [and] gave me the certain and sensible feeling of the pure, which had been with me from the beginning . . . such an inward demonstration and feeling of the seed of life, that I cried out in my spirit, “. . . there is not another, there never was another.”

On Perception (March 2023)

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. Guidance from the Holy is clearer in these times of presence.

On Play (September 2015)

the tree thing, experiencing connectedness during the 2013 gathering of friends general conference in greeley, colorado, a few of us met for three hours each day, all five days, to see what would emerge if we applied friends’ faith and practice towards seeking deeper unity with nature.  mark helpsmeet from “northern spirit radio” often attends this annual gathering; he interviews friends there and edits those interviews into segments for his radio show.   he arranged to interview three of us exploring unity with nature on thursday afternoon.

On Time (March 2014)

Time, History and the Eternal Now My first encounter with Friends occurred thirty years ago in my hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. I was going through a tumultuous time, and I found the Princeton Meeting to be a place of peace and comfort. Later, as I became more involved with Quakerism, I learned about the history of Princeton Meeting and the hidden history of local Quakers, who were the original settlers there. I learned that the Quakers didn’t take sides during the Revolutionary War; that they cared for the American and British wounded equally; and that as a result, they fell out of favor politically.

On Time (March 2014)

Ego, Imagination, Condition, and Light Friends use the word Light a lot.  They use it as a metaphor to point towards an experience.  But Friends use this basic expression so casually that I fear it has become conventional and trivial. We don’t much think about what the Light (as experience) means or where it comes from or why we need it. Nor are we aware of how we got into the dark in the first place. Like many metaphors, Light is better understood when it is placed in a context. My experience is that ego, imagination, and condition are factors that provide a helpful context for considering the Light.

On Pride (July 2014)

What is the Light? George Fox described himself during his early adulthood as “a man of sorrows in the times of the first workings of the Lord in me.” Shortly later, he stated, “After this did a pure fire appear in me, a spiritual discerning came into me.” By the following year, while he was 24, a major transformation had occurred, “In the year 1648, as I was sitting in a Friend’s house . . . I saw there was a great crack to go throughout the earth, and a great smoke to go as the crack went, and that after the crack, there should be a great shaking. This was the earth in people’s hearts which was to be shaken before the Seed of God was to be raised out of the earth . . . and great meetings we began to have.” He discerned the reason for this change was because “the Lord God had opened to me by his invisible power how every man was enlightened by the divine Light of Christ; and I saw it shine through all.”

On Heritage (July 2016)

The Gathered Meeting I began my spiritual journey toward “the gathered meeting” when my wife and I visited her youngest son in Durham, North Carolina, in January, 2018. While there, we attended Durham Friends Meeting one Sunday when maybe a hundred adults and thirty-five children were present. The meeting felt settled and centered. Early in the hour, someone offered a message about how important it is for Friends to follow the Light and be gathered, and about how important it is for Friends to take those two practices out into the world. The message was matter-of-fact, stated in words that were simple and direct. Several more messages followed, all of them tagging along with the first. I could feel that people trusted one another. I could feel that something huge was happening.

On Relevance (March 2021)