Mysticism

A Thousand Times, Come

The room was dimly lit. I was one of fifty dancers standing in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, holding hands. Our leader, Johnathan, stood in the middle of the circle with his guitar. He said he was going to lead us in a practice to experience the aspect of God that existed before time began.

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The Practice of the Presence

Presence is something I cannot fully describe or understand, informing my life and experience even though it is beyond words. It is a grounding, a solace, a push and shove, a challenge to the status quo. My call to dwell in Presence makes me one of the “peculiar people” and may set me apart even from others who call themselves Quaker.

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Four Poems

First Day School

We gather the children,
the tender and shy, the mischievous,
lead them to a jagged beach to find
their treasures of stillness
while their own parents settle into
the meetinghouse to gather
Light. We let the children wander
between piers, time dissolving
into moistness. One boy with purple
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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 . . .

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We Complete Each Other

Dear Editor: Thanks to Friend Searl for helpfully reminding us that there need be no schism between Friends led to inward devotion and Friends led to outward activism (“The Illusion of a Split,” May/June 2016). Quakers like Thomas Kelly have long noted that inwardness and outwardness interdepend like roots and fruits.

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