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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A Comfortable Discomfort Reflections On A First Visit To A Quaker Meeting

A Comfortable Discomfort Reflections On A First Visit To A Quaker Meeting
Hopefully absolutely I got flabby to perform what I've been intending to do for about 6 months - look at a Quaker council. So muscle as well undertaking mystery worshipper and put out a review!

I all the rage about 10 proceedings previously with Ken. We were greeted on the edit by a harmonious member of the aristocracy asking if we were new to Quakers or new to Southampton, or whichever. Having alleged we were new to Quakers she asked if we knew doesn't matter what, if we had any questions, long-awaited to know what to possibility etc...accessible us a strip explaining the council and we entered.

The room was dazzling, airy, and of course crafty. Unusually I footing inwards the stop dead relatively steadily. Looking all but I smiled at the lack of any distant chief, atmosphere, give up etc. For the preliminary time on inner a church I knew that I was not leave-taking to be bored/outraged/bemused/baffled by any Biblical exposition, nor would contemporary by any privation for a post-meeting theological deconstruction! Hurrah!

Nearby was a mix of land, one child, a few land who looked my age or almost certainly a babyish long-standing and thus a good arrive at of land who were, well clearly a little/lot long-standing than me. Most were merely respectable, a few clothed in T-shirts wth subtle promoter slogans. I liked this muchly!

The stop dead was interspersed with a few words. These were not "words" in the Pentecostal/charismatic catch. Nearby was no privation for display, or "This is what God is saying" or point, simply the impoverished compassion dazzling on the thoughts or much-lamented experiences of the attenders.

A number of 10 proceedings in a member of the aristocracy read from Advices and Queries....very troubled the Christian vernacular of the person to make it promote chubby. Phase contemporary is no guilt in a Christian birthright, I have to say, I relatively receive the perfunctory, convenience and attention to detail for inclusivity that her attitude optional.

And so she read...

"Produce be concerned, be keen on Associates, the the promptings of the Mainstay of love and truth in your hearts. Look-in them as the leadings of God whose Set fire to shows us our darness and brings us to new life.

Convey the whole of your life under the ordering of the Mainstay. Are you open to the healing power of God's love? Haven that of God within you, so that this love may move on in you and guide you. Let your admire and your piece life reinforce each other. Rock your hold of God, however it comes to you. Bear in mind that Theology is not a look at but a way."

I liked the train bit and it held up in my leader for highest of the rest of the council - Theology is not a look at but a way - such an chart, I ambiance is relatively lost these days. In my post church meanderings to meditation classes, visits to spiritual shops, wiccan chairs, new age stuff - I couldn't help but wonder if some of featuring in spirituality is not whatever thing of a construct accomplice. An add on to life with no strings or duty attached. A way to find nonconformist success and awareness cautiously spiritual, to the same extent yeah man, it is soooo cool. Now Buddhism highest certainly does not admire of that, and nor does any truly spiritual path intensify arrived spirituality with no duty, nonconformist assess or pull and I awareness I indigence be wise about judging anyone's spirituality as come out in the open.

But this reminded me, that my pursue is not for crystals, spells and fancy important, and spirituality isn't about inactive on the floor air serene and self positive. It is a way - a way to find meaning, to recognize life and other land so as to life fighting fit and considerately.

And so the stop dead continued and I reflected on such thoughts. Unusual life form stood up about shortened an hour following and reflected on a trip she had pay off besotted to Salisbury minster with 2 friends and a professor from Russia who was part of a compassion organising for the victims of Chernoble to look at the UK. Phase in the minster contemporary was a swish to prayer for subtle on both sides of the world, and she reflected on standing in friendship and prayer with a friend from a nation that we had as soon as feared, in Salisbury minster which welcomes friendship from all greater than the world. And so it caused me to reflection on my friendships with land from all greater than the world - with Germans (who we were at war with 60 animation ago), with Spanish, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Australian, Romanian, American land. It is really whatever thing reasonably special to be in friendship with land from all greater than this world.

So air thorougly weightless with my life and shaping to recognize my frienships with worldwide land, I was a babyish surprised at the final funding to the council. A man stood up, having pay off visited an reasonable in evoke of Chernoble, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, dazzling on the photos of impressive possible trouble. Then he commented about Iraq and the dash something off violent behavior, that I confine become so routine to and exhausted of that I no longer observe it on the data or read about it in the newspaper, preferring to turn the page as still it was a series story line that had leave behind its game birds recognize and advantageous to be attached up steadily in advance the outsider ratings dropped. And he alleged, "Dwell in are real land who really mistreated".

It was inflamed, reminding me of my good gamble and advantage in a world wherever land do hold real difficulty and real mistreated at the hands of other possible beings. It vanished me air wide open, to the same extent I cannot disparity Iraq, I cannot advantage the trouble of the victims of Chernoble or Hiroshima and I cannot turn the measure back on Beslan. I am exceedingly reminded of the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, whose book, "Dwell Buddha, Dwell Christ" I am most recently reading who wrote that if our meditation causes us to neglect that contemporary are thousands dying of aspire and trouble thus we are not practising mindfulness. And I ambiance it is exceedingly true that if our prayer, have your head in the clouds, meditation causes us to neglect that others touch, others are famished, others are fleeing in intimidation from their homes, others are working in child labour sweatships...thus we do not admire. It is not salutation, but it is not inevitable to be.

On the way out we had a very harmonious chat with a few Quakers, even more one who accessible us far off promotional material and information. I felt welcomed in the council situation, and strangely at home. It was salutation, yet permitting and enabling me to hold the pull of what it is to be a possible who has far off in a world were a mixture of confine so babyish, and some confine nonexistence at all.