Sunday, December 29, 2013

Release it Gently ~ The Quaker Scholar

"Most often, I think, we are wounded during our childhood. There is a reason that as people age, they tell the stories of their childhood over and over again. In the telling, there is acknowledgement. In the telling, we remember the story, sometimes relive the embellishments as much as the facts and acknowledge how much both elements have wounded us. In the acknowledgement, slowly comes the acceptance. Acceptance of both fact and fiction, of pain and joy, of the wholeness of the story and complexity of reality - it is this acceptance that brings us back to a state of healing. For we learn something much deeper than the lesson of forgiveness. We learn what it means to love even the hard pieces. To love them healthily. Not to cling, hold and cherish our pain - but to love it enough to hold it softly and release it gently. To love ourselves enough to shift into new understanding. To love ourselves back to wholeness."

~ The Quaker Scholar


More at  http://quakerscholar.livejournal.com
Artwork by Frances Gearhart https://artsy.net/artist/frances-gearhart

Monday, December 23, 2013

That Which Overcomes ~ George Fox

"All friends and brethren everywhere, that are imprisoned for the Truth, give yourselves up in it, and it will make you free, and the power of the Lord will carry you over all the persecutors. Be faithful in the life and power of the Lord God and be valiant for the Truth on the earth; and look not at your sufferings, but at the power of God; and that will bring some good out of all your sufferings; and your imprisonments will reach to the prisoned that the persecutor prisons in himself.... So be faithful in that which overcomes and gives victory."
~ George Fox


Artwork by Alvaro Marquez (still searching for good link with more about this artist).

Friday, December 13, 2013

So Short a Time ~ Cat Chapin-Bishop

" How many times do we turn away from a neighbor, because their lawn ornaments are too bright and slightly tacky, or because they clench a cigarette between their lips in concentration as they work in the garden, because they give us too much advice, or don't hold exactly the same values that we do?
It is one thing, that we turn away from those among us who do real harm in the world.  But if we are honest, how much more often do we refuse to see the humanness in ordinary men and women....... if we would only allow ourselves to see them properly--unique, whole, and beautiful, and here for so short a time?"

~ Cat Chapin-Bishop



More at  http://quakerpagan.blogspot.co.uk/
Artwork from R.C. Goreman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._C._Gorman

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Return Home to Within ~ Francis Howgill

"If you build upon anything or have confidence in anything which stands in time and is on this side eternity and [the] Being of beings, your foundation will be swept away, and night will come upon you, and all your gathered-in things and taken-on and imitated will all fail you… Why gad you abroad? Why trim you yourselves with the saints’ words, when you are ignorant of the life? Return, return to Him that is the first Love, and the first-born of every creature, who is the Light of the world… Return home to within, sweep your houses all, the groat is there, the little leaven is there, the grain of mustard-seed you will see, which the Kingdom of God is like; … and here you will see your Teacher not removed into a corner, but present when you are upon your beds and about your labour, convincing, instructing, leading, correcting, judging and giving peace to all that love and follow Him."

~ Francis Howgill 1656




More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Howgill
Artwork from Jane Walker http://www.janewalkerprintmaker.com/

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Times of Quiet ~ Advices and Queries

"Do you try to set aside times of quiet for openness to the Holy Spirit? All of us need to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our awareness of the divine and to find the inward source of our strength. Seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life. Do you encourage in yourself and in others a habit of dependence on God's guidance for each day? Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God."

~ Advices and Queries Britain Yearly Meeting


More at http://qfp.quakerweb.org.uk/qfp1-02.html





Artwork by Alexandra Buckle 
http://www.alexandrabuckle.co.uk/About-My-Linocuts.htm

Friday, November 29, 2013

Replace the Old ~ Arthur Gish

 "The radical will not work through the power structure in order to take it over. Neither will he wait until the establishment is ready to accept his ideas, for he may very well spend his whole life waiting as so many have done. He begins to act now on the vision. He is building a new society which will replace the old."

~ Arthur Gish



More at http://theviewfromthisseat.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/arthur-g.html

Artwork from  Carrie Wachsmann http://www.wachsmannstudios.com/paintings.html

Friday, November 22, 2013

For What is Thine ~ William Penn

"We give them back to you Dear Lord,
who gavest them to us.
Yet as thou didst not lose them in giving,
so we have not lost them by their return.
For what is thine is ours always if we are thine."
~

PS I found this in a book of children's prayers credited as a 'Quaker Prayer'. It is obviously drawn from William Penn (see below)

"We give back to you, O God, those whom you gave to us. You did not lose them when you gave them to us, and we do not lose them by their return to you. Your dear son has taught us that life is eternal, and love cannot die. So death is only an horizon, and an horizon is only the limit of our sight. Open our eyes to see more clearly, and draw us closer to you that we may know that we are nearer to our loved ones, who are with you. You have told us that you are preparing a place for us; prepare us also for that place, that where you are we may also be always, O dear Lord of life and death."

~ William Penn



More at  The Lion Book of 1000 Prayers for Children
Artwork from Deborah Champion http://www.deborahchampion.co.uk/2011_05_01_archive.html

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Intimate Conversation~ Agnes L. Tierney

"The habit of turning instinctively to God at any moment of life is of immeasurable benefit to mind and spirit. The entreaty of the moment may be for one’s own strength, forgiveness, courage or power to endure. It may be petition for the well-being of another. It may be an involuntary expression of gratitude for joy or peace in one’s own or another’s life. Whatever the need, longing or aspiration this instinctive prayer may take the form of silent communion, of petition in words, or in times of perplexity or trouble, enjoyment or happiness, of something akin to intimate conversation."

Agnes L. Tierney


Monday, November 18, 2013

Process of Liberation ~ Harvey Gillman

"Many of the people who come to us are both refugees and seekers. They are looking for a space to find their authenticity, a space in a spiritual context. It is a process of liberation. Some discover what they need among Friends, others go elsewhere. This gift of the sacred space that Friends have to offer is a two-edged sword. It is not easy administratively to quantify; it leads to ambiguity. It demands patient listening; it can be enriching and challenging to our complacency. It is outreach in the most general sense and it is a profound service. It may not lead to membership and it may cause difficulties in local meetings. But if someone comes asking for bread, we cannot say, sorry we are too busy discovering our own riches; when we have found them, we'll offer you a few. Our riches are precisely our sharing. And the world is very, very hungry."

Harvey Gillman






Friday, November 15, 2013

Definitive Answers ~ Iris Graville

"Definitive answers had long been a comfort to me.  I listened, without questioning, for years to the wisdom of my parents, teachers, and ministers. I welcomed the certainty that there was an explanation, a logic, a right answer, for the many parts of life I didn't understand. Eventually, though, somewhere around the time my Lutheran pastor frowned at my questions, such conviction began to feel stifling rather than reassuring......

That’s what has kept me among Friends for over thirty years.  Not only is it acceptable to ask questions, it’s expected.  We use open-ended questions that invite us to speak from our own experiences and that guide us to explore how God is leading us now, individually and collectively.  So now, I sit in the silence—sometimes on a hard, wooden bench, but usually on a couch in a friend’s living room or on a folding chair at a Quaker gathering, at other times on a rocky beach or deep in a pine forest—and ask questions. And now, it’s the questions that sustain me through life’s mysteries."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Different Life ~ Ben Pink Dandelion

"I am a Quaker. I am part of the worldwide Quaker community and I inhabit that knowledge daily. It helps me live the way I want to. The knowledge and reality of that community membership informs my life and gives me the strength I need to live faithfully, to speak truth to power, to witness in the world.

I feel different from those around me, and my faith impels me to live a different life from the one the secular world tells me. As I walk down the road, catch the bus, take the train, drive, eat, speak, or buy, I am not following societies norms, but those alternatives hewn out by Quakers over three and a half centuries of discerning what is called from us as people of God. I feel clothed in my faith."

~ Ben Pink Dandelion



More at http://www.pendlehill.org/lectures/fall2009/249-the-inward-supper

Artwork by Ron Waddams http://www.larrenart.org.uk/about_artist.htm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adapt the World ~ George Bernard Shaw

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

~  George Bernard Shaw


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw
Artist Lynd Ward http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynd_Ward

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Time is Short ~ Elizabeth Goudge

“Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life...”

― Elizabeth Goudge


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Goudge

Artwork by Richard Bawden http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/catalogue/artist/Richard:Bawden/

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Mystery of it All ~ Susanne Kromberg

"I can no longer keep myself from telling everyone who wants to listen that hope, joy, peace, and feeling safe arise out of being in the hands of a God who promises to be with us in whatever we encounter. How can I keep from proclaiming what I know to be true – that this God of ours has plans of peace for us? That God is actively at work, using even the bad things that happen for good.The mystery of it all is that as I allow this joy and gratitude to bubble up within me, I can hardly keep myself from throwing myself into work for peace and  justice. The more I trust God, the more I also see God at work in societal developments, too. It looks like peace, abundance, and safety are just waiting to be birthed into the world, and I want to be part of it!"

~ Susanne Kromberg



More at  http://quakersusanne.wordpress.com/

Artwork Natalia Moroz http://www.nataliamoroz.com/

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Before Stillness ~ Quaker Dharma

"At times, I feel like, as Quakers, we become lost in our social activism. It comes first, before stillness. I'm not speaking against activism. Not at all. What I'm advocating is activism grounded in joy and gratitude. Activism grounded in a Technicolor(R) vision of what the world actually is…the continuous unfolding of sacred intention. The world is life itself, the desire to exist, to create, to breathe. Imagine the dynamism of a Society dedicated, not to fixing the problems of the world, but to creating infinitely from our passionate mystical faith. Imagine living your life each day from a core of joy because you can feel the beauty of the unfolding envelope you. Imagine a daily practice that helps you be in this place and in the world simultaneously.

~ The Quaker Dharma



Artwork by Aijung Kim www.aijungkim.com

Monday, October 21, 2013

Giving Priority ~ Jenny Spinks

"Our culture encourages us to consume more and more. This makes us poorer spiritually by depleting the quality of our connections with each other, the earth and the spirit. These connections are what bring us greatest fulfilment. The global emphasis on materialism severely threatens the environment and human relations at many levels. It is part of our commitment as Friends that we try to live our lives under the guidance of the spirit. We have our testimonies of truth, peace, equality and simplicity. We have our processes for business, worship and clearness. We are well positioned globally to reach out to our affluent neighbours and offer wellpracticed alternatives to consumerism. Living the simplicity testimony improves our sense of wellbeing and the well being of the planet. We benefit from giving priority to our spiritual connections and thus resist the seductive pull of materialism. We can support each other as we try to live our lives with integrity"

~ Jenny Spinks


More at http://www.quakers.org.au/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=43

Artwork from Ethel Spowers http://www.bookroomartpress.co.uk/biographies/29.html


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yours are the Feet ~ Teresa of Avila

"Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours."
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Words written before his Execution in 1661 ~ William Leddra

"The sweet influences of the Morning Star, like a flood distilling into my innocent habitation, hath filled me with the joy of [God] in the beauty of holiness, that my spirit is, as if it did not inhabit a tabernacle of clay. Oh! My Beloved, I have waited as a dove at the windows of the ark, and I have stood still in that watch, wherein my heart did rejoice, that I might in the love and life speak a few words to you sealed with the Spirit of Promise, that the taste thereof might be a savor of life to your life, and a testimony in you, of my innocent death."

 ~William Leddra




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_martyrs
Artwork by Franz Hecht, about whom I can find very little except one or two prints for auction.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not be Fooled ~ Elsie Boulding

"But we must also trust ourselves. In a world that specializes in props and supports, both physical, psychological and spiritual, and devices to make life easier, let us not be fooled into expecting too little of ourselves. If we keep our eyes turned toward the Kingdom, we will know that all things are possible in God's Sight. Paradoxically, we must not expect too much, either. For even though we are faithful in prayer, there are periods of spiritual dryness which come to us all, periods when the inward obstacles loom very large indeed, and the Kingdom seems to recede."

~Elsie Boulding





Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ordinary Things ~ Virginia Woolf

" To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.”

~ Virginia Woolf


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Woolf

Artwork by Marion Prentice http://artmatters9.wordpress.com/prints/

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Way of Love ~ Wolf Mendl

"What matters is living our lives in the power of love and not worrying too much about the results.  In doing this, the means become part of the end.  Hence we lose the sense of helplessness and futility in the face of the world’s crushing problems.  We also lose the craving for success, always focusing on the goal to the exclusion of the way of getting there.  We must literally not take too much thought for the morrow but throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the present.  That is the beauty of the way of love; it cannot be planned and its end cannot be foretold."

~ Wolf Mendl



More at ~  http://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/dec/09/guardianobituaries4

Artwork by Michelle Han ~ http://www.michellehan.com/

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Quaker Past ~ " Jewish Mom"

 "My nine years at Friends School shaped me as a human being in many ways, and one of the most formative experiences of all was standing up week by week and sharing my own “inner light’ with my friends and classmates and teachers. And just yesterday it occurred to me out of the blue that there is a strong connection between those Meeting for Worship monologues of long ago (and my blog) today.
My mission for this website is that it will be a place where I can share my Inner Light with you .... And most of the time this website is just that, it’s a place where I share only those thoughts and experiences and insights that touch my heart most deeply.What I really want, what I’m really strive for, is to only open my mouth when I have something important to say. When I feel my inner light stirring within me, and I just have to open up my browser and start typing. And send some words straight from my Jewish Mom heart to yours."

More at  http://jewishmom.com/2012/07/15/my-quaker-past (Well worth reading the whole article ~ very moving.)





Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Crowning Conclusion ~John William Graham

"Every mans religion begins and ends with God, and from our thought of Him flows every religious belief we hold. This thought is also the crowning conclusion of all our thoughts, and so grows with the growth of men and Churches. Happy is the man who is at home with God, whose thought of Him colours every decision and penetrates all conduct."

~John William Graham

More at  http://archive.org/details/warfromquakerpoi00grahuoft


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Inner Solitude ~ Meister Eckhart


"People look in vain places for peace.
They seek it in the world outside,
in places, people, ways, activities.
but no peace is found in this way.
They are looking in the wrong direction,
and the longer they look
the less they find what they are looking for.
~

Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world,
by running away from things,
or by turning solitary and going apart from the world.
Rather, we learn an inner solitude
wherever or with whomsoever we may be.
We must learn to penetrate things and find God there."

~ Meister Eckhart


Friday, September 27, 2013

I See Outside Myself ~ Neil Young

"As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn't see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more."

~ Neil Young




Artwork by Joni Mitchell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joni_Mitchell

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Both Within and Beyond Us~ Lorna M. Marsden

"Our testimonies arise from our way of worship. Our way of worship evokes from deep within us at once an affirmation and a celebration, an affirmation of the reality of that Light which illumines the spiritual longing of humanity, and a celebration of the continual resurrection within us of the springs of hope and love; a sense that each of us is, if we will, a channel for a power that is both within and beyond us."

 ~Lorna M. Marsden





Friday, September 20, 2013

By their Name ~ Lois Rock

I say a prayer
for those who are known by their number:
prisoners in their cells;
refugees in the campgrounds;
victims of war and famine.
Dear God,
Speak to each of them
and call them by their name.

~ Lois Rock



More at http://www.lionhudson.com/author_display.asp?SF1=sort_name&ST1=ROCKLOIS







Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Man who Tills the Soil ~ Hamlin Garland

“I see a time when the farmer will not need to live in a lonely cabin on a lonely farm. I see the farmers coming together in groups. I see them with time to read, and time to visit with their fellows. I see them enjoying lectures in beautiful halls, erected in every village. I see them gather like the Saxons of old upon the green at evening to sing and dance. I see cities rising near them with schools, and churches, and concert halls, and theaters. I see a day when the farmer will no longer be a drudge and his wife a bond slave, but happy men and women who will go singing to their pleasant tasks upon their fruitful farms. When the boys and girls will not go west nor to the city; when life will be worth living. In that day the moon will be brighter and the stars more glad, and pleasure and poetry and love of life come back to the man who tills the soil.” 

~ Hamlin Garland




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlin_Garland

Artwork from Stevan Donahos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevan_Dohanos


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

False Alam ~ Joni Mitchell


"People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Other's just come to harm
Oh Amelia, it was just a false alarm"



Words art and music by Joni Mitchell  http://www.jonimitchell.com/






Sunday, September 15, 2013

Scary Thought ~ Simon Heywood

"We commit ourselves to the understanding that nobody and nothing stands between us and God (or. other favoured term). Individually and corporately, we entitle ourselves to spiritual freedom to the exact extent to which we willingly accept direct responsibility to the Spirit. In this sense, Quaker life is much "less" of a spiritual free-for-all than life lived under the rule of a dogmatic institution, because the Spirit is not a set or finite list of requirements. Scary thought. But that, folks, is what we sign up to. We claim freedom in order to go deeper into the Spirit than we would otherwise go."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Practical Simplicity ~ Craig Barnett

"The soul of Quaker spirituality is also expressed in the simple beauty of many old Meeting Houses, and even in the homes of some Friends. One of the first times I visited a Quaker home I was struck by the practical simplicity of its furnishings – well-made wooden furniture, a hand-made quilt, and even a functioning (and well-used) spinning-wheel. Nothing in the house was disposable, shoddy or ostentatious. It felt like an echo of the quietist Quaker culture of the 18th Century - the kind of house where John Woolman would have felt at home. This is a distinctive kind of beauty that Thomas Moore describes as 'the spiritual richness of simplicity':
"Simplicity doesn't mean meagreness but rather a certain kind of richness, the fullness that appears when we stop stuffing the world with things... Let us feel the textures and see the colours, and then we won't need so many things in the place to make it nurturing.."
Craig Barnett



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Them Seeds~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?”

~ Lucy Maud Montgomery


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Maud_Montgomery

Friday, August 30, 2013

Change the Way you Think ~ Maya Angelou

“There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.”

~ Maya Angelou


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Angelou

Artwork by Eileen Mayo http://www.fulltable.com/vts/aoi/m/mayop/m.htm

Friday, August 23, 2013

Protect our Decisions ~ Paulo Coelho

"Lord, protect our doubts, because Doubt is a way of praying. It is Doubt that makes us grow because it forces us to look fearlessly at the many answers that exist to one question. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our decisions, because making Decisions is a way of praying. Give us the courage, after our doubts, to be able to choose between one road and another. May our YES always be a YES and our NO always be a NO. Once we have chosen our road, may we never look back nor allow our soul to be eaten away by remorse. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our actions, because Action is a way of praying. May our daily bread be the result of the very best that we carry within us. May we, through work and Action, share a little of the love we receive. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our dreams, because to Dream is a way of praying. Make sure that, regardless of our age or our circumstances, we are capable of keeping alight in our heart the sacred flame of hope and perseverance. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, give us enthusiasm, because Enthusiasm is a way of praying. It is what binds us to the Heavens and to Earth, to grown-ups and to children, it is what tells us that our desires are important and deserve our best efforts. It is Enthusiasm that reaffirms to us that everything is possible, as long as we are totally committed to what we are doing. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect us, because Life is the only way we have of making manifest Your miracle. May the earth continue to transform seeds into wheat, may we continue to transmute wheat into bread. And this is only possible if we have Love; therefore, do not leave us in solitude. Always give us Your company, and the company of men and women who have doubts, who act and dream and feel enthusiasm, and who live each day as if it were totally dedicated to Your glory."

~ Paulo Coelho


Artwork by Artemio Rodriguez  http://sacredartpilgrim.com/collection/view/90

Monday, August 19, 2013

Every Man is More than Just Himself ~ Hermann Hesse

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross.”

~ Hermann Hesse




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Hesse
Artwork by Micholine Anemine Christine Poulsen,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

We Listen Too Much ~ André Kostelanetz

"We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm... As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence."

-André Kostelanetz




More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Kostelanetz

Artwork by Henri Meunier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Meunier_(illustrator)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Extraordinary Courage~ Ellen M. Ross

"We often overlook the extraordinary courage that marks the lives of people who stand apart from the dominant culture’s endorsement of violence as a means of achieving the “good” longed for by so many. Courage is at the core of these people’s prophetic willingness to create a world of peace, and enables them to do the seemingly impossible, aware that suffering and even death may be likely outcomes of their roles in the cosmic struggle of good against evil.

In my research, I frequently encounter the seeming simplicity of the implacable commitments that lead believers to challenge the status quo in order to advocate on behalf of the oppressed, the poor and the hungry, and to protest against systemic oppression perpetrated by war, slavery, and greed. For many Christians, the history of war stands in contradiction with fundamental divine commandments: Thou shalt not kill. Love your enemies. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. History is a witness to how often these deceptively simple aphorisms are ignored, forgotten, dismissed as naïve, or overshadowed by a battery of detailed objections."



More at  http://www.friendsjournal.org/quakers-culture-and-the-transforming-power-of-love/

Artwork from Paul Peter Piech
 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-paul-peter-piech-1327233.html

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Find Yourself at Least Once ~ Primo Levi

"I read somewhere.... that the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head."

~ Primo Levi



Artwork from Anna Firmin http://www.hannahfirmin.com/artwork-gallery.php

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not in Vain ~ Jane Austen

“Give us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address thee with our Hearts, as with our lips.
Thou art every where present, from Thee no secrets can be hid.
May the knowledge of this, teach us to fix our Thoughts on Thee, with Reverence and Devotion that we pray not in vain.”

 ~ Jane Austen

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Silent Assemblies ~ Robert Barclay

“For, when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up; and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed; and indeed this is the surest way to become a Christian; to whom afterwards the knowledge and understanding of principles will not be wanting, but will grow up so much as is needful as the natural fruit of this good root, and such a knowledge will not be barren nor unfruitful.”

~ Robert Barclay


More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Barclay

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Morning Prayer of the Optina Elders

O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to your holy will.
At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to your holy will.
Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is under your care.
Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone.
O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.



More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optina_Monastery

Artwork by Budko Viktor Spring a Russian artist about whom I can find no information.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Walk by Yourself ~ Boris Pasternak

“Everything had changed suddenly--the tone, the moral climate; you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute--life or truth or beauty--of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.”

―  Boris Pasternak


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Pasternak

Artwork by Edvard Munch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Munch

Sunday, July 28, 2013

“She’s Quaker” ~ Veronica Nicholson

"Around sixth or seventh grade I remember discussing religion with a friend. We were in the backseat of her car and her mother, who was driving, politely asked me if I attended any type of Christian services. Before I could answer, my friend’s sister, sitting in the front seat, casually interjected, “She’s Quaker,” before continuing to suck up the remnants of her Slurpee. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and tried my best to hide a frown of irritation. Why would she be so quick to answer such a personal question for me? More importantly, who told her? I assume it had been her younger sister, my friend, but it reinforced an existing feeling that I was a walking anachronism."

~ Veronica Nicholson


Read more at http://www.nassauweekly.com/growing-up-quaker/

Artwork by Roy Lichtenstein http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Lichtenstein

Friday, July 26, 2013

Anything that Needs Walls ~ Marcus Aurelius

"Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it."

~Marcus Aurelius


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius

Artwork Lindsay Knight Lynch http://lindsayknightlynch.weebly.com/index.html

What One Is ~ Albert E. Day

"When one begins to practice simplicity, the ego is deprived of the very strategy by which it sustains itself. Nothing will deflate the ego more effectively than to be recognized for what it is.  It lives by pretension. It dies when the mask is torn away and the stark reality is exposed to the gaze of others.  Simplicity also avails in braking the tyranny of things. Ostentation, artificiality, ornamentation, pretentious style, luxury--all require things.  One requires few things to be one's self, one's age, and one's moral, intellectual, or spiritual stature.  What one is does not depend on what one has.

Albert E. Day



More at  http://dochr.org/about-us/our-founder/

Artwork by Laura Lee Cundiff  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/laura-lee-cundiff.html

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Where Truth Abides ~ Robert Browning

"Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,  
This perfect, clear perception—which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to know,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without."

~ Robert Browning


More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Browning

Artwork Salvador Dali http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD

Monday, July 15, 2013

Composting Spirituality ~ Craig Barnett

"It is one of the strange aspects of our industrial civilisation that we tend to see scientific knowledge as opposed to spirituality (a point of view shared by religious fundamentalism and militant atheists alike). A society and culture that is capable of living within ecological limits, that encourages and enables the flourishing of humans and other species, will surely need to teach its children to understand scientific processes, but also to reflect with awe and imagination on their significance and ethical consequences.

When we collect kitchen scraps for compost we are teaching our children about a biological process of decomposition and nutrient cycling, but also participating in a 'spiritual practice'; renewing the fertility of the soil in the same process through which we will one day be recycled into the flow of nutrients to become part of the atmosphere, the seas, and the living world."


More at ~ http://transitionquaker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/spirituality-of-compost.html

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Purpose Becomes Meaning ~ Geoffrey Durham

"I don’t know about you, but I have had experiences in Quaker worship that have been electrifying. And they have almost always been the result of a realization that, in that moment, meaning and purpose have become the same thing. At the time that I was talking to those colleagues, I thought I was going to Quaker meetings to understand myself better, to achieve religious insights for myself, to give myself meaning. I was looking for a sort of spiritual cushion. And I found it, I suppose, because I kept coming, but what I didn't know was that the cushion would turn out also, at exactly the same time, to be a springboard. It is a ridiculous image, I know, but it is true for me, because as a result of some unnameable spiritual process, what happens to me in worship is that I discover that the meaning I've been looking for is to be found in getting out of the meeting house and doing something with and for someone else. So meaning becomes purpose and purpose becomes meaning, and I can’t tell the difference between the two, and it doesn't matter. Because what love requires of me is that I simply go where I’m pushed. We sometimes call it faith in action. I think of it as worship in action."

Geoffrey Durham



More at http://www.nayler.org/?p=565

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Simple Lifestyle ~ Baltimore Yearly Meeting

"Simplicity flows from well-ordered living. It is less a matter of doing without, than a spiritual quality that simplifies our lives by putting first things first. A simple way of life, freely chosen, is a source of strength, joy, and comfort. Friends are advised to strive for simplicity in the use of our earnings and property, and in our style of living, choosing that which is simple and useful. This does not mean that life is to be poor and bare, destitute of joy and beauty. Each must determine, by the Light that is given, what promotes and what hinders the compelling search for inner peace that enables us to listen deeply to God."

~ Baltimore Yearly Meeting




Artwork from Helen Brown ~http://www.helensprints.co.uk/galleries

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Kind of Hope ~ Elizabeth Berg

“I always think incipient miracles surround us, waiting only to see if our faith is strong enough. We won't have to understand it; it will just work, like a beating heart, like love. Really, no matter how frightened and discouraged I may become about the future, I look forward to it. In spite of everything I see all around me every day, I have a shaky assurance that everything will turn out fine. I don't think I'm the only one. Why else would the phrase "everything's all right" ease a deep and troubled place in so many of us? We just don't know, we never know so much, yet we have such faith. We hold our hands over our hurts and lean forward, full of yearning and forgiveness. It is how we keep on, this kind of hope.”

~ Elizabeth Berg



More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Berg_(author)

Artwork by John Nash http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nash_(artist)

Click (below) and Discover

A.E. Housman Adrian Fisher Advices and Queries Ageing Agnes L. Tierney Albert E. Day Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Alexie Torres-Fleming Alice Stokes Paul Alice Walker Amish André Kostelanetz Andrew Cohen Animals Ann Barnes Ann Preston Anna Sewell Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Arnold Bennett Arnold Mitchell Art Arthur Gish Arthur Miller Ashley Wilcox Baltimore Yearly Meeting Basil the Great Ben Pink Dandelion Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Spock Bernard Canter Bernard of Clairvaux Betty Friedan Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Bill Mollison Bob Dylan Bob Marley Boris Pasternak Britain Yearly Meeting Bruce Arnold Bruderhof Caitriona Reed Caroline Stephen Celtic Wisdom Charles Dudley Warner Charles E. Kellogg Charles H. Spurgeon Charlie Chaplin Charlotte Brontë Chellie Pingree Children Christina Rossetti Christopher Bamford Christopher Morley Claudio Oliver Comments about Quakers Community Conflict Contemplative Scholar Corita Kent Craig Barnett Creation Creativity D H Lawrence D. H. Lawrence Dag Hammarskjold Daniele Varè David J. Clark Dean Ornish Death Dennis Kucinich Desmond Tutu Dinah Craik Dinah Maria Mulock Craik Diversity Donald Soper Dora Willson Doris Lessing Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Law Nolte Dostoyevsky Douglas V. Steere Duane S. Elgin E. F. Schumacher E. Nesbit E.F. Schumacher. Green wisdom Eberhard Arnold Ed Begley Jr Edna St. Vincent Millay Education Edward Abbey Edward Bulwer-Lytton Edwin Way Teale Elise Boulding Elizabeth Bathurst Elizabeth Berg Elizabeth Fry Elizabeth Goudge Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Elizabeth Watson Ellen M. Ross Elsie Boulding Emil Fuchs Emily Greene Balch Eugene O'Neill Eve Balfour Evelyn Sturge Evelyn Underhill F. Scott Fitzgerald Faith Faith Baldwin Family Life Family lLife Farming Fear Food Forgiveness Forgivingness Francis Brown Francis de Sales Francis Howgill Frank Zappa Franz Winkler Frederick Parker-Rhodes Freedom Friendship Fyodor Dostoyevsky Gardening Garrison Keillor Gary Snyder Gene Logsdon Geoffrey Durham George Amoss Jr George Bernard Shaw George Fox Gerard Manley Hopkins Giovanni Boccaccio Goethe Grace Blindell Gratitude Green Wisdom Growing Grace Farm Gustave Flaubert H.G. Wells Hamlin Garland Hannah Heinzekehr Haruki Murakami Harvey Gillman Hay Quaker Health Helen Fox Helen Nearing Henri Frederic Amiel Henri Nouwen Henri-Frédéric Amiel Henry David Thoreau Henry T. Hodgkin Henry Van Dyke Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Ward Beecher Herb Walters Herman Melville Hermann Hesse Hilda Clark Horace B Pointing Howard H. Brinton Iris Graville Iris Murdoch Isaac Newton Isaac Penington Isabel Allende Islamic Wisdom J. Field J.D. Belanger Jack Kornfield James Fenimore Cooper James Nayler James Parnell James Riemermann James Thurber Jan Struther Jana Llewellyn Jane Addams Jane Austen Jane Goodall Jean Toomer Jean Webster Jeanne Roy Jennifer Kavanagh Jenny Spinks Jewish Wisdom Jimmy Carter Johann Christoph Arnold John Dear John Donne John Dunston John Everard John Field John Fowles John Greenleaf Whittier John Howard Yoder John Lubbock John Milton John Muir John Nicholson John O'Donohue John of Ruysbroeck John Patrick Shanley John Robbins John Ruskin John Seymour John Steinbeck John W Rountree John William Grahamuaker Wisdom John Wood John Woolman Jon Krakauer Jonathan Edwards Joni Mitchell Josef Pieper Joseph Brackett Joseph Campbell Joseph Conrad Joshua Loth Liebman Joy Kallistos Ware Kathryn Damiano Keith Stewart Kenneth Boulding Kenneth Grahame Kent Nerburn Kristen Boye Kristin Kimball L. Frank Baum L.M. Montgomery Larry McMurtry Laura Ingalls Wilder Leila Lees Leo Tolstoy Leonard Cohen Leonardo da Vinci Lewis Carroll Leymah Gbowee Little Falls Friends Lois Rock Lorna M. Marsden Lorraine Anderson Love Lucy Maud Montgomery M. Scott Peck Madeleine L'Engle Marcus Aurelius Margaret Fell Margaret Mead Marie Curie Mariellen O. Gilpin Mark Birch Mary J. Tabor Masanobu Fukuoka Matt Kinsi Max Carter May Sarton Maya Angelou Meister Eckhart Melancholy Jane Mennonite Mennonite Wisdom Michel de Montaigne Mildred Tonge Miriam Toews Monica Muhammad Ali Naomi King Nathaniel Hawthorne Neil Young Nikos Kazantzakis Non-violence. Nonconformity Norma Jacob Oliver Cromwell Oscar Wilde Pamela Haines Parker J. Palmer Paul A. Lacey Paul Lacey Paul Newman Paulo Coelho Peace Peace. Pearl S. Buck Pete Dunne Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Plainness Pleasure Poetry Poetry. Prayer Primo Levi Prison Quaker action Quaker history Quaker Lives Quaker Scientists Quaker views Quaker Wisdom Quaker Women Quiet Rachel Carson Rachel Sontag Rainer Maria Rilke Ray Bradbury Ray Lovegrove Rebecca James Hecking Redeeming the Dirt Renewal Rhoda Janzen Richard P. Feynman Richard Proenneke Richard Scatchard Robert Barclay Robert Browning Robert Burns Robert E. Lee Robert E. Reuman Robert Griswold Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Maynard Hutchins Robertson Davies Roger Bartlett Roger Scruton Rudy Henry Wiebe Rufus Jones Rufus M. Jones Seasons Self-sufficiency Shakers Shirley Williams Silence Simon Heywood Simplicity Slavery Sm Keen Solitude Stephen Crisp Sterling Olmstead Sue Bender Susanne Kromberg Sustainability Sylvia Townsend Warner T.H.White Teresa of Avila The Jones Family The Quaker Dharma The Quaker Scholar Thomas A' Kempis Thomas Clarkson Thomas Kelly Thomas Moore Thomas More Thomas R. Kelly Thomas Traherne Thornton Wilder Time Tom Walsh Tove Jansson Trust Truth U.A. Fanthorpe Unitarian Wisdom Universal Wisdom Universal; wisdom Ursula Franklin Vegetarian Wisdom Veronica Nicholson Victoria Pearson Video Virginia Shurman Virginia Woolf W Ross Chapman Walt Whitman War Warren E. Burger Wealth Wee Dragon Wendell Berry Willa Cather William Blake William Charles Braithwaite William George Jordan William H. Sessions William Law William Leddra William Penn William Wordsworth Willis D. Nutting Wisdom Wolf Mendl Work Worship