Silence as nourishment to the soul

Being part of a Quaker community

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Reflecting is part of who I have become. I experience, I contemplate, I reflect. On Sunday afternoon I was reflecting on the morning meeting at the Quaker meetinghouse. We meet and we observe silence. Silence as an exercise in self-discipline rather than an absence of noise. It can be broken by speech if someone believes they can improve on the silence. The belief should come from beyond the ego and after the individual has asked themselves questions.

On Sunday I got caught up with ensuring we in the meetinghouse were connected with those on Zoom so I was distracted more than usual. Nonetheless, as I reflected I thought I have become so acquainted with Silence that I now struggle a bit with a traditional church service. In contrast to the lack of external preparation for a ‘meeting in silence’ a church service is a choreographed event, music plays, people stand, people sit, the preacher preaches, prayers are said and so forth. Dare I say it those activities can become a distraction from meeting with God.

Again I found myself grateful that I can be part of a community where we are all different yet draw on the silence of each other. It is a community in which I am nourished in order to fully live.

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Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.