missing the quakers

One of the other things I’ve been not doing since my new job other than blogging is attending any kind of serivce on Sunday. I have this childlike exhileration of waking up on Sunday and feeling like I get to do whatever I want. I don’t have to rush off to work or a little league game or anything! There is an odd relief in not going anywhere and not feeling like it’s expected of me. From my dad making me go to church as a kid and feeling like I had to go for the kids – I am enjoying a certain freedom that I didn’t realize I wanted. I’ve spent so many years trying to understand religion, and I thought sitting in church was the way to do that. Now, I’m not so sure.

But I do miss the Quakers. I think about that wonderful silence more than any church service I’ve ever been too. I was daydreaming about it today. I’ve felt more “spiritual” in those quite meetings than I ever remember feeling anywhere else. So I believe I will be there again on Sunday – I also think I should take up meditation. Any ideas on how to do that?

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9 thoughts on “missing the quakers

  1. Matt Bennett says:

    I know of a very attentive Budha

  2. Ken says:

    When I put together your spiritual quest with the feeling of renewal that came with your job change and now with this posting about the urge to just enjoy the day on Sunday and the inquiry about meditation, my intuition suggests to me that your “journey” is a broad struggle with alienation. I think meditation eases the discomfort of alienation but does not overcome it. I am doubtful that you will be able to overcome it working full-time on a job because such work is itself a major source of alienation and it leaves so little time for all the other things that make a life whole.

    I don’t think theology holds the remedy for alienation. It may even be true that protestantism has built the world that creates the alienation. At the same time, I do see in the ancient Hebrew world a place without alienation. Reading the Bible takes me there – but it took years of academic study to enable me to go there. I suppose that is a form of meditation. It is a nice place to visit, but it is not the world in which we live.

    I don’t know what to recommend on meditation. I read, listen to music and hike. I suppose that these are my ways of meditation.

  3. Renae says:

    Hi! You don’t know me but I regularly read your blog with interest 🙂

    Check out http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/index.htm. It offers short (10-15 minute) daily meditations that help me do a mid-day refocus and to get my mind back to God.

    It’s a Jesuit thing….if you care about labels 🙂

  4. Jodi says:

    Thanks so much, I am becoming more and more fond of these quick ways to insert God into the daily habit.
    Jodi

  5. Benedict says:

    I’m with Ken here, I think; I have an actual spot for my quiet moments of meditation in New Hampshire (on my dock on our lake), and I also enjoy silent meditation when I hike. Here in New York, though, my spot is the same place I work, which is decidedly NOT ideal. 😦 So I have to make it different; icons, candles, and incense transform my work spot into something silent and holy for me, and I usually read from the Scriptures, the Medieval Mystics, the Desert Fathers, or something more contemporary, like Thomas Merton or Kathleen Norris or Wendell Berry or even, believe it or not, Jacques Derrida. For me, the space has to be transformed, otherwise my “meditation” turns into regular old “study.” I’ve learned that even though they are similar and enhance the experience of the other, I do need to keep them apart.

    And I’m glad to have you posting again!

  6. I’m glad you stopped by my blog, so I got a chance to see yours. For me, meditation is an excellent way to remind myself of the connections that are there. I guess you’ve already seen some of my favorite meditative technique.

  7. Liz Opp says:

    I found my way here via Laurie’s blog, and I appreciate your thoughts.

    As you explore meditation, keep in mind that it will not be the same as unprogrammed or open worship among Friends. The first is (often) about you quieting your own mind so that you might be more open to having a full experience of Life, the Spirit, etc. The latter is a communal activity (ideally, anyway), when those who attend worship are engaged in listening to God and listening for God together. I have found the experiences to be strikingly different.

    Anyway, no doubt the Quakers aren’t going anywhere and would welcome you back, as Way opens.

    Blessings,
    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

  8. brad wright says:

    I know what you mean about having Sunday mornings “off”. We started attending a church that has only evening services, and I love having Sunday a.m. to rest/ play. It would be hard to go back to a regular schedule now.

  9. Meredith says:

    A philosophy among us Atheists/Agnostics is one of the best reasons to be us is no church on Sunday! Unless you have kids, then you are relegated to the world of the Unitarians…

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