Committing to the Quaker Spiritual Path

Quaker author Lloyd Lee Wilson believes that there are many paths to God, but that once you’ve picked one, you have to be “all in.” What does that look like for the Quaker path?

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Jon Watts

Jon Watts launched and directed the QuakerSpeak project for its first 6 seasons. Keep up to date with Jon’s work at his website.

12 thoughts on “Committing to the Quaker Spiritual Path

  1. Thank you for these words. To stand as a individual within a community means that being in relationship is the most important part of the faith process. Relationship with God and with others seeking what is God to each other.

  2. My journey from atheist parents with my Anglican birth I decided to go to Anglican church and Sunday school it was not my spiritual home. SO I went to various churches and groups: Christian, Catholic, Methodist, Jehovah, Salvation Army etc etc… I read a great deal and found Quran, Buddhism etc etc All through this men controlled my direction. I went to a Quaker meeting with a friend and went errr they are speaking to God directly, they want peace and to help each other, they want what’s good for the planet and all beasts, they accept all human kind whatever cos we should find the light in all of us. Women are equal, some friends don’t believe in Jesus and the accept my views that Mary Madeline was his wife and with their children travelled the world to give the name of God to all. In Tibet in their writings it is inscribed that Jesus visited. Some don’t believe in God but Devine light. They are human and are not perfect. I became a Quaker and found my direct relationship with God felt more powerful I live my life the best I can with God

  3. So appreciate these words. I had the privilege once of hearing Elie Wiesel speaking to college students. One student asked him how to get involved in inter-faith dialogue. Elie asked the student “what is your faith tradition?” “Quaker” – the student answered. Then Elie Wiesel said something like: – “First – go deep into your own Quaker tradition. Only after that can you begin to work more widely.”

  4. This was a simple message that had deep meaning for me. I needed to hear this. I’ve been spending too much time at the salad bar. Thank you my friend for encouraging me to move on to the main coarse and find my place at the dinner table.

  5. There is much truth in what this speaker says, and also a caution.

    Truth: one must understand a religious tradition before one can benefit from it. Truth: the Quaker community is a gift that can help us as we grope our way through the darkness toward the Light.

    Caution: the search for truth is not other-directed. It is not directed by a priest, or a minister, or a mullah or a Quaker community. This is not New Age Individualism: it is merely a recognition of our existential condition. In the end, the struggle toward the Light is the final responsibility of each of us as Friends. The community can act as a guide, a friend, a teacher. But what we know, we know experimentally. And as a member of the larger Quaker community, we have a responsibility to share that experience with the community. Can you imagine Quaker history in America if John Woolman had merely accepted the “wisdom” of his contemporary Quaker community at a time when many American Friends held slaves?

    I have been accused of being a “convinced friend.” Rather, I am a Friend because I am not convinced of anything. There is no permanent home, no final “truth” that lets us rest. There are only camping places along the journey. And in the end, each pilgrim walks toward the Light on his or her own two feet. Let us be grateful for fellow travelers.

  6. I’ve been doing “inter-Quaker” dialog, because my branch of the Quaker tree wasn’t feeding me enough. THAT ended up requiring me to dive back deeper into my branch! (Thank you, FWCC.) A few years ago I was visiting another yearly meeting’s annual sessions, and the bit of vocal ministry that “found an echo in my soul” came from Katherine Jacobson (Ohio YM Conservative; may she rest in peace), who simply stated, in her quiet and then-failing voice, “Friends, we must go deeper.” So I love this bit of wisdom from our Friend Lloyd Lee, and not just because it agrees with me (ha), but because it still challenges me to stay engaged with my own local meeting, loving them and letting the love me, warts and all. So my query: how DO I/we go deeper? What direction will it take me/us? Where is my work in this?

  7. This essay describes directly where I am at the present time…I have followed many spiritual paths….(to my benefit) but I have not found God…I want to, but my mind finds obstacles. I have been attending Quaker Meeting (unprogramed) for about 4 years now and feel the presence of God in our meeting….and recognize that there I am in the company of some Godly persons . At times I feel “spirit” moving amongst us. I am always better for having gone to meeting and I have barely missed a Sunday in 4 years.

    There are some “organizational” process issues that keep me from fully “committing” to the Quaker path. The theological issues are less and less an obstacle. I am a Universalist Quaker……but not a member. We recently lost the last “founding member” of our meeting and I feel his loss deeply. He was a man of God and he understood my paths and was accepting and loving and kept a sense of humor about it….he repeatedly said…..”we sit in meeting and wait on the Lord; that is what is expected of us.

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