the friend online
20 March 2009


Meeting for meditation? - preview

Do Quaker worship and group meditation have more in common than many Friends think?

Some years ago, at Glenthorne as I recall, shortly before Meeting for Worship began a Friend was inviting a guest to a first time experience and to join us in Meeting for Worship

  • ‘What’s it like?’

    ‘Well you could say it’s like a group meditation

  • At this point a rather weighty Friend who overheard boomed: ‘Meeting for Worship is not a group meditation!’

    Several of us had heard this exchange and, as we then went immediately into Meeting for Worship, there was no real opportunity to explore the matter further at that point
  • So, end of conversation

  • Nick Bagnall

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    Barry, 24 June

    Intrigued by the verb 'to elder' or 'to be eldered' - sounds like something a craftsman does to certain types of wood to cure dry rot?

    Part of me is assuming it means to be 'told off' in some way by a Quaker Elder? And, as a newcomer to Quakerism and a practicing Buddhist, this does leave me quaking somewhat? I would really hope that any Quaker 'elder' deserving that post would not resort to such power-over behaviour, but work more toward 'power-with' (these two terms come from Non-violent Communication or NVC.

    I would welcome other reflections on 'being Eldered'!!! And also whether, as a practicing Buddhist, I would be expected to not meditate during a silent Quaker meeting - the boundaries between the two are pretty nebulous and undefinable as far as I has experienced and read so far?

    Barry Hill

    Peter Arnold, 17 March
    Perhaps they used to believe that we must remain alert and ready to be inspired by words from a supernatural source but, as Nick suggests, it should be possible to meditate at the same time.
    For those of us who lack a belief in the supernatural meditation may help us over eighties to stay awake.


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    ‘G-force’ pressures on world leaders ahead of summit
    Oliver Robertson
    Quakers develop peace links
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    News round-up

    Meeting for meditation?
    Nick Bagnall
    Eva I Pinthus
    Is this where we went wrong?
    Judy Kirby

    Where is Britain?
    Anya Whiteside
    Book club previews
    Judy Kirby
    Book club reviews
    Hazel Watson & Michael Thomas
    The goddess and the gospel church
    Simon Beard


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