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Rebuilding with compassion

Posted by admin on Feb 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

A Friend recalled that, while attending an outdoor concert, she went for a walk in the woods. It was dark, so she did not realize that she was walking through an area that had been very carefully and lovingly adorned with flowers and mosses and objects sacred to the creators. In the light of the next day, however, it was clear that the place had not been destroyed, only damaged, and she and several others joined together to rebuild the space as it had been before.

She offered this experience as a metaphor for our current condition as a nation, as a message of hope that all is not lost, and that we can rebuild together, with compassion for one another.

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The temptation to dissociate

Posted by admin on Feb 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

We’ve all experienced this in our extended families: we have our differences, and sometimes those differences are sufficient to lead us to associate less with some of our relatives than with others. The same is true in our spiritual community. None of us have identical spiritual paths, and each of us has a unique view of spirituality. Can we set aside the tendency to view our own perceptions as the “right” ones, weighing the value of our association with one another as greater than our need to prove our point of view to be the “perfect” one?

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A paradox of Light

Posted by admin on Feb 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

A Friend recounted a favorite Quaker expression: “Be true to the Light, and more Light will be given.” In one way, it seems a great blessing, to be given a greater measure of Light. But in another way, it is a challenge: as one progresses along the spiritual path, the path becomes ever more demanding. It’s quite a paradox!

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A new paradigm

Posted by admin on Feb 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

A Friend recalled an upbringing in the strict Catholic tradition, with a harsh and judgmental God who looks down sternly upon humankind and metes out punishment upon the sinners. But among Quakers she is discovering a different aspect of the Divine, a benevolent, nurturing God, who dwells within and encourages growth and wholeness. She embraces this change in her spiritual paradigm, leaving behind the oppressive measuring of sinfulness, and joyfully engages in Quaker practice, growing in the spirit of benevolence and nurturing.

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A practicing Quaker

Posted by admin on Feb 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

A Friend recounted his experience of “practicing” Quakerism, recognizing that even as an adult, he is still capable of new insights and able to change himself in order to become more of the person he aspires to be. The goal is not perfection – what is perfection? – but self-realization.

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Secret Pals revealed

Posted by admin on Feb 22, 2009 in Meeting Events, Meeting News

During First hour on 2/22, about twenty adults and children of the Meeting sat in a circle, each holding one final gift to give as a Secret Pal. One youngster volunteered to begin, revealing himself by the giving of the gift. The recipient then gave his gift to his Pal, and so on around the room. There was laughter, hugging, surprise, and gratitude for the many small but thoughtful gifts that were given, and had been given over the preceding weeks. New friends were made, between children and adults.

Thanks to Robin W who has organized the Secret Pals each of the past several years. And thanks to everyone who participated, for bringing our community closer together across the generations.

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Visitors from the Assisi Institute

Posted by admin on Feb 21, 2009 in Meeting Events, Meeting News

Thanks to Carrie C for arranging to bring Craig Bullock and Vicki Campanaro of the Assisi Institute of Rochester, NY to Asheville Meeting. About thirty Friends and friends came to see and hear them as they described the work of the Assisi Institute and then led us in a guided meditation.

The Assisi Institute welcomes people of all (or no) spiritual backgrounds and assists them in reaching their Inner Light through meditation, much as we Quakers practice in our worship. Unlike Quaker worship, they teach the use of soothing sounds and mantras to help focus the mind inward. Their method is derived from the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, whose “Autobiography of a Yoga”, published in 1946, was instrumental in introducing Americans to the practice of Hinduism. Read more…

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Unconditional love

Posted by admin on Feb 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

In a healthy family, we find unconditional love. We don’t expect perfection of one another, we meet one another where we are, nurture and support one another, accepting our challenges along with our joys. In the same way, a healthy spiritual community is like a healthy family. We are held together as a family of the Spirit, letting go of our expectations and holding one another in the Light.

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The right amount of power

Posted by admin on Feb 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

The more powerful a religion becomes, the more influence it has, even to overpowering the messages of smaller religions. The Quakers are just the right size. We still get our message across without overpowering anyone.


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The diamond of humanity

Posted by admin on Feb 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Think of a diamond, with its many-faceted surface, each cut and polished face similar but unique. Think of how light is refracted through the diamond, so the colors are separated, or blended, each facet shining with its measure of the light.

Think of all humanity as one great big diamond. Each person is like a facet of the surface. The Light of the Spirit shines through the diamond of humanity, bends, separates, blends, and each person’s measure of light shines through.

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