Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Garden of Contemplation: Attending My Second Quaker Meeting

After I had attended a Quaker meeting for the first time weeks ago it had been my desire ever afterwards to attend another one. Every Sunday that seemed to follow came with it distractions and stumbling blocks that prevented my inevitable return. Finally, today, almost at the last minute, my schedule freed itself, as a fish frees itself from a hook, and my elated spirit broke free from its anchor and travelled down Route 66 once again in search of some silence and fellowship with others who have also found a home within the present.

As I walked in and shook hands with all of the gentle souls, kind eyes smiling, mouths turned upright in pleasant greetings, I couldn't help but feel as if I had entered  a garden.  Each person, bearing their own unique and sacred fruit that has been born out of contemplation and time with God. Each person so different from the next, yet finding life and light from the same source. Sustenance from the same soil of silence we all aim at growing our roots deep within.

As silent prayer began I found myself plunging rather eagerly deep within the layers of  my consciousness. Empty, I remained open, letting God's peace and love envelop and fill me as He drew me , heart beat by heart beat, into His transforming reality. My senses became inundated with the awareness of nearly everything within and around me.  Reality lay naked and bare, fertile and overflowing, with God's glories and truths. I came hungry, nearly starving, and found myself full and overflowing in almost no time at all.

Halfway in, words seemed to rise from the depths, and I had an overwhelming desire to write them down. I hadn't thought of bringing a paper and pen with me and I didn't want to disturb anyone in their contemplation and ask for one, so I just committed each word that dropped into my consciousness to  memory, reflecting on their potential meanings. This is what came to me in the silence:

Time can't wither nor human fell
The eternal words God doth tell.
Man can't contain nor can possess,
The Glory God doth profess.
Truth like sand, man cannot hold.
Truth can never really be obtained
until all else is sold.

I thought of Jesus and how he calls us to sell everything we have to follow Him. Jesus is the truth, the way, the life. Then I thought...how true...to find the truth, we have to shed ourselves of any preconceived notions that we have of it. We have to discard any labels, attachments and illusions that time and our own desires and baggage  have constructed. Only then, when all of that scatters, like the clouds before the sun, truth will come to dawn in our hearts, like the light of a new day.

This day is proving itself to be a whirlwind of activities. I am grateful for the hour of silence that I had this morning and look forward to future Meetings. As I stop writing and return to the busy day that awaits, His peace and love still blossoms within me and I look forwards to projecting it outwards to those I love and meet.

How are you spending time with God today? I'd love to hear about it. 

Any thoughts? Comments? I'd love to hear them! Please leave in the comments section. Thank you!


  1. What a wonderful experience for you. To be so wonderfully open and perceptive. I am glad your trip was a beautiful one. <3

  2. Thank you Jan :) ~ many blessings

  3. Wow, that sounds like a great experience for you..an oasis in your hectic day! With 2 children and a husband plus a house to take care of and all of the encouragement you find time to give others through your blogs and postings, those times are especially needed!! My 1 child is grown and has moved on. I have a grandson that I used to spend a LOT of time with, but, alas, my daughter and I don't have a very healthy relationship now. I ask for your prayers in that matter and I pray God is working in her soul.
    Jessica, you are a really gifted writer!! One of these days I expect you'll write a book about your journey.
    After a long day of searching for work(every day)I take time to read encouraging blogs and posts. Sometimes I'll take a walk to brin me back to the present and to stop projecting about my financial future. Often times I'll just lay on my bed and commune with God in a very personal way...picturing Him holding ime in is arms and telling me everything I'm going through will have a good and positive outcome. I know He loves me and is holding me up through all of this. I don't know if I told you, but I'm also getting divorced....my husband and I live together like room mates for the present beccause of financial reasons. He is NOT a believer. When I ask him what he thinks about God he says it means "Good, Orderly Direction"...that's IT!!
    But anyway, thanks again for sharing...you are an inspiration..<3

  4. This definitely makes me want to find a Quaker community near me and visit. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Mary,

    I will lift your relationship with your daughter up in prayer. May reconcilation be made possible and your relationship be restored.

    I'm really sorry about your divorce with your husband as well and your financial concerns. Marriage is not made easy, especially in this society, and it's especially hard when one is a believer and one isn't..oftentimes much more difficult in coming to a parallel understanding. I pray that you find yourself moving ahead in life, steady and sure, God's grace and love lifting your sails and carrying you to shores of peace and fellowship with others.

    I love walks as well..they are a great way to clear my mind and bring me to the present :) Stay strong...stay in the Lord...He will always lead you in the right direction.

    Love and blessings,

  6. Bill..I would definitely encourage you that you do! I don't think you will be dissapointed. Thanks for stopping by :) I am eagerly awaiting the publication of your second book...I look forward to reviewing it! :)

  7. It is wonderful when you find souls on your plain, and where their energy allows you to go deep within yourself. You are crossing many boundaries on your recent journey, and what is becoming very obvious to me, is you are shining brighter all the time.

  8. Thank you Larry! :) That was beautiful..and it is so true...fellowship with others who can relate spiritually, is very refreshing and inspiring :) ~many blessings

  9. Good Morning, Jessica:
    At some point today, probably in the afternoon I'm going to take a ride to The Mercy Center in Madison, Connecticut and see if I still get a sense of peace there.

    I'll be spending more time there in the future I think. That may be the place I've been searching out.

  10. Christopher..enjoy your time there! I've been thinking about going there a lot lately myself. I've never been and I'd love to walk their labyrinth. There's a retreat coming up in Feb there, a Quaker contemplative retreat, I've been thinking of signing up for...

    Enjoy your day :)

  11. Really interesting post Jessica. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Quakers, their theology and your experiences in meeting with them!

  12. Thanks Mike. I look forward to sharing more here in the future :)

  13. You are a blessed person,I am happy to have interacted with you as I get positive vibes her..Thank u for sharing this with us,and God bless u always.

  14. Thanks for stopping by Alpana...I am blessed that you come here and leave your thoughts. I always appreciate the encouragement :)

  15. Once again, such an enlightening post! I love hearing the details of your walk with the Lord; you express yourself with such detail and vivid descriptions.

    Blessings, Jessica!

  16. That must have been such a beautiful experience, to shed everything to see the light of god.

  17. True creative inspiration only emerges from deep silence, and from this message one can clearly see pure inspiration. The Friends’ meetings remind me of home gatherings I attended a couple of years ago. They were called “waiting meetings,” and were patterned like Quaker services. No one talking, everyone just sitting in silence. After a few times attending, I learned to take my notebook and writing paraphernalia. You never know when inspiration will strike like a bolt of lightning. Be prepared!

  18. I now carry paper and a pen EVERYWHERE, but I learned the hard way. I'm glad you were in a quiet space and could commit that poem to memory because it was great! A real morsel of truth came to you there. :)

  19. I think the Quaker tradition of silence is a gift to modern believers who must navigate a fast-paced, noisy world. They carve out an hour to sit and listen to the Lord. That is a gift indeed.