Enjoy the Silence

When you’re in Quaker Meeting for Worship, be sure to enjoy the silence.

How to define the silence you experience in a Quaker Meeting for Worship is extremely difficult without experiencing it yourself.

For the Smudgy Guide silence is the still space between prayer and meditation that Friends seek the Spirit in.

It is to be celebrated and therefore enjoyed.

Silence is precious for Friends. In taking away the noise of pressure from everyday life it helps you to find the flickering flame of the Inner Light – and the silence of the Spirit makes it glow.

In the silence you will find an acceptance among the fellowship of Friends. In this acceptance you may find some release from fear, anxiety, emotional confusion and selfishness.

This silence is more than an absence of sound: one can be aware of external sounds, such as a dog barking, a car passing, or a child calling.

But these sounds are not distractions. They are absorbed, often unconsciously, as Friends try to be open to that of God within. An early Friend, Robert Barclay, described his experience during a meeting for worship as follows: ‘I found the evil in me weakening and the good raised up’.

The silence is different from that experienced in traditional, solitary meditation, which normally takes place deep inside oneself, as a devotional exercise for one’s own spiritual development. The listening and waiting in a Meeting for Worship is a shared experience in which worshippers seek the Spirit.

In the silence you find an open space, not entrapment.


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