I've been attending the North Columbus Friends Meeting (Quakers)
for the past two years. There's a peace and a camaraderie there I find both comforting and attractive. The task of sitting in silence waiting for the light for an hour each week is enormously difficult. Its a good exercise for me; not to speak but to listen and not to speak unless I feel truly led. I find it very difficult. Spiritual bench pressing of at least 250 lbs, not that I've ever done that1
At a pot luck meeting last night, Quaker worship was discussed. NCFM has what is called an Unprogrammed meeting. You sit in silence. People speak only when they feel compelled to do so. No clergy, no sermon, no prayers, no structure. Its the lack of structure I find exhausting! But it also forces you to make choices, to be a spiritual grown up. You have to take the responsibility to empty yourself out and to really listen, both to others and to what is going on with you. I wasn't raised to be quit and listen for God. I was raised to participate in ritual and embrace dogma, with no thought for questions. This is a new challenge for me. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but I'm enjoying the people, the peace and the opportunity.