My Experience as a Quaker

Since the early Nineties, I have been a member of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. I didn't start out as a Friend, and there is more about my being raised Catholic on another page. As far as my own belief in God, I consider myself a Quaker Agnostic. Is there a God? I don't know. I am open to the possibility of a realty beyond what I am experiencing now. I like the concept of Maya. Is God/Spirit the ultimate dreamer? Is She unaware of her dreaming as I am unaware when I am asleep? I am thankful to Alan Watts for introducing me to this concept with The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

Do I call myself a Christian? As with other Friends of the universalist/unprogrammed tradition, I have become more comfortable with that term. Does it mean I believe Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God? Or was Jesus really telling us we are all the children of God? For me, Jesus was the wise teacher. In Eastern spirituality, he is an ascended master. He set a standard that is not easy to measure up to, but worth trying. It is a challenge to love those who oppose me. Even more difficult is giving up all my possessions to the poor. If I can't give up my possessions entirely, I can at least share them wisely. I can develop a more healthy relationship with the things I own and live as simply as I can.

Another word I get hung up on is prayer. Do I believe in prayer? If so, whom am I praying to and what am I praying for? If I am praying for anything it is for guidance. How can I help? How should I respond? What is the best course to take? In prayer, I focus and direct my intentions. How can I achieve being the person I would like to be? How can I treat others the way I wish to be treated?

I love silent worship and the community that Quakers create.I especially love the political activism and the commitment to create a world of peace and equality. After three years, I have finished my job as Newsletter Editor, but I am still actively involved with the meeting newsletter. With my limited Dreamweaver skills, I have done some work to update the Strawberry Creek web site.Thankfully, a more talented person has taken on that work to redesign the site.

For Pacific Yearly Meeting, I have been serving on Secretariat Committee. One of the functions of that committee is to produce a daily newspaper called the Daily Miracle.The Miracle happens every morning of the annual sessions that occur over the course of one week in the summer. For me, one of highlights of PYM at Walker Creek Ranch in Marin County was pedaling there by bicycle. In 2010, PYM will be at Claremont McKenna College, and I plan on traveling there via Amtrak and Metrolink.

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