Quaker Quicks: In Search of Stillness
By: Joanna Godfrey Wood – Christian Alternative, $10.95)
Description: How can we find inner stillness in our lives today? What is it for and how can we use it?
Inspired by the fiery writings of early Quakers, such as George Fox and Margaret Fell, this book calls on their advice to go within and wait, adapting it to create a modern, relatable method for finding stillness and peace.
This meditation is for us to use however we most need it, whether to explore and heal the self and others or to help us be more effective in the wider world.
Verdict: It has been said many times that Meditation is emptying yourself of all content. When there is no thought moving inside you there is stillness; that stillness is meditation.
Ergo, Meditation is a priming of the mind and strengthening of awareness where on a micro level, we learn to detach from thoughts, feelings, sensations — to remain balanced.
Here in Quaker Quicks - In Search of Stillness: Using a simple meditation to find inner peace, Joanna Godfrey Wood brings forth an enlightened regime of Meditation techniques, based on, and to encourage within us, the act of genuine stillness (re: mind, body and soul).
As we all know, or at least those of us that have tried, “I think too much” and “I can’t get out of my own head” are comments we spurt out after just a few minutes of trying to find inner peace, inner stillness within Meditation.
This is pretty common, as we learn from Wood, thinking isn’t the actual problem, but moreover the struggle comes when we’re constantly spinning stories in our head and getting caught up in them.
For it is at those times, especially when we are trying to calm and quieten everything internal and external, that our minds suddenly jump from one thing to another, seeking distraction or avoiding difficulty.
We can’t focus, we can’t be present in the moment, and we feel the need to be constantly busy again. But found in Quaker meetings, Meditation re: slowing down, a connection of mind and body can not only provide peace amongst your daily turmoil, but can spur you into action thereafter also.
For as much as our inbred mental processes — jumping around and distraction and being caught up in stories — don’t have to cause anxiety, they are not only common, but it feels like they are part and parcel of the normal human condition.
If this is how our minds are most of the time, then feeling afflicted by this condition is probably going to cause us constant anxiety. Hence why this new book from Wood allows you to take strident steps into a Quaker attitude toward stillness that, and take this from me, works like a charm.
About the Author - Joanna Godfrey Wood has been a Quaker all her life and she attended a Quaker school. She recently took the Equipping for Ministry course at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England, which gave her a chance to study the works of Margaret Fell.
In her local Quaker meeting her particular ministry is facilitating study groups. She has also written Travelling in the Light: How Margaret Fell’s Writings can Speak to Quakers Today. Joanna spent her working life as a book editor. Joanna lives in North London, UK.
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