Thursday, July 21, 2016

Moving toward better consideration

Rex Ambler is a British Quaker who has oriented certain groups toward
a better practice for thinking about their lives, plans and problems.
His book "Light to Live By" available from Quaker books and in paper
from Amazon is a translation of a lecture he gave in German to the
German Quakers. By the way, I have been told that the country with
the most Quakers per head is Kenya. Surprising, huh?

Amber has several books and he founded the "Experiment with Light"
program of revitalizing and focusing on the best instruction in the
use of Quaker consideration and contemplation. In "Light to Live By"
he explains the parallels between what he has found in writings of
George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends (official name of
the Quakers) 350 years ago, modern Quaker and secular quiet
contemplation and the work of Eugene Gendlin's program of "focusing".
In much the way that modern advocates of meditation advise, the basic
ideas are to sit quietly but comfortably with little or no excess
movement or fidgeting and simply see what comes to mind.

The Buddhists, longtime specialists in meditation, also advise that
any problem that is bugging the mind should be considered honestly and
openly. If one's worries or needs are too frightening to be looked at
squarely, wait until they are more face-able. Virtually all coaches
of mind use advise trying to face what is happening, what has happened
and what is desired in the future, near or far fully. Not running
from guilt or anger or fear or disgust can be very helpful. Looking
calmly and clearly and deeply enlists all sorts of strengths and casts
the famous light on possibilities and stances that one can use.

Ambler's book "The Quaker Way" emphasizes that the Quaker way is more
of a procedure and less of a series of statements to be believed or
followed. You can imagine how much trouble such a stance got the
early Quakers in when it became clear that they were advocating a
direct relation with God instead of one that used a priesthood or
governmental authority.

You can download The Quaker Way for $7.99 from Amazon and you can see
quite a bit of Gendlin's book "Focusing" in Google Books.

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