April Forum on Experiment with Light
Forum on First Day April 24th: An Introduction to Experiment With Light
Be still awhile from thy own thoughts, searching, seeking, desires, and imaginations, and be stayed in the principle of God in thee...And thou being come to the principle of God [within], which hath been transgressed [by thee], it will keep thee humble; and [to] the humble God will teach his way, which is peace... George Fox’s advice to Elizabeth Cromwell Claypole, 1658:
Ministry and Council and the Adult Education Committee are considering the possibility of Durham Friends forming one or more Experiment with Light (EWL) groups for those who desire to learn more about Quakerism as a meditative/contemplative practice.
Experiment with Light began in 1996 in England under the guidance of Rex Amber, a Quaker theologian, as a way for modern Friends to experience the deep, perfecting faith of the early Friends. It is based on an understanding of what the early Quakers did when they gathered together in silence, and what they experienced as they did so. At the core of the practice is a meditation that guides Experimenters through the following steps: minding the Light, which denotes a Spirit-given capacity that shows us ourselves as we really are; opening one’s heart to the Light; waiting in the Light; and submitting the Truth, which is what the Light reveals: the reality of what is happening inside ourselves and in the world, and the path we must take out of confusion, conflict and wrongdoing.
Experiment with Light groups have sprung up in dozens of Friends Meetings around the world, with many saying that these experiences have been transformative for individual Friends and their Meetings, inwardly and outwardly in action as well.
On the fourth First Day in fourth Month, April 24th, we will hold a Forum after Meeting to explore the possibility of forming an Experiment with Light group. Experiment with Light will be introduced and related to Christian, Asian, and Universalist spiritual practices. After a period of sharing, we will listen together for whether there is interest and, if so, in what form Experiment with Light might take in our Meeting.
Reality is finally mysterious. Our little word 'God' tries to name that mystery... It points but it does not describe. It offers no concepts or images that enable us to grasp the reality in our minds. It can only invite us to look and to see for ourselves... Rex Ambler, The Quaker Way: A Rediscovery
No experience with meditation is necessary and it isn’t even necessary to be interested in personal spiritual practices. There are lots of ways to be a Quaker, so please come if you are simply curious about what those early Friends may have been doing in the Silence.
More to follow, including reading materials, before the Forum...
We look forward to listening together,
John March for Ministry and Council
Jen Walker for Adult Education
If you are interested in learning more about Experiment With Light, a good source is: www.charlieblackfield.com/light/index.htm . For Rex Ambler’s sense of how the early Friends practices lend themselves to current times, see: https://www.quakerbooks.org/book/light-within .