"Let us labor for an inward stillness--
An inward stillness and an inward healing.
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks to us and we wait
In singleness of heart that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will and do that only”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Ray,

Thank you for posting this. It really touched my heart. Before I moved, I had a little 'alter' of sorts. It was a collection of different little things that meant something to me, or gave me a sense of peace, or worth. I have been in my new home almost two years, and have been missing it.  'Let us Labor...' is just the type of thing I would write out and possibly frame to put on it. I think after the new year i will have to find a home for my little 'alter'. In the mean time, I'll copy this and tuck it in my bible.:)

I'm glad you liked it Tina :^)

Well said. .

Thank thee Chris :^)

So how do Quakers "labor for an inward stillness"?

With deference to Longfellow, the labor is the female version for giving birth as opposed to the male version of furrowing a field. One sits/stands with a growing other-presence that makes its burdens and needs(healthy and happy living) known more and more each day/month. The other subjects itself to all the frustrating contingencies of life to produce sweat on the brow.
 
Spiny Norman said:

So how do Quakers "labor for an inward stillness"?

So in your view it's a passive rather than an active process?  I'd be interested to hear how you apply this in practice.

Perhaps, Friend, we should let "H.W." speak from his progeny; let alone women who may have something to say about "passive" laboring to give birth? Raising the seed within, not unlike raising a child, is precarious, not prescribed; so I'll stick with poetry, rather than Do-It-Yourself manuals, for Quaker praxis.
 
Spiny Norman said:

So in your view it's a passive rather than an active process?  I'd be interested to hear how you apply this in practice.

I'm finding the flowery language and mixed metaphors a little difficult to follow, Clem!

think you're saying there is no prescribed method in Quakers to develop inward stillness?  But are you saying people should just make up their own method(s)? 

"We wait - In singleness of heart (for) God alone speaks (that) we may know and do God's will (free from) our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions". This sounds like Devotion&Trust(Quaker Worship) which is needed more in a relationship than with a method. But sure, if you don't know it(Quaker Worship), then make it up(Beware the DT's, however).
 
Spiny Norman said:

I'm finding the flowery language and mixed metaphors a little difficult to follow, Clem!

think you're saying there is no prescribed method in Quakers to develop inward stillness?  But are you saying people should just make up their own method(s)? 

Friend Ray!

Thank thee for sharing this. It is so very true and beautiful! Well articulated! Glad to have found and read this.

Blessings to thee,

~Timothy~

So what does a non-theist Quaker do?

Clem Gerdelmann said:

"We wait - In singleness of heart (for) God alone speaks (that) we may know and do God's will (free from) our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions". This sounds like Devotion&Trust(Quaker Worship) which is needed more in a relationship than with a method. But sure, if you don't know it(Quaker Worship), then make it up(Beware the DT's, however).
 
Spiny Norman said:

I'm finding the flowery language and mixed metaphors a little difficult to follow, Clem!

think you're saying there is no prescribed method in Quakers to develop inward stillness?  But are you saying people should just make up their own method(s)? 

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