My final Afterthought* of 2015 reflects further on my efforts to maintain a regular practice of centering. In my previous post, One Day More, I confessed to trying to cram a year’s worth of that practice into my Quaker meeting’s annual Silent Day. Since my visit earlier in December to Ben Lomond Quaker Center, I’ve found another resource to support me in daily silence.
Before arriving at this Quaker retreat & conference center outside Santa Cruz, California, I’d read about the Center’s online meeting for worship. I was skeptical. But during a weekend conference there, I sat in worship in the Redwood Lodge each morning from 7:30 to 8:00 AM. At the end of worship, Center co-director Kathy Runyan read the names of folks in other locations who had logged on and sat in silence during that time, wherever they were. Since returning home, I’ve done the same many mornings, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sense of connection I feel knowing that a dozen or more people from across the West (and sometimes beyond) are logged in, too.
You can learn more about the Quaker Center programs on the website. I’m looking forward to leading a workshop next October 28-30: Journaling as Meditation: From the Blank Page to the Divine. Perhaps we’ll worship together—there, or virtually.
*“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, maybe even bumper stickers.