The James Backhouse lecture from 2009. In early Quaker meetings, the expectation was you would really literally quake under the "power of the Lord" to know there was a message that you HAD to deliver from the silence. Helen Gould believes modern friends can still open themselves to this immensely powerful and loving divine energy, and that from it transformation can flow through us to others in an ever widening spiral.
The Quaking Meeting: transforming ourselves, our Meetings and the more-than-human world. Once, Quakers quaked. Some of us still do. I discuss individual and communal practices of Waiting Worship.
My theology and practice, like that of first generation Friends, is mystical. In centering down we can directly experience God's presence: loving, divine energy sensed in our bodies, which can cause physical manifestations like quaking. Such practice transforms our lives, gradually leading us into a life of holy obedience to the Divine.
I have learned from the teachings of early Friends, both directly, and mediated through Rex Ambler's Experiment with Light. Yoga and Buddhism have also inspired me.
My findings are illustrated with stories, mostly drawn from my own life, and with Max Raupach's drawings. In Meetings for Worship we may sense a mystical communion with God through each other.
This is the gift of the 'gathered meeting'. The 'power of the Lord' made first generation Friends quake and filled them with power. We, too, can open ourselves to the loving divine energy, and to the naturally arising miracles that become possible for those who live such lives. Transformation may flow through us to others, in an everwidening spiral, embracing the more-than-human world.