I Like Quakers, Buddhists and Universalists (Oh My!)

Making sure I don't renege on my commitment to more positivity:

There's a blog that has (sadly) not been active since 2009 called The Quaker Buddhist.  It's a fascinating exploration of the parallels and convergences of Quaker and Buddhist spirituality.  I highly recommend it, although it can be somehow depressing or maybe empty-feeling to read a blog that's no longer "in service."

If the idea of convergence between Christian and eastern spiritualities is attractive to you, I'd recommend checking out the Quaker Universalist Fellowship.  Their website reads:

The Quaker Universalist Fellowship is a gathering of Friends who work to foster understanding among people from the diverse spiritual cultures which flourish in our globalized human community. The Fellowship draws inspiration for its work from such traditional and respected statements of Quaker faith as are represented by the following:
“Walk cheerfully over the earth answering to that of God in everyone.” – George Fox
“There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath different names: it is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no form of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity.” – John Woolman
“The humble, meek, merciful, just, pious, and devout souls are everywhere of one religion, and when death takes off the mask, they will know one another though the diverse liveries they wear here make them strangers.” – William Penn
The work of the Quaker Universalist Fellowship expresses Friends' belief that there is a spirit of universal love in every person, and that a compassion-centered life is therefore available to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

It's amazing how progressive, and in many delightful ways, heretical, the founders of Quakerism were.  They actually believed God was accessible outside of religious structures!  They actually believed there was an inherently good spirit, accessible to all people.

I wrote this brief post on Buddhist Quakers back in 2008.

Recently, I've become online friends with Michael Hawkins, a jhana yogi, practicing Buddhist,  spiritual ecstatic, and former Protestant and Pentecostal.  He's a gracious, energetic, captivating guy to dialogue and I think you'll love his blog!  Like so many of us, Michael is both cynical of and wounded by the Christian church, but simultaneously compassionate, gracious and compelled to interact with it on some level.

I like exploration!

I like blurred boundaries!

I like openness and grace and fearless spiritual desire!

I like rejecting fear of hell and condemnation, and living as if I was actually, truly, literally, unconditionally loved, known and accepted.

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3 comments:

Michael Hawkins said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Peter. One of your readers (and perhaps Portland friend of yours, no exactly sure) has already dropped by to comment -- for which I am further grateful. The discussion is growing!

Peter J Walker said...

Tobias is actually a friend in Germany! We met in online discussion. Isn't the web fabulous?!

Michael Hawkins said...

It truly is -- sometimes a bit overwhelming, but bounce-back-able...;)

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