The “Experiment with Light” is a practice that can help people deepen their spiritual lives by exploring what it means to “wait in the Light” as early Quakers did. This can be a searching and powerful experience.
Quaker scholar Rex Ambler wondered how early Quakers worshipped at home, as compared with group meetings. “Waiting worship” was a daily silent listening for the word of God coming from within. But what exactly did they do during this kind of worship?
“I learned to meditate in a way that made sense to me as a modern [Quaker], and it proved to have remarkable results. It was quite different from the practice I had learned in meeting for worship. I learned from Fox that to go deep into my life I had to be focused and disciplined…. I had to stop thinking and fantasizing and really look at the reality in front of me. Then, as [George] Fox said, I would begin to see myself as I really was and a “light” within me would show it all to me….”
This is not a process that brings only peace and joy. It can also bring regrets or challenges. Coming to see spiritual reality is not a painless process because our own ego-centeredness and limitations can become clearer. However, opening ourselves up to that of Spirit or God within ourselves while accepting its revelations – whether we like what we see or not – brings eventual transformation of our hearts and our lives. We become more peaceful, joyful, compassionate, and loving.
We will listen to guided meditations, spend time in individual contemplation of messages received (which can include journaling or drawing), and share our thoughts if we wish.
Through our sessions together we will become a community of support and sustenance. Therefore, additional participants will not be added after our first meeting.
Barbara “Shulamith” Clearbridge is a member of Middlebury Friends Meeting in Vermont. She moved to Secane, Pennsylvania in late April of 2021 and currently attends Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. Shulamith has taught workshops and classes all her life on a variety of subjects. She has taught privately, for organizations (such as the National Association of University Women and the Alzheimer’s Association), institutions (such as libraries and hospitals), and continuing education programs.
She has also led workshops, Quaker Meetings for Healing, and adult education programs for monthly and quarterly Meetings in Vermont, for New England Yearly Meeting, and for Meetings in the Seattle and Chicago areas. In addition, she has led programs on spirituality and Quakerism for church groups and interfaith groups. Shulamith has an M.Div, for which her book, Finding God: Prayers & Spiritual Practices from Many Traditions, was her thesis. Shulamith is an interfaith spiritual director.
Financial aid may be available. If you are seeking funds to participate in this program, click to review and complete our Financial Assistance Application and a Pendle Hill staff member will follow-up with you shortly (please do NOT register online). Thank you for your interest.