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Coming to Light: Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee

By Valerie Brown

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #446 (August 2017)

Price: $7.50


Coming to Light explores the practice and process of the clearness committee, a means of spiritual discernment used by Quakers that has also proved helpful to many others. The author shares her personal experience of clearness committees, first as a member of the Religious Society of Friends and then as a retreat leader for the Center for Courage & Renewal, which uses the clearness committee as the center of its practice. The pamphlet includes a sample format of a clearness committee and material that may be used as handouts.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Brown is an international retreat leader, writer, leadership coach, and principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness in daily life ( She transformed her high-pressure career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections. Valerie’s books include The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012) and The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014), named one of the “best books on courage” in 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal. She is the author of three previous Pendle Hill pamphlets, The Mindful Quaker (#386), Living from the Center: Mindfulness Meditation and Centering for Friends (#407), and Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond (#421). She has studied and practiced mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition since 1995 and was ordained in the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003. Valerie is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and a certified Kundalini yoga teacher.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #446