Centering into Silence

Douglas Steere (1902-1995) was what Quakers sometimes call a “weighty Friend,” someone whose life is an example to be followed and whose wisdom and spirituality enrich the entire community. For many years a professor of philosophy at Haverford College, he wrote more than 10 books including several on prayer and spirituality. In a lovely short pamphlet, he wrote of his experience of Meeting for Worship, the path he followed to ”center into the silence,” and his strategies for handling distractions that inevitably arise. You can read this pamphlet at:

The Quaker practice of silent communal prayer is sometimes called “group mysticism.” Quakers and non-Quakers alike, over many centures and from many parts of the world, have reflected on their experiences of silent prayer and group mysticism. Here is a compilation of such reflections.