“I had initially understood centering down as Quaker code words for “It’s time to be quiet.” But over time those words came to mean much more. I discovered in that practice a careful peeling away of the nonessential to reveal the core of life, the essence of Being. Just as many possessions complicated my efforts toward simplicity, so too did my many mental distractions. In centering down, I laid those preoccupations aside, paring life down to its simplest form.” – Living the Quaker Way, Philip Gulley
I have recently felt a strong pull towards Quakerism. The Quaker belief system centers around five values:
I find the Quaker way of life very compelling. The concept of centering down is exactly the spiritual practice that I’ve been practicing for a few years. The five values that the Quakers aspire to live by I believe are the bedrock of all authentic spiritual practices. I love the way that Quakers share this deep wisdom is a simple straightforward way.
Striving to follow these values in all areas of your life and in every moment can open the door to spiritual awakening.
“But true centering down transcends worship. It is to bring one’s entire life into a place of listening and learning. Receptivity to the Divine Presence is so much more than an activity undertaken on Sunday morning; rather, it becomes the pattern for all of life, so that every aspect of our lives is held to the Light, fearlessly examined and stripped to its essence.” – Living the Quaker Way, Philip Gulley
That essence is pure loving conscious awareness.
This quote is a powerful spiritual message. It contains within it great universal spiritual teachings. First the understanding that we have the choice to infuse all aspects of our lives with our conscious spiritual awareness not to silo it into a few hours a week or to one aspect of our lives. Second, the knowledge that being in a state of open receptivity is the nearest state to God that we have in this existent. Finally, that in that state of receptivity we turn inwards and focus on deep introspective reflection. Through that process we can connect to our true Self when we strip away all that is not real. We find that the loving presence beneath everything is our true nature.
The conscious choice to practice centering down on a daily basis is a powerful tool for spiritual development. The Quaker practice of centering down is the same teaching that Eckhart Tolle shares as the more powerful spiritual action which is to be completely present in the Now.