"Wear It As Long As Thou Canst"
My favorite Quaker parable is the story of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, having problems with his conscience about wearing his sword. He asked George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, if he should get rid of it because it conflicted with Quaker pacifistic values. George Fox told him to wear the sword as long a he could. This seems similar to Suzuki Roshi’s (the founder of San...
Jesus and Buddha
Growing up as a Christian, I learned about Jesus. As a Quaker, I thought of Jesus more as a person than as God. Quakerism teaches that there is that of God in everyone, so it seemed natural that Jesus was just very good at expressing that of God in himself and bringing it out in others. If he had been allowed to live longer, he may have come up with a teaching more similar to the Buddha’s....
My Quaker and Zen Life
I was raised as a Quaker in the Philadelphia area. That culture is a part of me. I attended Quaker schools. Meeting for Worship was always a part of my life. Jesus and God to me were not a big part of the experience. Sometimes people would stand and share messages about Jesus or God, but the messages were just as often about the spirit, or nature, or peace. As a teenager, I enjoyed gathering...
Quakers are generally nice people. Quakers are Christians, they believe in God and Jesus. Quakers are pacifists they work for peace. Quakers are activists. They are people of action. They try to see the truth through personal experience and represent that truth to the world. In this respect Quakers are like Zen Buddhists. Although there are different types of Quakers, the Quakers that I speak...
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