If there is one thing people know about the Society of Friends, it is that in many meetings people sit in silence that is occasionally interspersed with people speaking.
After a long absence, I’ve been attending a Friends’ Meeting since July 2015. Someone told that Friends are encouraged to speak only when what they would say will improve on the silence. I contemplated this recently during a Meeting.
Whether I am sitting in Buddhist meditation, a meditation of Reiki practitioners, or Friends worship, I find the energy of the group very rich and conducive to my own meditation. It would take a lot to improve on it.
As I considered that, someone got up and delivered what I judged—and I use the word deliberately—a low-quality, long, and very boring message. Frankly, I was annoyed, and I decided to look at my annoyance. What I discovered surprised me.
I realized that I am constantly giving myself long and low-quality messages thick with repetitive anxiety, that I can remind myself that I have to do something countless times, and that my ego gives me other messages that do not improve on silence.
This gave me a powerful incentive to be mindful of what I’m thinking. That doesn’t mean that I will suppress. That’s what I have been doing. Instead, I intend to simply be aware of it, to allow it but not to feed it.
That resolution gives me contentment. I thank the boring Friend. Once I mindfully contemplated my reaction to his message, it turned out to have far greater value than I had imagined.