Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity

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9781893732285: Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity
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Must reading for anyone feeling too busy or too stressed and seeking to simplify their life--to listen to the longings of their heart.

Most of us living in this complex and time-pressured era have moments when we wish we were living simpler, more meaningful lives. Sometimes these wishes are fleeting desires, but for many today the search for a life of greater simplicity and meaning has developed into a deep longing. There are many routes to simplicity. This book focuses on and provides direction to the gimmick-free spiritual path followed by Quakers. For over three centuries Quakers have been living out of a spiritual center in a way of life they call "plain living." Their accumulated experiences and distilled wisdom have much to offer anyone seeking greater simplicity today. Plain Living is not about sacrifice. It's about choosing the life you really want, a form of inward simplicity that leads us to listen for the "still, small voice" of God. This book goes beyond the merely trendy to make the by now well-worn Quaker path to plain living accessible to everyone.

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Review:

Catherine Whitmire's book of contemporary and historic Quaker voices reads like an antidote to consumer-driven despair. We all know the spiritual downfall of compulsively acquiring material goods (or what Quakers refer to as "cumber"); how it leads to a frantic-paced lifestyle built around working long hours so we can buy more stuff. In assembling Plain Living, a collection of paragraph-long quotes, Whitmire offers readers a simple and soothing alternative--the path that Quakers call "plain living." "We have chosen lives that crowd our appointment books, fill our email boxes, and overload our answering machines, even as we long for a plainer way of living--one that will free us from the strain and activity of these times," writes Whitmire. "The Spirit is speaking through the whirlwind of modern life, and if we listen quietly to the cool, calm Center within, there is an invitation to plain living awaiting us."

In the early chapters readers will find inspiration for laying down their interior and exterior cumber. The book's wisdom eventually expands into other important Quaker values, such as "Parenting and Mentoring," "Practicing Non-Violence," and "Listening to the Earth." Ultimately, this is a book with a long shelf life, offering timeless quotations on living the life worth living. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Quaker author Cathy Whitmire has served for decades in many leadership roles in the Quaker community, including supervising community empowerment projects in New England for the American Friends Service Committee. She is an Alternatives to Violence trainer, and has nonviolent communication and mediation training.

Whitmire received a master of divinity degree in 1987 from Harvard Divinity School. She has served as a Protestant chaplain and pastoral counselor on a psychiatric unit of an inner-city hospital in Boston. She attended the Shalem Institute’s program in spiritual direction in 1997 and also writes, provides spiritual direction, and leads peace and nonviolence workshops and retreats.

The mother of a grown son and two stepsons, Whitmire lives with her husband, Tom Ewell, in a home overlooking Puget Sound in Washington.

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