EWL-2 Outline for Three EWL Group Launch Sessions

Lois’ presentation about Experiment With Light (EWL) on January 31 was well received. Some of what she said can also be found in her review of the book, Seeing, Hearing, Knowing – reflections on Experiment with Light.

During her presentation and after, I have received much interest and good advice about the upcoming three sessions, outlined below.

General thoughts about the 3 launch sessions

I have two audiences I’m presenting to: Observers and Engagers.
Observers are friends who want to learn more about what Experiment With Light is, but probably don’t want to be in an Experiment With Light Group.
Engagers
think they want to be in a 5-8 person group that meets regularly for several months, working with the EWL process. They may know some of the people they would like to have in their group and may feel nearly ready to go. At the other extreme, there may be some folks who are pessimistic about finding group members who can meet at a time that is good for them. In either case, Engagers think that they might like to be part of a group, if things work out.

February 15 is for Observers. Engagers are also encouraged to come. The focus is on:

  • What is Experiment With Light?
  • Where did it come from?
  • What do these people do in the EWL groups?
  • How might I become part of such a group?

I will try very hard to end by 8:30. This will allow time for Observers to discuss what has happened informally and it will be an opportunity for Engagers and potential Engagers seek each other out and to have preliminary conversations.

February 22 is for Engagers. Observers are welcome. The focus of the evening activities is to make it as comfortable as possible for Engagers and potential Engagers to

  1. Find a group of people who can meet when they can meet.
  2. “Try the process on for size” with this potential group, to see how they feel when they are in the middle of it.

March 1 is for Engagers. I do not expect to present any new material or offer any new experiences. The evening will focus on supporting groups that have formed and are launching, and also individuals and groups that still need more people or more something else, before they are ready to go.
I won’t have much idea of my March 1 plans until the end of the Feb. 22 session, and a lot will not be decided until March 1, when we see who shows up, and what they need.

Experiences in a EWL group will touch tender places, as do many spiritual experiences. I think people are likely to have their best experiences if the group is fairly compatible, and feels safe to each participant. Therefore I encourage people to seek out friends with whom they would like to share the experience, and to personally encourage them. I hope Engagers will come to the Launch Meetings with half a mind of who they want to be in a group with, as well as an openness to people they don’t know who seem to be on their wavelength.

More sessions in March or April

Several people have already expressed regret at not being able to make the these first sessions. While I’m not promising anything until the end of this series, I’m inclined to offer the series again this spring, on weekend afternoons.

(EWL groups are welcome to form outside of this process. This is not like the NYM spiritual-nurture process, where there was an oversight body that kept track of things. Once a group of people decides they want to do EWL together they just do it, as they see fit. The Launch Meetings are designed to get them off to a good start, but that’s it.)

Monday Feb. 15 Meeting: Orientation

7PM at TCFM.

1.    Welcome, Handouts.
2.    Short Intro lecture.
3.    Q&A
4.    Short-form EWL exercise, 30 minutes, including a little time at the end for making notes. No small groups sharing.
5.    Anticipate second session.
6.    Close by 8:30, or not long after,
allowing time to mingle, discuss, and find kindred souls.

Monday Feb 22:  Form-up of tentative groups and a meditation session with optional sharing.

7PM at TCFM.

  1. Brief Intro.
  2. Participants will have a chance to see who is available at times they are available.
  3. Based on this experience, we will settle into “try-it-on-for-size-groups” to do the EWL excercise.
  4. Exercise:  Same as 4 above, but this time followed by optional sharing in the small groups, five minutes each.
  5. Anticipate the third session.
  6. Close around 8:30.

Monday March 1: Follow-up & Support Session

7PM at TCFM.

  • Established groups looking for another member or two, or just wanting another practice session before launching on their own.
  • Folks still looking to get into a group
  • Time for provisionally-formed groups to
    • Settle on how many sessions they want to meet for, before doing an evaluation.
    • Each group might review the Friargate group’s suggested guidelines and reach consensus on what specific guidelines their group will use.
    • Agree on a time, place and convener for their meeting.
    • Get sound recordings or other materials they may not have been able to obtain on their own.


More Resources

Free resources available at:

http://www.charlieblackfield.com/light/

There are lots of audio downloads, including several versions of the meditations. And talks by Rex Ambler, like  Early Friends and the Light, an introductory talk by Rex, given at a residential workshop in Oxfordshire:

  • Complete talk (75 mins)
  • Part 1 (12 mins)
  • Part 2 (14 mins)
  • Part 3 (2½ mins)
  • Part 4 (10 mins)
  • Part 5 (11 mins)
  • Discussion (11 mins)
  • Introduction to the meditation (14½ mins)
  • There are also  .PDF files, with printed versions of the meditations.


    Available from Quaker Books Philadelphia:

    Downloadable audio and text

    Experiment With Light Mp3s

    A Set Of 9 Audio Files And 3 Text Files In .pdf Format

    BY REX AMBLER, RE-MASTERED BY MADISON MONTHLY MEETING
    These are the remastered Mp3 audio files, prepared by Madison Monthly Meeting, of Rex Ambler’s ‘Experiment with Light’ process lectures and meditations. Ambler examines early Friends experiences of the Light and then describes a practice for modern Friends that can help them access the Light to transform themselves and, then, to look more outwardly. “The discipline of light as practiced by early Friends is a practical discipline which opens up the truth about ourselves and the world and transforms our relationship with them.” Audio files include a lecture by Rex Ambler on the process and five meditations for individuals and groups. An outline for a 4-session course included. Mp3 download.

    Books

    Rex Ambler: Light to live by – an exploration in Quaker spirituality

    A brief introduction to the Experiment with Light, originally presented in German as the 2001 Cary Lecture.

    Truth of the Heart: an anthology of George Fox

    edited by Rex Ambler

    John Lampen (ed.): Seeing, Hearing, Knowing – reflections on Experiment with Light

    A recent book built around personal stories of spiritual search and discovery arising from the practice. It is intended for those who use Experiment with Light or wish to know more about it. First published in 2008.

    The books are also available from www.QuakerBooks.org and other places.
    Some may also be available as audio books from the British website Talking Friends.


    Background information is in my previous post: EWL-1.

    Richard Fuller

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