THE QUAKER METHOD; Conflict Resolution, Finding Unity, Via Spirit Led Sense Of Meeting – t.vijayendra:

The appended extracts from a Quaker Faith and Practice describe the practice. They also describe its mystical roots – the belief that ‘there is that of God in everyone,’ and that this can be experienced so that discourse can be ‘Spirit-led.’

The essentials of Quaker practice, translated where necessary into secular terms, are as follows (no special order):

1. Grounding of all participants in the desire for the common good

2. Ensuring that all voices are heard and listened to

3. Respect for all – both participants and those outside (but affected by) the decision making process

4. Respect and caring for the agreed legitimate interests of all

5. Maintaining community-loving relationship – as a primary concern

6. Grounding of all participants in their own humanity and their experience of it during the meeting

7. Sensitivity to interdependence – open systems thinking

8. Speaking out of the silence (the state of being personally grounded)

9. Addressing the clerk/facilitator not one another

10. Speaking simply and not repeating what has already been expressed

11. Contributing personal perceptions and convictions – speaking one’s own truth -without advocating that all should act on it

12. The commitment to air dissent

13. Not using emotion to sway others while being authentic with the expression of feeling

14. Distinguishing ‘threshing’ meetings from meetings for decision-making

15. Preparing factual and analytical material for assimilation prior to meetings for decision

16. The role of the clerk/facilitator in offering syntheses of the ‘sense of the meeting’ that are progressively modified until there is unity

17. The role of the clerk/facilitator in resolving difficulty in coming to unity

18. Decisions are made not by majority vote, nor by consensus, but by unity

19. The organisational structures that bring to bear the voices of many collectivities.

t.vijayendra: THE QUAKER METHOD