Quaker Quicks - Inner Healing, Inner Peace
Discover Quaker practices aimed at healing pain and distress in mind, body and spirit.
What do Quakers have to offer when there is pain and distress in body, mind and spirit? Can their beliefs and worship help in the processes of healing? In this book, Diana and John Lampen try to answer these questions, drawing on their experiences of caring for troubled people and working in situations of conflict, as well as their long membership of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The book contains practices which readers can use for themselves.
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My initial scepticism at the title of this book was blown away by the reality of lived experience in this book. Because it never claims that saying a few affirmations or meditating are the full solution to long-term intractable problems, this book is a useful addition to Quaker wisdom and may in fact help those of us who are involved in the struggle. Because sometimes we need to take a step back, to write about our feelings or draw them out, and to briefly ‘cease from mental fight’ and to put down the cares of the world for a while. ~ Steven Waling - Northern Friends Peace Board, https://nfpb.org.uk/voices/review-inner-healing-inner-peace/
Opening on a very informative Introduction, other chapters to be explored include Unease and Anxiety, Physical Pain and Distress, The Wounded Soul, Nature, Art and Time, and then we get The Practices, where the chapters include Being peaceful, Facing a worry, Breathing to help with pain, and then come Writing a letter, Holding someone in the light, A memory of joy and both Reviewing our life and Letting go - into death. Written by both John and Diana Lampen, their dual perspectives combine to bring forth a very observant, and highly informative prose that comes in the form of fourteen practices created to enable us all to better handle our daily, and at most times, stressful lives. As they themselves say, wonderful things exist beyond our fears, anxieties, anger and hurts. Their friend, Alla, who is also quoted within the book, wrote that life has a good quality. It goes on no matter what. Ergo, and through proven wisdom and expertly cultured practical advice, Quaker Quicks - Inner Healing, Inner Peace was created to speak to us all, in a way that embodies our very own mind, body and soul. As if we are walked hand by hand through each section, their personal narratives highlight the world we live in and how to successfully navigate it. For they have learnt, through their own personal trials and tribulations, to not only veritably revolutionize hurt into healing, but moreover, invite us to embrace peacefulness, open our hearts to the Spirit, as we encounter it in others and in ourselves. ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review
This book takes a simple, readable and natural non-technical approach to helping anyone deal with distress. The book illustrates healing processes with numerous stories. Some are from real life, some are imaginary, and some are Biblical. These illustrate useful metaphors—a separate section of the book lists "Practices” which facilitate emotional and intellectual change. Readers familiar with group dynamics and clinical psychology will find themselves in familiar territory. Some are very simple, like writing a letter that will never be sent, or writing troubles on pieces of paper and ceremonially burning them. But a common component of all practices is that they are set in the context of a silent Quaker Meeting for worship. It might not stay silent long when the worshippers come to grips with their deeply buried sources of suffering. John Lampen is a widely travelled Friend who has facilitated conflicted groups in Ireland, South Africa, and other hot spots. Diana is a highly experienced Yoga teacher. Their combined experience enables them to write with true authority, understanding and compassion I recommend this book to any Meeting seeking to add to its collection of helpful reading. ~ Bert Horwood, Review
Inner Healing, Inner Peace enlightens us as human beings. Often we are asked, how do you find inner peace? How have you survived all of this in your life and come to terms with it? I asked myself that question until I too found that peace within. We struggle with explanations not meeting our expectations. When it is acceptance which we are really needing. John and Diana encompass the steps in their practices in this book to take you into Quaker ways to find the Light. As we sit with unease and anxiety they invite us to the Blame Game where the Light can be found in despair. We breathe with pain and find gratitude. The act of holding on to hurt is hurtful to us. As forgiveness is explored the authors explain how this works, personally. We make choices to show our gratitude and love in a non-judgemental way, such as a simple smile, and John and Diana look at the Myers-Briggs system which helps us to understand our different personalities and the way we react. Their rich, valuable life experience compliments every part of this book as they choose joy and finally appreciate the privilege of dying. Such a book deserves time to understand and really absorb the knowledge of life’s necessary mystery, as John and Diana honour. ~ Amanda Jones - Quaker Arts Network
John and Diana Lampen have spent their lives working towards bringing peace and healing in the most difficult situations. This is the distilled wisdom and knowledge of lives lived in service to others. George Fox advised us to ‘live in the virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion of all wars’. Writing in the introduction about the experiences being suffered by Ukrainian friends who work in the Alternatives to Violence Programme developed by Quakers they point out that ‘among the obstacles to tranquillity are the unhealed hurts within us’. This book offers ways to heal those hurts. Combining their skills in psychotherapy and yoga with many techniques learned and developed over many years, they seek to demonstrate a specifically Quaker approach. It is also intensely practical. Over eight short chapters covering aspects of suffering from anxiety to physical pain, to the loss of dying they introduce examples from their own experiences, draw on great spiritual teachers and demonstrate ways to move forward. Central to many of these are the fourteen ‘Practices’ at the end of the book- forms of meditation, some guided, some using visualisation or drawing, all aimed at ‘untangling the knot’ of particular challenges. Who is this book for? In a way it is for everyone, and especially for Quakers but its greatest use will be for those already working with groups suffering conflict and distress. This beautiful book will give them the tools to help. ~ Alex Herring - Bath Quakers
Here is the power and the joy of this book: the Lampens have taken these raw experiences, told candidly and tenderly, and have harvested spiritual practices from their Quaker faith and many kindred sources to open up ways of healing that people of all sorts of temperaments can use. After telling us these stories and outcomes, they distilled what they learned into a set of fourteen accessible practices. Many of these practices have a common thread: gently helping us to connect our minds, our spirits, and our bodies. ~ Johan Maurer - Can You Believe?, FULL REVIEW >>> https://blog.canyoubelieve.me/2023/08/experiment-with-healing.html
Inner Healing, Inner Peace: A Quaker perspective, by John Lampen and Diana Lampen Review by Tim Newell. |Photo: Book cover of Inner Healing, Inner Peace: A Quaker perspective, by John Lampen and Diana Lampen This is a book full of good things to marvel at, understand and apply. So much of it rings bells after the trauma of the pandemic, and its impact on families and loved ones. The issues of tension and conflict are a focus, but there is also a remarkable section called ‘The Practices’. Here the riches of experience are described and explained, so that it is made easy to apply a particular practice to a particular need. John and Diana Lampen have brought their long experience and special expertise to bear on our everyday experiences of conflict, distress and loss. From international conflict to personal trauma, this treasure trove of hope gives us confident possibilities that things don’t have to be as they are. The book is grounded in the Quaker experience of worship, and we all come back to that for our continuity of balance – ‘That of God’ in each of us. The authors describe an event, the setting, an experience, the people, and the issue. They then consider what was needed to restore balance and work it through. ‘The Practices’, rich with personal insight, give us responses that are appropriate to particular settings and issues. Such a sharing of wisdom! So many of the issues speak to us. The section on ‘Forgiveness’, and the explanation of the need for self-forgiveness, connected me to the experience in a community meeting at Grendon Prison, where all forty members introduced themselves by their name, their sentence, and with the acknowledgment that they were there because of the harm they caused their victim (named), for which they take responsibility. Many of us will appreciate the description of the Experiment with Light as a practice of worship. My own Meeting has had a practice for the past seven years, readily adapted to the Zoom world. Powerlessness is described and respected, for the influence it has on others, bringing tranquillity. Readers are encouraged to take time to look at things around us when walking with no purpose other than with curiosity and marvelling. There are good things around every page, with encouraging experiences and pertinent quotes. Take this one from Isaac Penington: ‘Give over thine own willing – give over thy own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything and sink down to the seed which God sows in the heart and let that grow in thee and be in thee and breathe in thee and act in thee’. The book ends with a moving chapter on the art of dying. Again this is helped by the authors’ experience of being with people in a hospice, and approaching the end with calmness and without fear. There is a wonderful Practice to help with this. Quakers have much to offer in the world of conflict and distress. This book will provide Friends with insight and tools to apply as they work through the issues. It is relevant in any setting of need and concern. ~ Tim Newell , THE FRIEND - British weekly Quaker journal
INNER HEALING, INNER PEACE by John and diana Lampen This is the first book in the Quakers Quick series that I have read and I thought it would be a rapid read. However this book really deserves a slow read to savour all the wisdom it contains. Drawing on a lifetime of their personal ministry, Diana and John explain how they have helped people in many different parts of the world in circumstances where they were able to facilitate peace and healing. But this is so much more than autobiography, and all their experiences are referenced by a library of authors e.g. Thich Nat Hahn, Gerard W Hughes and Steven Levine. The book has 8 stand alone chapters with titles like “Choose Joy”; “ Physical Pain and Distress”; and “The Wounded Spirit”. At the end of the book there is a section called “The Practices" offering the reader an opportunity to experiment with 14 different exercises to encourage peace and healing for themselves and others. There is also an appendix of “References and Further Reading” for wider study. I read the chapter on “Unease and Anxiety” when I was worrying and gained comfort from both the narrative and by trying out Practices 1 and 2, that go with it. I read the chapter on “ The Art of Dying” when my 92 yr old friend was nearing her death in a care home , and found that helpful too. Having worked in Hospice Care for 20 years the topic of death and dying is close to my heart and I especially appreciated this chapter of John and Diana’s writing. It begins with a reflection on how we think about death now, some suggestions about what to do when death approaches, the challenge that death presents if we are afraid, moral issues of euthanasia, hospice care and then what a Quakers perspective might look like. When John asked me to read this book, he said he thought I would be able to give an unbiased review. I hope I have done that despite giving it a 100% recommendation. It has a knack of retaining the every day aspects and questions that we all ask ourselves alongside combining some ‘answers’ backed up by references and real life practices. The glory of this book is that you could read it in a day but you could equally dip in and out at will or use it as a study guide for a small group over, say, a year. ~ Anne Gardner, Stourbridge Quaker Meeting Newsletter
"Inner Healing, Inner Peace" glows with the cumulative experience of two authors who have devoted their lives to the service of others, and in particular to the relief of suffering. At its heart are descriptions of fourteen practices designed to help us handle our feelings of hurt, anger, worry and pain. Anyone who has felt distress at the pressures of life will find a wealth of practical assistance here. The authors’ Quaker faith illuminates every page and inspires the profusion of personal stories and practical examples that give the book so much of its heft and power. I recommend it wholeheartedly. ~ Geoffrey Durham, author
Richly dense and deeply nourishing, Inner Healing, Inner Peace speaks to mind, body and spirit. Through personal narratives that illuminate the reality that “major experiences of life have a mystery around them,” the Lampens also share wonderfully accessible practices for navigating these experiences and staying grounded. In our increasingly complex and troubled world, we are invited by the Lampens to “tenderly open our hearts” to the Spirit as we encounter it in others and in ourselves. This Quaker perspective offers us new ways of being present through acts of healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, joy and in the stillness beyond words. ~ Deborah Shaw, former Assistant Director of Friends Center, Guilford College, North Carolina
A very helpful treasure-chest of wisdom and practical advice based on lives of ministry to a hurting world. ~ Dwight Kimberley, Professor Emeritus of Natural Sciences, George Fox University, Oregon
Diana and John mix their discussion with experiences great and small drawn from real life. Reading the book is like walking over stepping stones, each with a little gem for us to pick up and ponder on. ~ Jan Arriens, Founder of LifeLines and author of Welcome to Hell.
This book is a fabulous, invaluable and unique resource. It is the distilled wisdom of many decades of living with, working and being alongside people in times and places of violence and devastation. It offers countless, unforgettable stories of lives that have discovered how to transform hurt into healing. It provides profound, simple and practical activities for us to do this for ourselves. It demonstrates the spiritual underpinning of meaningful healing and peace. I highly recommend you to read this wonderful book. ~ Georgeanne Lamont, co-author of Values and Visions and founder of Caring for Care Homes
This book reflects the wisdom of two Quaker friends accumulated over many years, spanning many countries and encounters and wide reading. The practices outlined offer very helpful tips, and draw deeply from the wells of Quaker values and worship. The book explores issues around the sacredness of all life and creation without ducking the vexed question of suffering. It unpacks what peacefulness means without ignoring the challenges of peacemaking. The book will be valued in the Quaker communities and beyond. ~ Inderjit Bhogal, former President of the British Methodist Conference and a recipient of the World Methodist Peace Award