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Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality
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Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  145 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to silence. They yearn for it in these busy and difficult times, but often, when silence becomes available, we don't know what to do with it. For centuries, Quakers have taught that when we are silent, God grants us insights, guidance, and spiritual understanding that is different from what we might realize in our noisy, every ...more
Paperback, 147 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Paraclete Press (MA)
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J. Bill
Feb 12, 2008 J. Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Of course I like it -- I wrote it...
Richard Lewis
Dec 13, 2015 Richard Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Holy Silence" is a wonderful journey into Quaker Silence. Silence is a good teacher. God is in the silence waiting to teach us. Unfortunately we are afraid of silence. We do not realize that silence will nourish our soul.

Let me highlight a few key points from this powerful book that jumped out at me. To be honest, there were just too many points I wanted to highlight. You will need to read the book for yourself so you can find the rest of them.

"Quaker silence is filled with expectation—expecta
Mar 17, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, Brent Bill has done a wonderful job of explaining why Quakers across the world value silent worship. The book isn't some dry or dull textbook but is written with such pure enthusiasm and love of God you can't help but feel enriched after reading it

Whether you are a practicing Quaker or just someone who is interested you can't go wrong with this book!
Jun 15, 2010 Gloria rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-spirit
This is the best book thus far in my exploration of Quaker belief and lifestyle. It provides contemporary and historical information and lets the reader know what you might expect if you attended a meeting. It also includes examples of queries, which lead the participant to a place of quiet contemplation. Good bibliography included, too.
Jan 15, 2009 El rated it it was ok
Despite common misconception, I am not Quaker. Or Amish. Or Shaker. Not even Mennonite. Believe me, these things come up. And it's funny, at least once you actually get to know me.

But I am down with silence; not for a particular religious reason, but because I am good friends with the idea of silence. There's not enough of it in the world, and people say a lot dumb things and there are a lot of worthless things that go on, and that's just life. I'm not going to wax all philosophical, religious o
K Kriesel
Feb 04, 2015 K Kriesel rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion
The material in this book is wonderful and enlightening. But Bill's writing style is so weak, poorly constructed, and juvenile that I couldn't finish the book. Most paragraphs contain interjections (often pointless, perhaps just for the author's amusement) so reading this book feels like driving stick-shift before you've figured out how to smoothly change gears.
Barbara M
Jan 24, 2015 Barbara M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I regularly practice meditation and have learned to appreciate the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of silence. J. Brent Bill does an excellent job introducing readers to the benefits of silence and how it can be elevated into a spiritual practice. His tips for finding and cultivating silence in the midst of a busy and noisy world were right on target.

It's the best book I have read on this subject.
Jul 13, 2012 Chantale rated it it was amazing
Brent Bill is my wisest Friend, and also my dearest. But, still, i read his book with the objectivity of anyone, curious to know what could be said about silence. Before Quakerism in my life, silence was my strongest foundation. Whatever happened, there was always a silence awaiting to be embraced, ready to be filled. But little did i know about Holy Silence. Brent Bill gives meaning to the ordinary with his advice and observation on something we may not have paid enough attention to. Holy Silen ...more
Ian Eastman
Mar 24, 2015 Ian Eastman rated it it was amazing
Spiritually nourishing book on discernment and prayer from a Quaker perspective. Read it six months ago and it was good enough to re-read again over the last two months.
Feb 01, 2015 Naomi rated it really liked it
Meditative reflections with good questions, paced for use in spiritual groups or individually.
May 26, 2012 Bea rated it liked it
This is a short study into the silence practiced by the Quakers. It is an interactive book that encourages the reader to try the practice of Holy Silence. Although I was reading it for a challenge and not for a meditative experience, this book awoke in me the desire to find my own silence in my busy, busy life. For that, I am grateful.
Todd B.
Jul 15, 2008 Todd B. rated it it was amazing
I've read this one twice....lovely little book...Brent's compilation of quaker stories and quotes alone are worth the price of the book, but throw in his humor and contemporary experiences and you've got a helpful little book that can really assist the reader to "center down" and listen for that "still small voice."
David Crumm
Feb 12, 2008 David Crumm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
This is a terrific way to dip your toes into Quaker spiritual reflections. J. Brent Bill becomes a wise friend, guiding us through reflections and prompting us with questions. I love all of his books in this series -- but this is a great starting place, especially in our overly noisy world.
Dec 24, 2009 Melinda rated it really liked it
Hmmm, this is a great little book to have on your shelf if you have wondered about how to have a relationship with silence. If silence isn't your thing then you won't like this book. But, if you are wondering about how to embrace silence and encounter it fully then you just might want this book
Jun 02, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and taking time for the queries. While it is not a representation of all Quaker Meeting experiences, it is faithful to Quaker ideals (and my hopes for a Quaker spirituality in community). I'm grateful to Brent Bill for this gift.
David Monroe
Weighty and wise Friend, J. Brent Bill guides the reader through reflections and questions. If you are new to Quakerism or just curious about it, this is a great starting place to learn the reasons and significance of silence in the Quaker tradition.
Aug 29, 2009 Lotte rated it liked it
Bill reminds readers that silence is not lack of noise but quiet with a purpose - the expectation and anticipation of the presence of Jesus. This book made me miss silence both in my private life and in my public worship.
If you are looking for some inner peace and if you are serious about finding it, this book is for you. It is succinct, to the point, and yet warm and engaging.

You may also find this resource helpful:
Jul 28, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
Really liked this well written introduction to Quaker silence. Definitely would suggest this for people interested in learning a bit about the history of Quakerism plus the impact and purpose of silence in meetings.
Jul 11, 2008 Haven rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in spiritual issues
Recommended to Haven by: A gift
J. Brent Bill is one of the best writers on Quaker spirituality working in America. He's a man of depth and integrity, and he does a great job describing the history and significance of silence in the Quaker tradition.
Oct 15, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed silence. But, this book helped me look at silence with new attitude in relationship to the One who has told me to "Be still."
Dec 11, 2008 Chad rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up-on-this
Not sure what happened with this--just read the first 40 and didn't get into the spirit of it. Heh.
Jan 14, 2008 Russ rated it really liked it
Interesting review of Quaker spirituality and worship as it compares to the more traditional forms.
May 03, 2013 EunSung rated it it was amazing
I found his experience of silence helpful and the suggested queries.
Gabrielle Baalke
Feb 04, 2014 Gabrielle Baalke rated it it was amazing
This book made me happy.
Feb 23, 2011 Trish rated it it was amazing
Inspiring and informative.
Maria Jordan
Maria Jordan marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2016
Paul Luber
Paul Luber marked it as to-read
Mar 11, 2016
Michelle rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2016
Roxanne rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2016
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Brent Bill is a Quaker minister, photographer, and author. He is the author of many books and magazine articles. He lives in rural Indiana on Ploughshares Farm -- a wildlife retreat with woods and native prairie.

More about J. Brent Bill...

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“When we really want to hear, and be heard by, someone we love, we do not go rushing into noisy crowds. Silence is a form of intimacy. That's how we experience it with our friends and lovers. As relationships grow deeper and more intimate, we spend more and more quiet time alone with our lover. We talk in low tones about the things that matter... That is why Christ comes to us when our hearts and minds are still and silent.” 7 likes
“When we discover the secret of being inwardly at worship while outwardly at work, we find that the soul's silence brings us to God and God to us. Silence takes us beyond the limits of consciousness and into the heart and mind and will of God.” 4 likes
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