Jim Pym became a Buddhist in his early twenties and encountered the Society of Friends a few years later. He has continued his commitment to both traditions and has led retreats and study weekends on meditation, Buddhism, and Quaker concerns. In the introduction to this substantive work, Pym calls Quakerism a religion of experience that offers a practical mysticism for ordinary people. He believes that the Quakerism of George Fox and William Penn is as relevant today as it was centuries ago. This path emphasizes everyday spirituality and the many ways the Spirit speaks through other people, food, bathing, work, etc. Quakers affirm the importance of silence and make it the hub of their worship services. Their opposition to war and violence sets a high standard in a world of cynicism and power. And in a consumer culture, their espousal of simplicity is downright counter-cultural.

Many Friends talk about God in terms such as "the Inward Light," "the Guide," or even the conscience. As Jo Vellacott notes: "We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God's love drawing us together and leading us." Waiting on God is not easy but it is a staple of Quakerism and a practice that puts the emphasis on grace. In this tradition, every meeting for worship is an experiment, and all are welcome.

In a wonderful chapter on Personal Practice, Pym takes a look at meditations of various kinds, prayer, visualization, circle dancing, spiritual reading, journal writing, Bible study, music, spiritual friendships, retreats, and various healing practices. The author does a fine job explaining the importance of journal keeping in this tradition as a complement to spiritual reading.

William Penn once observed: "True godliness doesn't turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their efforts to mend it." This is quite a different perspective from the world-hating view of Fundamentalists who keep their eyes focused on Heaven and the afterlife. In Quakerism, living faithfully is a challenge which includes remaining true to ourselves and standing true to the testimonies of non-violence, simplicity, equality, creative listening, and honesty.

Pym closes with The Advices and Queries from Quaker Faith and Practice which is The Book of Christian Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain.

• "Respect the wide diversity among us in our lives and relationships. Refrain from making prejudiced judgments about the life journeys of others. Do you foster the spirit of mutual understanding and forgiveness which our discipleship asks of us? Remember that each one of us is unique, precious, a child of God."

• "Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness."

• "Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?"