Silent Reflection

Each week students and teachers gather to reflect in silence. We spend the time together listening to our inner teacher, that still, small voice inside each of us. Out of the silence and in a spirit of mutual respect, adults and students occasionally share insights or queries that offer all community members the opportunity to reflect and grow.

Since the founding of the Society of Friends in the 1600s, members have posed a series of questions, or queries, as a way to examine their beliefs and their lives and to measure their actions. These open-ended questions replace a formal doctrine and encourage ongoing reflection. Students in all divisions develop and write queries for the community’s consideration. These questions reflect issues and concerns relevant to their own lives: friendship, fairness, peace, understanding, nature and environmental issues, celebrations, differences, conflict resolution, service, and the world around us.

Silent meeting offers time for both students and teachers to pause, breathe, and reflect—time that can be a challenge to find in our busy lives. The practice of gathering in shared silence, many of our graduates find, becomes central to their educational experience and to their lives after they leave the School.

Learning to sit in silence is part of life at the Lower School.

Middle Schoolers start every day with a few minutes of silence.

All divisions of the school gather once a week for Meeting for Worship.

Meeting for Worship is a time to center ourselves and think about bigger-picture questions than the English test next period or what’s for lunch, and to establish a connection—even if you’re not religious—with the bigger community and with larger issues than just day-to-day things. – 8TH GRADE STUDENT