This conversation with Ruth Watson is an exploration of many of the beliefs, practices and forms of activism of the Quakers. The conversation highlights how the Quakers - otherwise known as The Society of Friends - form a bridge between Western Judeo-Christian philosophies and Eastern Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
In describing the key beliefs, values and practices around peace, friendliness, the use of silence to promote clarity and calm plus an emphasis on social activism, Ruth shows how similar these are to Buddhist practices and values and also draws on some of the deep Christian convictions around love and service.
Ruth is an 83 year old Quaker whom I much admire for her unrelenting service helping others and promoting peace in the world. Her family is also interesting. Her husband, Dr David Watson is a now retired medical doctor and author of "Gipsy Doctor," a book about his adventurous life that is well worth reading (email me if you are interested).
Ruth and David have four children, all of whom also have strong altruistic motivation and livelihoods. Their eldest, a son, is a convert to Islam who teaches and provides pastoral care to a Muslim community in Western Australia. Her oldest daughter is an environmental scientist, Greens member of parliament and house builder. The next daughter is a counselling psychologist and the youngest is a nurse and midwife. From a sound, well nourished, tree, good fruit grows!
I hope you enjoy our conversation and I look forward to your comments.