One young woman

At a time when institutional religion is in decline there is, nonetheless, a deep hunger for authentic spirituality.  This is where the story of a young Jewish woman studying in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, when thousands of Jews were being deported to Auschwitz (where she herself was to die aged 29) has become an inspiration to so many. She had no religious background, never went near a rabbi or synagogue, and never spent a large sum of money learning mindfulness meditation. She taught herself to meditate and in the process this is what she found:

Not thinking but listening to what is going on inside you.  If you do that for a while every morning you acquire a kind of calm that illumines  the whole day. I listen all day to what is inside me, and even when I am with others I am able to draw strength from the most deeply hidden source in myself. There is really a deep well inside me and in it dwells God. God is our greatest and most continuous adventure.

From: Etty Hillesum, A  Life Transformed, by Patrick Woodhouse.


3 thoughts on “One young woman”

  1. Dear James,
    Her extraordinary/ordinary life is an inspiration and this passage from her book, expresses my growing experience of the love of God. Thank you for the refreshing encouragement of it. it gives me vibrant, joyful hope .
    with Love

  2. Thank you James, I wouldn’t have discovered her without you, and to be able to learn from her life and writing. Love Anna

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