The punch line here, as far as I’m concerned, is that at the core… it’s all the same darn thing anyway. The tales have been told in countless languages, countries, tribes, and under the roofs of all places of faith. I believe most faiths have something to teach me… even the ones I don’t know about yet. Especially the ones I don’t know about yet.
If being curious and open minded was a religion I’d sign up for that one for sure.
I’m certainly not an expert on religious faiths. Far from it. Some I connect with more than others, but in their purest sense I suspect they are all beautiful. I grew up a Catholic and spent years recovering from my lack of alignment with that dogma. However, I know this learning and recovery is all part of my growth as a human being and I have nothing but thanks for it. My eldest son is planning on attending a Catholic High School (due to the strength of their baseball team, of course) so I’m looking forward to hopping on board and re-learning this religion through his eyes. Plus, Pope Francis is pretty darn intriguing…I like a guy who is ok with pushing the boundaries.
I’ve been graced with learning about Buddhism at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I love learning there because they make room for all faiths as you study the Dharma… no need to be a Buddhist (which I am not). Yet, I’m also currently incorporating a wonderful Hindu Goddess into my personal practice. I’m creating an altar for her just outside of my home where I can honor her but release her from my inner world. My husband and children are hoping she may save them from my dictatorial ways!
I’m grateful my youngest son has had the opportunity to join a shabbat dinner from time to time with a friend. He always comes home and shares what he enjoyed about the rituals he experiences. My wish is for my boys to be open and curious about all faiths and the people who follow them. Perhaps someday they will embrace one as their own, or perhaps not. I’ll never forget the story my in-laws shared about a comment one of my sons made as they drove by a church. My son let them know he was not a Christian. They asked him what he thought he was and after giving it a few moments of thought he responded that he is “Buddhistical”. A Mystic Buddhist perhaps? I found this answer just wonderful.
The Dali Lama says his religion is kindness. I can fully get on board with this.
Joseph Campbell, one of the great thinkers of our time and an expert in mythology, believed the world shares a common myth that shows up uniquely in each culture. It seems to me that all of our world religions come from this shared myth, yet each tells a different story depending on where you were born or to which family.
What I truly care about is having my boys slowly over time learn the landscape of their own inner world. I guess you could say our family’s religion is “self-awareness”. I’m going with this for now, while keeping myself and my boys open to the lessons and learnings that may bless us along the way from any faith. Or maybe I’ll just follow my sons lead and call us all “Buddhistical”. That works too.