>It has been a while since I have written. Things have been so busy with work and other things and the biggest thing I have been busy with is getting back on a religious and faith path. I am not going to sit here and preach or tell you or anybody how they should worship or who they should worship. My opinion on that is whatever speaks to you that is a healthy and righteous way of living and getting close to God. My husband and I have been interested in Buddhism and researched it for years. I was always interested in why they do what they do and was always so fascinated on how serene they are and always spoke of peace and love. It sounds like they are a band of hippies that formed a religion but this has been around for thousands of years and it is now making its way to the western U.S. I am glad that my husband and I were touched by this and we can go on this journey together. Never once were we concerned about what people would think or have to say. The one thing that people should not do is judge, that is the job of God or Buddha and not humans. I believe that converting to this religious faith will help me with some harsh opinions I may have towards others, swearing and unfortunately gossiping. I really didn’t realize how much or how easily I could get sucked into this until I became very aware of my habit of gossiping. I am not proud of it at the least and I really want to learn how to over come this and to stop! It’s such a waste of valuable brain power and of our precious lives. I really want to stop this and have a closer and more meaningful relationship with God.

For almost ten years now I have not been to church. When Bill and I first met we had visited one church for a while but then we would fall off. We would go to Sunday service then quit, Wednesday night service then quit then I would try and go to church with my friend Sara but that only happened once. I really don’t know why I would fall off everytime but I would. I guess it just didn’t speak to me and I guess I really didn’t agree with the fire and brimstone and such a focus on money. Everyweek when I would attend church as a little girl there was such a heavy focus on money, how much you should give and those who are not giving are sinning and doing something wrong against God. If that wasn’t bad enough it was the whole “you are sinners and are doomed to hell” No matter what we do we are doomed and we will never become close to God unless you did these certain steps. Don’t get me wrong I love the Lord and I know he loves me. We have a close relationship and He has seen me through so many things, including when I was abusing drugs and alcohol. It is only because of Him I am alive today. The issue I have is organized religion. Again I am not here to spew hate or to preach, I am just thinking out loud.. Every sunday I would come home in fear! I mean just imagine how scared I was as a kid hearing that I would go to hell or somewhere I didn’t want to be because I had committed some sin when I was born, I didn’t even do anything! I knew as young as 6 that this was wrong and I really didn’t like it or agree with it. God would not want us to be in fear ever, he would want us to take comfort in him and that’s it. Also I had a parent that was so dogmatic about having her kids in church every sunday and being so involved with the church. To be blunt (and God forgive me for saying this) I did not want to do any of that! Well I take that back, I really didn’t mind being an usher because a lot of my friends in the church were ushers too so that was a way we could see each other. Being in the choir and going to bible study every week wasn’t my cup of tea also. Now this may be something as I was young and I guess a lot of young kids do not like being in church everyday. What I’m trying to say is it didn’t really connect with me and I really couldn’t put my finger on it for years. I always believed, had a good relationship with God and felt good about it. What was being preached to me was if I didn’t do a million things in the church I was slapping God in the face, huh?
Moving to Colorado I knew that I wanted to get back in the church and have that tradition again, but what church? I guess you could say I am a disillusioned Baptist (I hope I don’t get punished for that) I know a lot of questioning catholics so I guess that’s human nature too right? We have inquiring minds by nature so that makes me feel better.. It was time for us to get back with God and to get involved but this time not because we are being guilted into it but because we want to by our own will. Some weeks after we had moved here we began looking at churches and then we decided that since we are interested in Buddhism and it seemed to speak to us so we sought out the local Buddhist temple. We finally found one that was in Denver called the Tri State Denver Buddhist Temple. It was on a Saturday that we had decided to peek our heads in on that one and other Buddhist Temples to see what one we wanted to visit the next for our first Sunday service. A couple we saw didn’t really seem like the traditional Buddhism we wanted to practice but they seemed like really nice temples. Finally we got around to visiting the Denver Buddhist temple in hopes of talking to someone but unfortunately we visited it when they were having a funeral, our luck huh? So we just said let’s suck it up and go on Sunday a little early and ask questions then.
We got there at 9 and good thing we left early because the snow was really coming down on Sunday morning. We walked up and for some reason I was so nervous! Would they accept us? Would we understand the service? Is the whole congregation going to stare at us? Thankfully I was so wrong! The first person we met there was so eager to answer our questions and was very helpful! He let us know that they are trying to make the temple more progressive and make anyone of any race or culture welcome and not to be nervous about joining a church with different cultural traditions. He showed us the service book, what we should do during and after service and also we would learn by watching others. Man I loved it there! We felt so welcome the service book showed you how to follow along with the chants and songs and the message that the sensei delivered was so short but so right on and it was really something you can take home and try to live by. That really resonated with me more than fear based services. There was no guilt, if you want to help you can and just the welcoming atmosphere. With being in that kind of environment that made me want to volunteer my time and to give monetarily.
I am really excited to be sharing this new experience and I am anxious to see how our lives will change and our personalities. I can already see how it can make you more patient and you really watch what you say about others and also what you think. Having good and pure thoughts is the best way to lead your life. You are not bogged down by negative energy because in the end all the gossping, back biting and negative thoughts will come back to you and take away your quality of life. Enjoy living! Your life is very precious and a gift and it should be treated as such…
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