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Old 16-04-2018, 06:20 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,374
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Originally Posted by Gem
I was saying to 7L early in the thread how I lost my religion, so I can't name myself as Christian. If I wanted to I could still go to Church and perform the rituals, but that would be a cultural preference, a social system, and not an identity structure. Some of my teachers during my Buddhist meditation training did not regard themselves as Buddhist, and my school didn't require people to be Buddhists, shave heads, wear robes and so forth, but Buddhist monks often came to meditate with us as well as Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and we did not differentiate, ask what religion anyone was. It simply wasn't important.

I can relate to this. I never meshed well with religious institutions, although the universal teachings and the mysticism still resonate. However, there were times when I was more observant as a means of experiencing those aspects of mysticism in those ways. TBH I think much of my own journey and observations has been highly individual and yet, I think it is a common enough experience, that of inwardly perceiving something of an ill fit. This typically has very little to do with the good intentions of most folk who participate, but is mostly to do with my own awareness of some of the biases in our society that have got cooked into a religious mould (and vice-versa).

At the same time, there are times and places on the journey where community and fellowship are key, and at least for myself, this is the primary reason I partake in any ritual observance of any kind. Everyone has their own experience of Self and yet we can support one another variously in all different manner of communal settings. These are a common enough one, and ideally they can (despite caveats) provide many with a source of kindness, good will, and fellowship.

Peace & blessings
Bound by conventions, people tend to reach for what is easy.

Here we must be unafraid of what is difficult.

For all living beings in nature must unfold in their particular way

and become themselves despite all opposition.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke
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