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March 18, 2010

The Religious Practice I grew up with

One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me is to be able to choose whatever religions I wanted to. I went to Sunday school as a child. I've been Methodist, Luthern, Baptist, New Age, Buddhist, and Atheist.
One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me is freedom of choice. My life is full of exploration and learning. I am thankful that they did not force a religion on me. I am thankful that I did not force my children to follow one religion. As parents my wife and I did go to church and my kids attended Sunday school and confirmation. But they were always free to choose what to believe.
I've read the entire Q'uran, I've meditated and practiced Yoga. I have had visions and dreams and epiphanies. But none of that matters really. How fervently or precisely I practiced them, doesn't matter. How they transformed me to love others has significance. I am still choosing to believe what I believe, just like the billions of other people on this planet. The Dali Lama once said that there are as many religions on this planet as there are people.
But the bottom line is free will. Free will is the ability to choose for myself. To choose for myself, I have to learn what I believe, and fortunately I was allowed to explore and experience what I wanted to.
And the ultimate bottom line for me is that I choose. And my choices lead me to believe that religion is not salvation, it is an organization that supports a system of beliefs. There are many religions on this planet. I'm not saying religion is bad. A system of belief can be very helpful to many people. Religion can help many people by teaching lessons they need to learn.
Does this mean I have no religion? No. It means I have all religions. It means that I have My religion which moves me and motivates me. I do not reject other religions. My system is one of service and love for other people. So for that I am thankful to my parents.
Now I'll say something irreverent and truthful at the same time...
"Peace, Love and Kimchi." I have a T-shirt that says that. I love you. Peace out! Don't be mean to others, have compassion. Love your brother MORE than you love yourself. It's all good.

Posted by carl1236 at March 18, 2010 10:02 PM | Journal in a Jar | Love your Neighbor