It has been a several days since my last post. Life is an annoyance sometimes.
So when I last left off I was talking about my decision to follow Buddhism. At one point only applying it as a lifestyle until my revelation that I did not believe Jesus died on a cross. That revelation did not come easy or without a ton of confusion and tears. Yet, over the years, looking back I see a pattern. While the Church has helped me it was not the Christian teachings but the overall belief in a high purpose and power. An energy which connects us all. I now see the times the Church was of help as the Universe putting together the path way which I needed to follow to get to the next step.
I also believe many times the Universe was giving me the options and I was to chose. Example is when I found a Sanghan and started trying regular practice of Buddhism. The United Methodist Church believes in potlucks. This is my way to say it is a communal religion and there is a feeling of family. Everyone is part of the Body of Christ. Worship services involve songs of Praise and thanks, out loud prayers (call and response) all worshippers say together, the sermon and of course silent prayer. After services there is coffee and doughnuts or everyone goes out to lunch, trying to beat the Baptists to the restaurants.
Buddhism is a culture shock in this regard. Services are individual meditation, eyes closed, complete silence. It is an extremely different energy. The sense of togetherness is there but it is different. There is a Dharma talk at the end of the meditation period which is interesting and much like Christian sermons in many regards. There are meditation days where chanting is involved. This is a bit better than the silence but still not the same as singing “How Great Thou Art.”
Not only is the service itself different but I hate to say this the people, at least in this Saghan at this time, were not welcoming. So there was a hole in my spiritual life. The sense of community that ironically I should have felt stronger in the practice of meditation and Buddhism, wasn’t there. Again I had found principles of a religion I liked but not a spiritual practice which made me feel one with a High Power.
I was living with people who followed the Pagan path. They would celebrate the Wheel of the Year, Solistices, Equinoxes other holidays. They chose to have Goddesses and Gods to follow. They also cast spells.
Spells are a means to focus your own thoughts and energies on a particular question or problem. Spells also are used to align those thought and energies with that of the Universe/Divine. By doing so it is believed opportunites/clarity will come for a solution/answer.
These spells do not involve sacrifice of chickens or goats. They do not involve asking Satan for contracts. Most practitioners of Paganism follow the rule of Do No Harm. Only casting “white” magic. This type of magic is for the purpose of answers without hurting anyone in the process. There are those who cast “black/dark” magic. However, it is frowned upon and with another rule of Paganism, the Rule of Three, most practitioners believe anything you send out will come back three fold. So sending out a curse, forcing someone to feel a certain way about you makes you a target for bad things to happen in three fold force. Some Sects of Buddhism and Hinduism call this phenomena Karma.
My own experience came when I was fired from a job. It was out of the blue. No warning was given. No performance evaluation was done. No reasoning was really giving to me at the time of the firing. However, instead of cursing or wishing ill will on the people who fired me I cried, mourned and moved on with my life how I could/needed to. About a month after I was fired (I was let go from a Church Secretary Position) the pastor who was not yet ordained and had gone through all of the ordination requirements some of which required video recorded sermons, which my brother (who didn’t work for the church) and I helped with, did not get ordained. The council did not feel she was ready. A few weeks after that she was in a car wreck. She totalled her car and twisted her ankle. Fortunately nothing worse happened to her and no one else was hurt.
Since the year I was fired (which was several years ago) she has been ordained and is at a different church and is married. Yet, I still believe it was the Threefold Rule/Karma working after I was wronged by her.
The belief the Universe, a Greater/High Power, opens opportunities and gives guidance is my fundamental principle upon which I base all other belief and practices. It always has been my guiding idea but it took me many years to realize it and find a Path which embodies this understanding of the energies which binds us all together.