I just stumbled on this thread and found it very interesting. I too find it difficult to fit in anywhere spiritually. Recently, I have come back to Catholicism. I am fascinated by the lives of saints and I just read an amazing book The Mystical Life of Jesus, which really paints him in a different light as a mystical and spiritual teacher and even has evidence in the bible. I also have read books on Buddhism such as the Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Art of Parenting. I practice daily meditation and also do yoga which is strange for most Catholics. Why does meditation have to be something different than prayer? I guess I am fascinated and amazed by all religions and have found so many parallels. That is really cool that you are finding symbolism throughout the traditional bible stories also. My biggest question I have right now that I meditate on frequently is what happens after we die? I grew up with the idea of heaven but I am now leaning on the side of reincarnation and maybe heaven is within once you are enlightened? I just don't know, maybe it will come to me one day during meditation.
Coffeehouse spirituality for wandering souls - Page 2
Welcome, VE, glad you found this. It had laid dormant for a long time before I felt the need to resurrect it.
I find the rituals of Catholicism interesting. It really is an ancient religion, if you think about it, and the symbolism is rich. All this aside from the politics of the religion, which I won't comment on here. I love the study of symbolism, but then am drawn towards simplicity in the end. I haven't explored it personally, in my life, just learned *about* it. They are aids for the journey of the spirit in the same way that a familiar smell will transport you mentally back to your grandparents' house.
I would love to hear more about your meditations on "life after death". The most recent thought I've had about it is the spirit "remembering" its true nature. I'm not sure if I believe in heaven and hell beyond personal experiences-- perhaps hell is the spirit getting lost, not remembering true nature? I have not read the Tibetan Book, but did see a PBS (?) special about it, and following a man on his death bed, with the Book being read to him in his last days. It mentioned reincarnation, and stated that if your spirit starts forgetting before its journey is finished, it should take the first path to a new life, so that it does not enter the new life completely lost (my words). Interesting idea. Not sure what to make of it.
I used to be terrified of death as a child. Not so much anymore, but it makes me sad that I will not see the entirety of my girls' lives. Need to get over that. But I have reached a place where I would be glad to accept death of the body with my eyes wide open. Eventually. When I'm old enough :)
OK, one last link that touches on science and faith right at the bottom of the article. Great article in its own right:
If anyone has a problem with the link, let me know.
Subbing! This is where I'm at. I feel there can be a connection to a bigger sense of life, but I have a hard time accepting that there is one religion that has the inside scoop on who God is. (Or the life force, or higher power, or whatever you call it.) I grew up in the woods, before kindergarten, and I was aware of a kind of humming of life that connected everything in one continuous sheet of existence. All the plants and trees and bugs had a kind of quiet humming. Not the kind of humming I could hear with my ears, but I heard it through my skin. It all hummed right through me and through the trees, connecting everything. If anything moved in the woods, I was aware of it, because we were all connected. This was all my own personal perception of the world, and I never told anyone, because I didn't think it was unusual. So no one ever told me it was wrong of me to experience the world this way. (I was slightly autistic, so my sensory system was in overdrive. It could have been synesthesia.) Sadly, I also witnessed violence at a young age which blasted silent holes in the continuous sheet of humming which stayed there. I hate the holes.
I've recently gotten back in touch with this part of myself. As I grew up, I forgot about the humming, or maybe blocked it out. But now I've tried listening for it again, and it is still there, if I am paying attention. I would like to visit the Sequoia forest someday, to hear what the trees say.
Even if it was synesthesia, what an incredible experience! I, too, have had moments of physically feeling connections to everything around me, but they were either fleeting or induced by psychedelics (which, like your experience, I do not discount just because it was influenced by something else.)
In fact, one particular experience is the root of all my faith: that we are connected to everything all around us, and that all the connections together, the universe, has a consciousness.
I'm glad you've been able to reconnect with that incredible gift.
Subbing too! I would like to make a post later, when I have a quiet moment to actually think!
I liked your last link, SweetSilver. I copied a response that I would like to share....
Back later! Thanks for starting this thread :)
I just stumbled on this thread. Thank you for starting it.
I was raised Catholic and then gradually grew away from the church. I've always felt I didn't need a physical structure to experience the Divine. That everything is a part of one giant web. It was difficult to break away from the rituals of the church, and I still feel something stirring when I smell a particular incense or when I hear the Rosary. I realized after awhile that I can create my own practice. Spirituality is such a personal thing. I cringe when others try to pin other people down with their beliefs. Even when it's me doing it!
I've never understood why science and spirituality can't be interconnected as I believe they're simply different ways of expressing the world around us. They don't have to be separate.
I love to walk our property and just experience the land..the plants, rocks, dirt, spiders, birds, deer...whatever critters are out there. I can kinda identify with feeling the "hum" of it all. Yet it's such a tough thing to describe in words. I take photos of Nature to capture those moments where it seems like something is reaching out to me...or just because I am dumbstruck by the Beauty of it all. I call it Zen photography. Thank goodness for digital cameras! I once used up rolls of film. :-)
I've experienced things that lead me to believe there is "something" out there. I don't want to label it. I've been helped at just the right time...I've seen "what goes around, comes around" in action and been awed by it. I've wondered about reincarnation after an interesting experience during an acupuncture session. Oh and I believe Catholicism once embraced reincarnation but I think it was removed from literature. I think there's even a saint.
Any way, I'm rambling!
Take care everyone. May you all have some Peace in your lives today and always.
I think I belong in here. I don't know - I'm getting pretty used to just not fitting in anywhere :p
I haven't been a super active poster on here in the last little while. But I come back and lurk and read in the homeschooling/unschooling forums and always pop in and read a few threads in this forum.
This thread in particuar is interesting to me.
I used to spend a lot of time thinking about my spiritual beliefs, trying to put them into sensible thoughts and words and feelings. And then life gets busy, and I forget. And now I'm making a concerted effort to NOT push any spirituality onto my children, I'd like them to just come to their own beliefs when they feel it. However, that means I keep my spirituality "in the closet" so to speak.
Lately, with the Canadian remembrance day creeping up on us (Nov 11th), my mind is full of my pacifist beliefs and then I remember "oh yeah, I used to try to look for some Quaker meetinghouses near me, and there weren't any, I wonder if there are some now?" and then I think that I would love to introduce that belief system to my kids and then I feel conflicted and then I remember I live in backasswards Northern Ontario where there are just no places for me to go to gather with people who believe similarly. Then I forget again and life gets busy.
Some days I feel this tremendous need to fill my spiritual cup, other days I think "is it really this big of a deal"?
I really wish I lived around others like me.
Whoa, rambly. I thought my thoughts were clearer than this lol.
When it comes down to it, on those days when I really want to put myself in some kind of spiritual category - and I fail miserably - I just remember that I'm a good person (most of the time). :-) It bugs me when others tout the idea that one must belong to a certain church or practice to be good. So many spiritual paths come down to one simple thing. do unto others. Harm none.
Yet part of me still longs to fit in sometimes. My childhood church always had dinners and bazaars and trips to places like Washington DC. It is the community I miss.
I joined the Fellowship I did because I was looking for a place where my kids could explore their spirituality on their own terms BUT it was very important for me that we were in a community.
I was raised in the Episcopal Church and still love that place, but I believe mostly because I miss my mom who has been gone for 14+ years…I love the music and the ritual and the community.
For me spirituality offers HOPE and even though I am a "wandering soul", hope finds me when ever I meet with a group of two or more. I love Yoga and fine life and energy there…but like all great things in my life it takes time and energy to get the most from it. I know that I need a meditation practice in my life…so I am looking for something that resonates with me. I like the idea of long walks…away from all the things I have to do…
Thank you for being here….
Love and Light