The real challenge of trying to be spiritual

I know that I recently wrote about my desire to recapture my daily practice of meditation.   Interestingly enough, it is challenging to find space and, even more challenging, to find a reservoir of discipline to actually follow through on meditating daily among the rest of life.

It is one thing to resonate with a particular perspective of the world, of what’s larger than my world and what all that means and requires of me.  As many of you who may read my blog know, I grew up in a christian tradition and after some departures from that path when I was young, I returned and actually applied myself to it, academically, theoretically and existentially. But as I pressed into that reality, having accepted it as Truth, I kept bumping up against Inconsistencies regarding the concreteness and veracity of the systematic belief inherent in the Christian tradition.

I tried different Christian traditions to find something concrete.  I found only more questions and doubts, rather than the answers or bedrock of truth that I so desired.

I began to look outside the christian tradition and found some logic in the buddhist tradition.  While I think their evaluation of reality is more inline with the actual reality of things, adhering to the rigors of buddhist contemplation is equally as challenging as the predecessor of worldviews in the Christian tradition.

I appreciate looking beyond one’s self to try and understand my place in the universe, but I am not the disciplined monkish typed person who excels in either tradition.  I am a normal guy looking for something to hang my hat on.

More on that later…I have to sleep I’ve worked all night and I can hardly finish the sentences that are rolling around in my head.

Stay tuned for further thought on this topic.

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Everything issues from mind

I recently returned to my Buddhist practice of daily meditation after a long hiatus.  Unfortunately, I found that rather than being present and aware, it was easier in the stress of life to be numb.  I found myself drinking more and using that as a tool to medicate myself.  I found myself more easily angered, less compassionate and more cynical towards life.  I wasn’t happy and that unhappiness affected all those around me.

I am committing to finding time to sit each day, to be mindful of  my feelings and emotions, to cultivate compassion for myself and for others.  My thinking today is on a portion of the first verse of the Dhammapada (this version translated by Gil Fronsdal).  I offer it up to anyone who is reading my blog as food for your thinking and living.

“All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a corrupted mind,
And suffering follows
As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.

All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind,
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And Happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow.”

Restarting

It has been over a year since I last wrote on this blog.  I finished my bachelors in respiratory care and have been busy working nights as well as being a dad and husband.  I haven’t even thought about this blog, but having just come across a bit of information that stimulated this memory, I think that I may take another stab at blogging.

I thought about just starting a new blog, but I kind of like the idea of continuing where I left off, because this blog with its many articles paints a picture of my journey, of my belief which stimulated doubt, causing me to  wrestle with theology, dogma and the idea of God.  That led to a change which necessitated a change in career and the beginnings of being open and honest with my unbelief.  That is where I again take up writing about my thoughts, about books that I am reading, about what I encounter and how I understand the significance of all these stimuli.

Stay tuned for more.