Monday, September 10, 2012

Spiritual vs Religious

Buddhism is more and more entering our life. Gregory has always said that if any religion meant anything to him it was Buddhism. I feel the same and have decided to learn more about it and to behave more like a Buddhist (although not sure what that means yet. I would suspect it embraces many of the ways that we already behave and will add a few more.)

We have three Tibetan Buddhist Prayer bowls (of high, medium, and low range) on the table by our front door. On leaving and entering the condo as well as on entering and leaving the day, we strike them gently with a wooden baton. The sound of their harmony is quite peaceful.

I used to call it "our way of praying" but then I would have to explain the spiritual vs religious, and the discomfort with the concept of prayer. We consider ourselves Spriitual NOT Religious. My discomfort with prayer comes, from among other reasons, 1) preferring to pray by myself instead of in a prescribed way, place, or time. 2) Not liking the idea of begging or promising to "be different" in exchange for better treatment. 3) making it seem like prayer excuses one from being responsible for one's own actions and life events, 4) Feeling like I am looking out for an answer instead of looking in. and 5) When "Bad Things Happen To Good People" not going into the "poor me, why me" mode as opposed to looking at how one can live with a positive mind set with what one is dealt ... because sometime "shit just happens."

Recently I have begun explaining the tradition (prayer bowls ceremony) as "Our way of acknowledging, by sending our message out into the universe, that there are forces and understandings far greater then we know at this point in time and hoping to learn from those forces and understandings." 

We also have a "Prayer Wheel" on the table. One spins the drum with its written prayer, fastened inside a hand painted alter type container, sending vibrations out into the universe with our message. In Japan, person sized drums are attached to the full length of temples and people spin them as they walk by as a from of prayer.

Another part of ouyr ceremony takes place continuously as the Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags, flying out on our balcony, slowly disintegrate  and send their threads out into the universe. I do not know what the prayers on the flags or drum say, but that really doesn't matter does it? Just the doing and the knowing that right will out is what counts.

We are adding one more piece to the ceremony, a bell that is inverted and struck by a small brass hammer. In contrast, prayer bowls sit on a cushion while this bell balances on a pin and therefore sounds purer and longer. The concept was introduced to us by our God Son Isaac who just returned from Japan. You sound the bell and then meditate for as long as you can hear the bell plus a little longer for that which you cannot hear. A moment to go within to see what awaits you.

Will share more as we continue or look at Buddhism, but I would guess that it is more a philosophy of life than it is a prescribed way of dealing with life.

1 comment:

Comments are always welcome. You are appreciated! If you do not have a sign in to any of the accounts below ... use ANONYMOUS. Thanks.

PLEASE leave a comment or some acknowledgment that you have been here. It can be totally anonymous. You do not have to leave your name. You could use your first name only, your initials, or nothing.

Under each new post you will find the word COMMENT. Click on it and a window will open where you can leave your comments.

It asks you to SIGN IN, but you can also click on ANONYMOUS.