02 May 2006

The Many Faces of Spirituality

The Spiritual Youth project has begun with some fascinating stories and reflections:
The concept of God has never appealed to me, and I don't think that there have been any instances in my life where believing in a god would have comforted or helped me. I do believe that one can be spiritual and not have religion as a part of their life. When I was around 13, my friends and I thought we would become Wiccans. We took it seriously, but it proved to be a phase. I am also taking a world religions course (gr. 11) and out of all the religions we have studied (African and Native American religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Budhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam,) I have most identified with the the animistic Native and African religions and Budhism. I have huuuuge problems with people who make derogatory comments about religions (other than Christianity). Most people have absolutely no knowledge of eastern religions, or any for that matter, and still make assumptions and generalizations and say stupid things. If anything, I guess nature takes the place of religion in my life.
Here's an excerpt from someone who relates a long, spiritual journey, and reawakening:
Shortly after my return from Nepal and India, I enrolled in a Kabbalah course and began learning about Jewish spirituality and philosophy. I was struck by the similarities (l'havdil) between the deeper Buddhist philosophies and Judaism, I really could not believe that Judaism had such depth of logic and thought. I continued learning about Jewish spirituality for several years, however I lacked belief in G-d and this began to be a very frustrating point. Why should I become a religiously observant Jew when I have a perfectly good path in Buddhism?
And there are these "droplets from a Swami":
One droplet sat quietly aside till the others pestered him into answering, “Where would you fall?” The droplet answered, “I would like to fall on the sand in the blazing hot desert”. The others shocked, exclaimed, “But you will instantly vaporize in pain!!” The single droplet answered, “I know, but if for that moment that one grain of sand feel relief, my purpose is served.”
If you are, or know, a person between the ages of 12 and 25, please visit the Spiritual Youth site and share your reflections on your own relationship with religion and spirituality. Here are some possible starting points for reflection.

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