For a while I have felt that I needed a distinct path to follow, but nothing ever felt totally “right”. I have always just made my own way, although I did practice the “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” form of Buddhism in the mid 90s via the SGI organization in Los Angeles. Something about it never felt totally authentic to me though. It seemed materialistic, which is the antithesis of true Buddhism. Maybe I misread things, I don’t know, but it turned out just not to be for me. I do still have my gohonzon though.
I have always been drawn to Buddhism and Wicca…and recently Native American spirituality. I have dabbled in Wicca, but gotta admit, it’s not a religion for the lazy. It’s a lot of work! What I like about Wicca and Native American spirituality is the appreciation for and connection to nature. I have always said that nature was my church. What didn’t quite feel right is the whole concept of various gods and goddesses. I don’t think it’s because I was raised Catholic, but something within me just feels there is ONE source…..one Great Spirit (to borrow from the Native Americans)….one God. God is not a man with a long beard and white robes though. God is not a person. That I do know.
I have two past lives that I know about in Tibet and I think one in Nepal. Perhaps that is the reason I’m feeling increasingly drawn to Buddhism. Or, it could be my suffering. I have suffered a lot in my life regarding health problems, unfulfilled dreams, and heartbreak. When I was reading about Buddhism earlier today and how it came about to explain suffering and how to end it, something clicked for me. Attachment IS the cause of much suffering, whether you are attached to a love interest or a material item or feeling good. And then there is compassion. Because of some things I’ve gone though lately, I am being tested regarding feeling compassion. Even though I’ve wanted revenge, my soul knows that compassion is the right choice.
So, I am choosing to devote myself to Buddhism. It’s not an easy path, but I’ve often taken the hard route. This will force me to look at things within myself. This will be growth. This will be a journey…