i have a confession to make.
i'm not a religious person.
when i was growing up in the kampung (village), my parents would celebrate all the religious celebrations and got us (sis and i) involved. visiting taois temples during chinese new years, attend mass in church on christmas eves and good fridays, did offerings to the indian gods on certain days, joined processions during wesak, we even lighted lampu pelita (oil lamps) around our house during hari raya (ok, that was just for fun).
i see the beauty in all people and the practices and i respect each and everyone of them. it helped me see that we are all different yet the same at the very core of our being. we all celebrate life and light.
over the transition years when i was "forced" to finally let go of my job and almost everything that i thought would bring me happiness, i was sent into a dismantling of ego and ideas of what life is, "my" life that is. there came to a point where i couldn't even connect my name to this person that is "me". i did not know who this person is, who this body belongs to. it was a great discomfort but that was also when the spiritual unfoldment began.
the peeling and the letting go includes the religious ideas and beliefs, even though i have little knowledge of any religion for that matter. it just feels like shedding off old skin that has been plastered to this mind and body, becoming thought and physical forms. perhaps over life times. i couldn't hold "myself" any longer, the "self" was self-destructing. i shy away from any religious activities and friends. i declared myself religion-less.
few months ago i read this q and a article, someone had asked eckhart tolle a question regarding religion and spirituality, how eloquently eckhart answered and it rings true to me. perhaps this is where i am heading, secular spirituality.
Q: I heard the Dalai Lama say that secular spirituality is more important than religious spirituality. Do you think your teaching belongs to this category?
A: It’s a good distinction. Religious spirituality is usually associated with a long tradition and certain stories. Secular spirituality is basically this: It does not deny God or the transcendent, but it doesn’t mix God or the transcendent with stories that one needs to believe. Of course, you can have spirituality within a religion. You can have religion with spirituality, and you can have religion without spirituality – which also happens quite often. Religion without spirituality is just ideology, such as certain belief structures in the collective mind that one identifies with, and that’s not helpful. And then at other times, religion may still have its stories and rituals, and even beliefs, but they are no longer so dense that the light of consciousness cannot shine through. Religion can be an open door into the realm of the transcendent, or religion can be a closed door, depending on how it’s used. Then comes something relatively new, which I suppose is secular spirituality. We can call it that. Although he represents ancient religious traditions, the Dalai Lama seems to be moving in that direction. There’s no need to give up your religion as a result of this teaching, but you can deepen it.
one of the reasons i fall back to the teachings of buddhism because it simply makes sense to me. the teacher, the buddha, says that not to belief what he says but to practice and see the results for yourself. it's simple yet profound. sila (morality), samadhi (concentration) and panna (wisdom). be good, avoid evil, meditate and gain insight knowledge. sounds simple, until you try and do it.
i gravitate towards meditation because it's where i find peace and calmness, once you taste that stillness within, you seek to return to it (maybe perhaps that's where home/source is). to get there one needs to purify the mind, that's when it gets really tough. but yet it is not impossible. purifying the mind.
this spiritual journey is ongoing and evolving, i do not know where it will take me, but i trust that i'll be fine as long as i have my basic practices right.
ok. back to the crafty scene. my etsy shop is back open! yay!
this is the latest listing. a cute journal with hand stitched word "Believe".
what do you believe in? in love? in god? in yourself or absolutely nothing whatsoever! and i tell you that's ok. that is where you are and that is where you need to be right now. acknowledge it. things will unfold and you will move along just fine.