This is a Jewish issue… this is a Christian issue… this is a Muslim issue… this is a Hindu issue… this is a Buddhist issue. Resist peacefully.
“When you do what Buddhas do, then you are a Buddha.
There are no shortcuts.
Same is true for being Christ-like.
It has nothing to do with what you wear around your neck
(or how many Buddha statues are in your home).
It has everything to do with how you treat others and live your life.
There are no shortcuts.” ~Timber Hawkeye
“A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions. When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born. This force I define as Sacred Activism.” -Andrew Harvey
“All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.” -Dalai Lama
Along my ministerial path, I meet many people who are “unchurched.” While they may have grown up with a specific religious tradition, they no longer affiliate with any particular beliefs nor do they attend communal religious ceremonies with any frequency…if at all.
According to recent social research, 1 out of every 3 American adults (33%) is unchurched. This means approximately 125 million Americans are unchurched.
Why am I telling you this?
First, if you are unchurched, please know that you are not alone.
Secondly, experience tells me MANY people who describe themselves as unchurched also describe themselves as spiritual…in fact, deeply spiritual.
As a nondenominational interfaith minister, not only do I think that’s OK to be unchurched, I support your freedom to choose whatever spiritual path best meets your personal needs given your unique history and what you hope to gain from your spiritual exploration.
Follow your mind and heart and soul.
God does NOT have a religion. Please, think on that.
Unchurched? You are not alone. Blessings!
BUDDHISM as an ETHICAL WAY to LIVE
We understand that India’s social caste system was unimportant to Buddha. He keenly focused on the the world within… the outside world mattered little. He created the first monastery known where men and women lived together. He openly ordained women as nuns in a society where women were second class citizens to men. Frankly, he didn’t honor societal status or divisions. His teachings were for the common good of everyone and he encouraged his followers to spread his message.
We also know Buddha didn’t much respect the elaborate Vedic religious rituals so popular in his day (sounds a bit like Jesus’s disdain for Jewish priestly classes and money changers in the Temple of Jerusalem). He created the sangha – a community of similar believers brought together for the common good. Buddhism is meant to live out in community. The Sangha brings Buddhism to life and keeps it alive.
Avoid The Three Poisons of greed, anger and ignorance by practicing generosity, compassion and wisdom.
Think for yourself, ask questions, discuss and debate. Don’t believe anything on blind faith.
Morality is simple: Be compassionate.
The Five Moral Precepts
Respect all life. Don’t kill.
Honor everything that’s not yours. Don’t steal. Return what you borrow.
Refrain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence.
Tell the truth. Don’t lie or gossip.
Avoid intoxication. Remain mindful. Remain focused. Keep a clear head.
Take control of yourself. Be in charge of your thinking, feeling and behaviors.
Buddha taught that everything is interconnected and interdependent. Enlightenment had shown him the oneness of all creation. Living is the unity of the physical and spiritual. We are spiritual beings experiencing physicality. The self and its environment are one and inseparable. Everything around us is the reflection of our inner lives. Mind and body are one. Equality of gender, race and creed are paramount. Respect for all living things is now… it is NOT the goal. We are all one.
“Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.”
The Golden Rule (also called ‘The Ethics of Reciprocity”) suggests some stunning ethical guideposts common among the world’s major religions.
Simply, The Golden Rule = treat others as you would like to be treated.
ABORIGINAL SPIRITUALITY: “We are as much alive as we keep the Earth alive.”
BAHA’I FAITH: “Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.”
BUDDHISM: “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
CHRISTIANITY: “In everything, do to others as you would have them to do you; for this is the law of the prophets.”
CONFUCIANISM: “One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct…loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
HINDUISM: “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”
ISLAM: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”
JAINISM: “One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.”
JUDAISM: “What is hateful ot you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.”
SIKHISM: “I am a stranger to one one; and no one is stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.”
TAOISM: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
ZOROASTRIANISM: “Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.”
Reading this daily helps me remain mindful of our similarities…