Dharma Glimpse by Sam
I grew up as a Christian, and I was lucky enough to be part of a nourishing community of Christians. Unfortunately, this community was built around a set around a particular set of beliefs, and in the end I found that I could not believe in it, and therefore I could not continue to be a part of the Church.
I lost an important part of my identity, and I lost community. I went in search of something to fill the void.
I ended up finding a replacement in the world of political ideology, giving me a new identity and a new community.
I started my time at university in this state. I talked to some clever people and it became apparent that my new beliefs didn’t stand up to scrutiny either. I didn’t want to admit this, I really didn’t. I denied it for a while, until I couldn’t.
Now I was in crisis, having again lost an important part of my identity and community.
I came to the conclusion that political ideology was not a good foundation, because it is not solid. No one really knows the answers, and so eventually you have to change your mind. I came to the conclusion that a more solid foundation for one’s life would be spiritual principles, more like what I grew up with.
For me there are two essential principles. One is something like love or compassion or kindness. That I could find at Church, but the second principle is something like reason or open-mindedness or non-attachment to ideas. For me, I could not find this in Church, because I could not belong to such a community without believing in something that went against my reason.
In the end, I did find a good example of such community living for a period of time at Bright Earth Buddhist Temple. But such community is not only here. It is, I think, fundamentally, to be found wherever Buddha nature meets Buddha nature, and Buddha nature is in all of us.
Namo Amida Bu
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