DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Blog 6.docx 

 

One Week of Practice for The Entire Semester

 

     In re-reading the chapter by Thich Nhat Hanh in the book, Approaches to Peace ~ A Reader in Peace Studies, I realized that the practice I've been focused on all semester (and truly, most of my life) has to do with his first precept of the Order of Interbeing:

 

          First: Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or  ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truths.

 

     He goes on to say that, “This precept is the roar of the lion. It's spirit is characteristic of Buddhism. It is often said that the Buddha’s teaching is only a raft to help you cross the river, a finger-pointing to the moon. Don’t mistake the finger for the moon. The raft is not the shore. Peace can only be achieved when we are not attached to a view, when we are free from fanaticism.” (Pg 228)

 

     For almost 30 years I studied the teachings of Eckankar, obtaining the fifth initiation in 1996, which brought me into the priesthood. The fifth initiation is said to be the Soul Plane initiation, and lands one in the inner worlds at a place where all religions are seen as unnecessary. After five years of timeout from the teachings I went back for one year and then chose to end my relationship to the outer structure of Eckankar in 2009. That doesn’t mean that my experiences ‘on the inner,’ as we say in Eckankar, have lost any power or validity for me. I am simply unrecognized in the outer structure as a priest, which is fine with me.

 

     At age 12, I was pretty much done with Christianity, as it was presented to me in a tiny Methodist church in Kress, Texas. Reverend Secord was a dear old man, but his only answer for all my questions ("Why are babies born blind? Why do people have to suffer and die? What's up with all this suffering?") was, "It is God's will." I'd sit back in the chair across from his huge desk, my feet dangling, and think to myself, "And I'm supposed to worship this dude?" Fortunately, a book about Edgar Cayce, Many Mansions, by Gina Cerminara, crossed my path about this same time and my lifelong love of the possibilities of reincarnation was born (or reborn, perhaps).  

 

     I have felt for a long time that religions promote much more harm, than help, because they require the question, “Do you believe like me?” If the answer is no, then there is a sense of separation and difference, based on the specific beliefs of those within any organized religion. These structures have also been patriarchal and oppressive to women. I’d love to see all religions go away. A wise client once said to me, “No one is an outer authority on my inner relationship with what I perceive to be my Creator.”

 

My man, John Lennon, says it best:

 

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... 

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... 

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one 

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... 

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.