April 28, 2007

Where Do You Stand on Spirituality?

I was having a great conversation today with someone about being comfortable in our skin and what "loving ourselves" really means. He was telling me about how for him, this mean enjoying "just existing". Not a judgement on our being, or how we are dressed, or whatever - but being comfortable with a certain lightness of being.

I was nodding and smiling - he was helping me greatly because I really admire this man for his ability to communicate so clearly, with obvious emotion, but it never was extreme. He is one of those people with passion, yet calmness.

But then he stopped and said, "Ah, well, I'm getting into the spiritual here and I don't know what you think but.... where do you stand anyway on spirituality?

I stammered a few meaningless sounds, and then said, "I don't know. I guess, I lean towards Zen Buddhism, but...I think all religions have similar themes, and, well, I'm not religious."

I was annoyed at myself for not having an answer. I mean, I often have my nose buried in a Zen book of some kind, and I write and read about spirituality. I'm also secure in how I feel about most spiritual and religious things. If he had asked me about something specific, I would have an answer.

But when asked where I stood in the big picture, I couldn't really answer.

I'm not still "searching" because I am not looking for something missing - I feel pretty darn whole on the spiritual front - yet open to new ideas. But I don't have a place to say "this is where I stand".

In fact, I think I stand out in the middle of nowhere and mostly alone.

It doesn't usually bother me. Even when I'm around really religious people, of whatever religion, I'm pretty accepting that's what they believe, and I'm OK with that (so long as they are Ok with me not being one of them).

But in this point blank fashion, without context, I couldn't answer.

I can see why people gravitate towards religion, even if they aren't gung-ho - just to have a group to identify with.

Funny enough, I'm actually pretty darn happy that I am not identified with a group. I don't like people assuming things about me because of a word that I throw out. Even Zen Buddhist gives people a certain idea. So I use it sparingly, and with my usual qualifiers.

What about you? Do you know this feeling I'm talking about - like I belong nowhere, yet I belong everywhere? It's all the same. But giving it a name, is impossible?

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