Monday, November 9, 2009
LIVING ENLIGHTENMENT - no harm in that
Why is it that we as Christians always invite people to church but we find in sacrilegious to go outside of our comfort zone and visit the edifice of someone else's religion/faith? After all don't we take the spirit of Christ with us everywhere we go? It is that spirit that is with us in the lions den, in the belly of a whale and in the fiery furnace.
I also find it rude when certain Christians don't see me in church for a while the very first question they ask is, "so where have you been?" Swiftly followed by, "Where are you worshiping now?" Never giving me a chance to answer the first question properly. I can tell their intent is to get me to answer the second question right away to satisfy their own assumptions. My cynical nature is to shock them with sarcasm, "Well I've been on the beach sacrificing chickens." I long to see their reaction. What would a haughty Christian do when actually confronted with a person who "turned away" from God? In denominational Christianity it's called backsliding. My sense is they wouldn't have a clue how to negotiate that situation. But then God's spirit of wisdom comforts me enough to suppress my flesh and I spew a pocketed response because that will do two things, give them comfort and end a conversation I didn't want to engage in in the first place. That response is, I've been healing and fellowshipping elsewhere.
That being said, I've been avoiding invitations by wonderful people, I've been meeting throughout my months of healing, because they have been from other cultures. And we tend to reject that which we don't understand. Well I was recently compelled to visit a vedic temple. At a health expo I met a young east Indian woman who painted a lovely henna tatoo on my weak hand and asked me what happened to me. After giving her the abridged version she invited me to a healing meditation at her temple. I could see in her eyes that she was most sincere and wanted to give me comfort in a way that she knew how.
The gesture was sweet, I thought, besides I've wanted to learn the practice of relaxation techniques for a few months anyway. "No harm in that." I thought. I took her up on her offer and visited Life Bliss Meditation at the vedic temple. I arrived early to receive a tour, collect information and wait for the class to begin. The first thing they asked me to do was to remove my shoes, everyone leaves their shoes on the outside of the entryway door I was given the option to leave my shoes on the inside of the temple by the front door to give me more comfort that my shoes wouldn't mysteriously walk away. "No harm in that."
So I respectfully complied with the rules. After all everyone is on the honor system. My thoughts fixed on the fact that a homeless person could walk by, see my shoes out of the dozens that were there, and steal them. Tisk, tisk on me. So I entered the temple, sat on the small benches in the rear, respectfully observed my surroundings, and waited for class to begin. My surroundings overwhelmed me: the colors were vibrant and beautiful, the fragrances [of incense and food] were sharp and the acoustical chanting CD filled the room throughout the temple. I observed people praying quietly & corporately without any though of who was watching. It was copious to behold. In that moment I thanked the lord for allowing me to have this experience. As I sat in gratitude the class began and throughout it I learned many things but what made the largest impression was I learned how to breathe chaotically. Chaotic breathing is swift breath in and out of your nostrils changing the rhythm so frequently that there is no rhythm to it at all. When there is no rhythm there is no thought. That way you cannot be attached to any thought because they don't exist. No harm in that.
There was no "Gee I look ridiculous," "I want to look around to see what others are doing," "I wonder if my shoes are still there." Which is the point of meditation to relax and be void of thoughts. To meditate is to just be. When we communicate with God in prayer we should just be, regardless of what else is happening. The meditation continued for about 45 minutes and I was so busy just being, I forgot about my shoes, looking silly and didn't care what anyone else was doing. Within the allotted time, I was happy to be alive, to experience another cultures way of worship and that I could let my light shine. After meditation they served dinner.
While they were serving dinner I had a conversation about Christ and the similarities between Christs teachings and that of the energies of the God they acknowledge as separate deities. I left having made a few new friend connections, I left with more information about their worship practices, I left them with more information about my worship beliefs. I felt enlightened ...and my shoes were still there. There is never harm in that!
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind."
(2 Timothy 1:7, KJV)
"But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying,Saul my father seeketh to kill thee:now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:"
(1 Samuel 10:2, KJV)
"Father thank you for the beauty of variety. Thank you for salvation and it's path. There is one road that leads to you but many journeys to reach that road. Our public places of worship can be considered a secret place in you. You are a God of wisdom, inclusion, friendship and peace. I'm thankful that there is peace in relationship with you.
(All images are courtesy of www.veer.com)
Peace out until the next time...