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Thread: Sometimes I get so frustrated.

  1. #1
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    Sometimes I get so frustrated.

    I have a calendar that is daily sayings from the Dalai Lama. A recent one that has been sticking in my mind lately is:

    "Just because my path is different than yours, doesn't mean I am lost."

    I truly believe that the various religions of the world were established to reach different people on different paths. I believe that the basic messages/teachings of love and compassion are universal and the most important tenents for all.

    Lately I find myself getting SOOOOO frustrated with individuals who believe that THEIR PATH is the ONLY TRUE PATH - without realizing that the great spirit/the universe/god/etc. speaks to each of us differently - but still speaks to each of us with truth and love.

    Probably not explaining this well, but this has been on my mind lately. I know that a lot of this has to do with ME learning and practising my own patience and compassion for others, but sometimes.... sigh.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

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    I feel the same sometimes, happystuff {{hugs}}

    I see such beauty in people who are grounded in their faith (whatever their faith is), and their devotion to what they believe in. It's a lovely human trait in my eyes. But when they look at me, some of them see some kind of monstrosity or worse, something to be pitied, because I don't share their belief system. It can make for a spiritual setback some days, but I eventually regain my balance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Ditto, happystuff.

    At the moment, several friends and relatives on Facebook are circulating a photo of a Hasidic Jew (long locks, beard, black hat, and all) with the caption "Can't eat pork. Doesn't try to make it illegal for everyone." Y'know, sometimes it's okay to follow your own personal path and let other folks wear their own shoes to follow theirs.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I agree.
    I don't know about the various religious tenets, but isn't it part of the teachings of christianity, that its the only way? Its part of being in their "club", to believe that there's only one way. So I guess it goes back to the beginning of the religion.
    Happy Stuff.......I love that quote of "Just because my path is different than yours, doesn't mean I am lost." I've had a number of former christian friends who always treated me like I was lost, and if I only believed in what they believed, everything would be okay. To me, it was a real put-down.

  5. #5
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    I agree about seeing a beauty in people who are grounded in their faith (whatever their faith is), and their devotion to what they believe in. But then it turns to an ugliness when those same people can't understand/accept/see/etc. that others are just as beautiful, grounded and devoted - to a different faith.

    Anyway, I really appreciate the responses. I'm continuing to meditate and pray on this. :-)
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  6. #6
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you mean. I had neighbors who describe me as "someone who is searching". I live in an area with a lot of "holy rollers" and as a yoga teacher and meditator, I guess I'm seen as a threat. I was friendly with a couple of neighbors, but finally got upset with them because on my birthday they gave me a card that said,"We know that you believe, as we believe, that Christ died on the cross for us...." and on and on. They had gotten so pushy with their religion and I just couldn't bear it anymore. (I don't discuss religion or politics, generally.) I had told them that I believe the teaching from Integral Yoga, "Truth is One, Paths Are Many." I always liked that. It's inclusive, and there's no arguing or trying to convert others. The main problem is, they believe that I am going to hell, and they become obsessed with saving me. I've had to cut off communication with people like that. It feels abusive to me.
    Ironically, I think they see something in me. Another religious nut, (sorry to stereotype,) told me that I am transparent. I have a gorgeous organic garden, and I work in it every day. It brings me peace. One woman going door to door with pamphlets started screaming at me, "That's God!" referring to the garden and its beauty. She was so freaked out. She wanted to come in to spread doom and gloom and I declined. I think people like this are very frightened and possibly unsure about their own spiritual path. They seem threatened by anything Eastern or foreign.
    Last edited by awakenedsoul; 6-5-12 at 6:46pm. Reason: corrections

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sissy's Avatar
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    Awakenedsoul, I get what you are saying. I was raised in the bible belt (still live there) and I more than understand the judgementalism and I feel like you do.... I think that they are trying to convince themselves to a certain extent. That said, I am a Christian, but I always backed away from the door to door evangelizing, handing out tracts, etc. I feel that if God wants to find someone that they will be found. If they need help, help will be available.

    I, also, like to study Buddhism along with Christianity and I feel that it really is a perfect fit. The bible tells us what to do and buddhism tells us very specifically how. That how is the part that, IMO, is very missing in Christianity.

    I feel that love and goodness are the basics that are taught in most religions. BTW, I don't go to church and consider myself nonreligious. I don't like to be boxed into a specific belief system either.

    I read on a blog (sorry I can't remember which) that we need to just give it all up (the struggle inside) and allow "it", the spirit, belief, etc. to come to us. If we leave our spiritual door open, it can come to us. We (I) need to start with an empty, open mind.

    oh, my! I preached a mixed up sermon! Sorry this was really about pushy fanatics!
    I may not run with the wind in my hair, but I do get winded.

  8. #8
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
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    Sissy,
    I liked your post. Thanks for your input. It sounds like you've found the path that's right for you. I told the couple I mentioned that if people were drawn to their religion, they would ask them about it. Her answer was that "they are taught to do that." I made it clear I felt it was very pushy. Many people will ask me what I do spiritually. Only then I will talk about it with them, if they are interested and curious. I like the idea of respecting and honoring all religions. It takes off all of that pressure. For some reason the fanatic types, (which also applies to this area,) are very controlling and they actually repel people.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Xmac's Avatar
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    Isn't it "their" path to believe that their path is the only path? Do you want them to change their path or convert them?
    Isn't it possible that they are there to test our committment to compassion and our understanding of, as Mother Theresa put it, "...we belong to each other". If someone thinks I'm going to hell and that it's their job to save me, they might be suffering. If my religion is compassion and/or kindness am I only giving it to those who don't challenge me?

    As for the "Christ died on the cross for us" comment, I might handle it like this: Do you mean Christ, as a title of higher consciousness that died or ended on the cross which is a point at which two lines intersect and a symbol of dualism? You mean Enlightenment ended with dualism to create "us", apparently separate expressiions of the Godhead or ground of being. Ya, I see that. If they freak out, they're not ready for any common ground and need separation as much as you might need unity. I'd respect that and just listen, sometimes that's all people really want is to be heard.

  10. #10
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    I've noticed a personal tendancy to bristle when I notice anything that indicates that I might not yet have the 'best' approach to dealing with self awareness. It seems like an instinctual reaction.

    William James wrote on the need for a "Pluralistic Universe". But that is much harder to perceive than trying to deduce a simpler Unified Universe.

    Christianity tends to be easily interpreted in nicely self contained terms. Thus when you combine all of the above factors you can see how discomforting a non-believer can be to such a Christian belief system, and how hard it would be for a believer to accept pluralism.

    Other thoughts on this that occur to me.

    I'm not yet quite convinced that the Christian bible was actually meant to apply to the entire world. I do believe it applies very heavily to apostles. I also believe it tries very hard to dissuade prospective believers from relying solely on good works rather than internal spiritual work. I also believe the Christian churches have added a lot of interpretation to the original text to colorize the spiritual appeal. The Christianity of the bible seems to be a much harder road to follow than I currently hear preached.

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