Thursday, September 15, 2011

What We Believe

Yesterday afternoon I had a spirited conversation with some co-workers about our beliefs. Beliefs are a very personal thing. Some of us have absolute certitude about what we belief. Others, like me, have beliefs peppered with some doubt and lots of questions. Some of us believe because we “know”. Others of us know because we “believe”. I have been a spiritual seeker my entire life. I grew up in a strict religious tradition, I have attended the seminary, and I lived a year of my life in a Trappist monastery. I have studied theology and philosophy. I have read many books and I have sat in silence waiting for enlightenment. Still, I struggle with doubt and I am often unsure what I believe. I often wonder if any of us really knows anything for sure. What’s a pilgrim to do? I figure I’m safe and will have all the bases covered if I simply practice kindness and compassion to all living things. Both kindness and compassion imply love. If I find it difficult to love then I follow another of the Dalai Lama’s teachings where he says, “If you can’t love someone, at least don’t hurt them.” If I can do these simple but difficult practices I think I will be OK.

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