My Religion

<June 18/10>

On my very lovely walk this morning (beautiful day!) along the boardwalk (in the Beaches area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada), I articulated the key tenets of what I guess you might call my “religion.”

They are:

  • Gratitude
  • Walking
  • Community
  • Service
  • Solitude / silence
  • Music [added later; see P.S.]

I could elaborate on each of these, of course. Walking also takes in Nature, love of the Earth, & maybe canoeing, kayaking, swimming & snowshoeing… Community takes in love, family, conversation, smiling, friendliness & friendship. Gratitude takes in joy & leads to a happy spirit. Service takes in activism & caring & doing (which also lead to a happy spirit!). Solitude & silence are things I cannot exist without & sometimes wonder whether others might benefit from a wee bit more of…

& music!! Well – music sometimes catapults me straight from practically comatose, down at the bottom of a Very Deep Pit (or even a not-all-that-deep-but-still-definitely-in-a-pit-pit) into outright exhilaration!!

Janet

p.s. couple weeks later, on July 1st: I’ve been doing this odd nomadic gig lately. Some of the time I’m living out in the boonies, sometimes I’m in the small city of Pembroke, Ontario (up river from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, & down river from leaking “legacy” pollution at the Chalk River nuclear facility; Gee – sure makes me feel better to know the pollution there is “legacy” as opposed to new…or, hmm…..does it??, & home to (notice I am not saying proud home: many of us here are not merely not proud but frankly appalled about) SRB Technologies, a tritium-emitting local business that has just outrageously been issued a 5-year license by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (boy are they un-aptly named!?!?!? Ought to be more like the Canadian Nuclear Danger Commission); check out the Tritium Awareness Project Web site to learn “the truth about tritium”…)

And some of the time I hang out in Toronto, Canada’s largest city & kind of an all-around pretty fun place...

Well.

On my long walk in Pembroke this morning, I observed, as I have on other occasions, how church-y this town is. It has a quite extraordinary number of churches. Off the charts, really!

Not sure what that’s all about, but the limitations of “organized” religion seem more & more apparent to me as the years go by.

I’ve written elsewhere about what I see as the problem with religion.

What sprang to mind this morning as I noticed Pembroke’s considerable churchy-ness is the sort of somewhere-else-ness of most religious teachings. “Heaven” is somewhere else. “Divinity” is somewhere/someone else. “Salvation” is some other time. “Holy” is other places or people.

Me, I’m convinced all these things are right here, right now, always.

Hmmm. In ‘Pulling Down the Pedestals’ & ‘I’m not OK – YOU’re OK’ I’ve written about our tendency as individuals to see others as…better ... more whole…than one is oneself. I don’t think this attitude & the dominance of religion & its “God/holiness/sacredness is somewhere else” message is a coincidence, exactly…

Certainly Eckhart Tolle’s thoughts about presence, & about the pain body (& everything else he talks about!) resonate hugely for me. (I’ve written about ET in a few blog postings Ducks Unlimited’, ‘Pain Bodies on Parade or Oh, To be a duck’ & ‘Flap your wings’, among others…)

Dear friend Lynn has just given me a copy of the book This is It – The Nature of Oneness – Interviews with Teachers of Non-Duality, including Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, by Jan Kersschot.

That phrase “This is it!” resonated for me right away.

All is here right here, right now, in this moment & it is plenty!

The heck, I say, with the fear & poverty mentality we’ve been so immersed & drenched in for so long.

This is It!

p.p.s. weeks later, on July 24th: It became necessary to add that 6th item – music – to the list the other evening when, under the great spirits & energy-enhancing influence of some lovely, sing-y, dance-y, cheerful tunes, I got hours & hours of useful work done, instead of succumbing to the temptation to veg out in front of a movie. Music sure can be magical!! (Pat Conroy said, “Without music, life is a journey through a desert,” and isn't it true??)

p.p.p.s. 'My Religion, take 2' (from a couple years later).