This morning I'm catching up on some work that needs to be done before I head off to my weekend retreat. Do a little cleaning, pay some bills, finish up the last of the laundry, basically clear the air so not to have too many distractions...Because lord knows I don't want to be in deep meditation and all of a sudden think, "THE LAUNDRY!!!"
I've really taken to this zen thing. Its not a religion per say although you can take it very religiously, but really for me it has been about training my body and my mind to be more present and observant. I don't think its made me any smarter or funnier just calmer. I'm able to negotiate problems a little more efficiently and I'll ask myself more often "is it really worth getting this worked up about?" I like the way it feels. Last winter I started searching for a way to express and experience my strong spiritual cravings. Christianity more and more has become almost repulsive to me as I see the hateful and frankly anti Jesus sediments rolling around, especially in Oklahoma. The whole Chick-fil-A -hole. was more hurtful than I could have ever imagined. I'm too exhausted over the matter to make much of a comment about it but I must say, I started lumping all Christians in one big pile of hateful and intolerant lot that I want nothing to do with.
What would Jesus do? Although I believe along with having a Christian partner who is not full of hatred and intolerance I have taken steps to understand that not all Christians beat the drum of racism, sexism, classicism and homophobia. and through my zen practice I've come to see the displays of intolerant rantings as simply people that are hurt, scared and for what ever reason feel threatened by ME, lil ol me. And frankly I'm scared of them too. Especially when I actually fear for my life. All in the name of Christianity or at least how the bible in any given moment is interpreted. For the straight person may not understand that a gay person living in a rural area actually has the knowledge that if "out" and open they could be subject to extreme unprovoked violence. Even me.
I was not raised in a religious household although my mother and gradparents identified as Episcopalian. When we did go to church which was not often, I enjoyed it, and my Aunt was Unitarian so I actually spent more Sundays in the 70's in a metaphysical realm of spirituality, but I missed the liturgy, I missed the fragrance and the profound meaning and beauty of the sacrament. Of laying it all out there and receiving this blessing. Its powerful. But as with all things I have experienced in regards to religion, the corruption, the bickering and the money always get in the way of a good ecstatic experience.
I thought for a while I might be Buddhist. I seem to identify with it on many levels, and I am fully committed to my zen practice. I love the teachings, the philosophy and what it means to really live in the moment. to be fully awake. To feel each step, to take notice of the good and the bad with out an attachment too them. So Buddhism becomes a religion of compassion and Christianity and Muslim faiths become a religion of conforming and controlling and distrusting people. Now, I'm only explaining how my mind has been negotiating this subject, and I'm not saying I'm right, as a matter of fact I'm actually out to prove myself wrong. Ironicly my zen practice has helped me in this reguard.
So, look the basic reality is I am a white (Swedish, so pink really and also quite hairy) woman. I have a lineage of Christianity. I will tell you right here and now I really love Jesus! I think about him all the time. Its in my DNA. it comes naturally. But where I am lost and feel disenfranchised is the Bible. The list is too long to get into now, but what my fellow man and woman has done with the bible to justify a culture of hate and greed I just cannot get behind. So can I have Jesus without the bible? with out the right wingnut jobs who set forth on destroying the planet by claiming some sort of domination over it rather than stewardship, or the bands of people who would just as well see a gay teenager hanging on a fence post burned and beaten than defend and protect their gay sons, daughters, aunts uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers, That does not make a lick of sense. what kind of crock is this? And this love the sinner not the sin? I once heard a black gay woman put it like this; "that's like a white person saying to me, you can come in, but you cant sit on the couch".
I'm not mad at Jesus or at God, I'm mad at the people that take it upon themselves to justify violent, homophobic, sexist, racist, classicist acts in the name of God. I'm not really sure where all this has come from this morning, it just came spewing out. But its something I think about more and more as I come back to a spiritual faith. It might or might not be Christianity. But what it will be is a life that will encompass compassion, love, care and thought, I'm prone to that.