I was a young woman when my mom began studying with different religious denominations.
She never did talk much about the details of what she was learning. When she did share her face would light up, and she’d say she was enjoying herself.
She didn’t care what denomination they were - Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah's Witness - she just wanted to learn from them.
They would come to the house, and she would study with them. I’m not sure of the frequency of their visits, but I believe it was either every week or every other week. This would go on anywhere from several weeks to several months.
They made the claim that they were the way - the right way to God.
And without a doubt, each denomination would eventually make the claim that the way to the kingdom was through their religion.
Once a denomination made that claim, my sincere mom would matter-of-factly say that their time together was complete.
When I’d ask her how it was going with her religious group, if their time together was over, she would promptly tell me, without any hint of frustration or blame, that she’s no longer studying with that group.
I didn’t need to ask why because I knew.
You see friend, my mom believed that there was something to learn from all religions. To her it was a common fact that all religions are doorways to understanding one’s relationship with God. She had no interest in the evangelism of one right way.
I’m so grateful for the experience of observing my mom’s desire to learn from all religions. By her example, I learned that they all have something to offer.
Because I’m okay inside myself about a person’s religious/spiritual preferences, I don’t feel the need to convince anyone of following a particular way to God/Creation.
As a mentor who focuses on spirituality, my intent is to make the space to honor and celebrate the Holy Goddess or God inside of us all, regardless of one’s religious faith or spiritual path.
My mom’s acceptance of all religions taught me the importance of holding honor and deep reverence for the sacred journey that we are each on.
December - A Holy Month
Joy, Giving, Family, Peace - people of all faiths hold these values of the holiday season worthy of celebration.
For example, at first glance, Christmastime may appear to be non-Buddhist, but on closer examination, we see that it provides an opportunity to practice several aspects of the Buddhist path: generosity, consideration, kindness, and mutual respect.
Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Agnostic, or Atheist, etc.… each on their own unique, sacred path. Each on their own journey to give meaning to their life.
Each deserving of acceptance.
The Holiday Season is a Magical Time to Accept Each Other More
During the magic of Christmastime, folks seem a little more willing to try to love each other, to welcome the stranger, to share what we have, and to slow down enough to appreciate our blessings.
This is a kind of miracle.
Regardless of what religion or spiritual journey you ascribe to - you can’t help but feel the palpable love energy that permeates during this magical season.
So many mysteries of the season to celebrate, (such a powerful time: Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, the solstice, etc.).
As we celebrate the Holy month of December we are, more so than any other month, given the opportunity (gift) to appreciate and celebrate each other’s faith choices.
Let’s not let this gift pass us by.
As a Buddhist monk, Bhante Suddhaso said, “Gift giving is a physical enactment of the principle of compassion.”
So darling, in addition to all our planned gift-giving, let’s open our hearts and compassionately give the glorious gift of acceptance by honoring all faith traditions.
After all, we are all more alike than we are different.
"God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If He gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it." POPE FRANCIS
Inner Joy Compass Prompt:
In honor of all religious traditions, it’s time to stretch your gift-giving compassion skills.
So, what can you do, that you are not currently doing, to demonstrate your honor toward those who hold different religious/spiritual beliefs than you?
To celebrate the gift of accepting all faith traditions I will…
Wishing you and yours all the gifts of this magical season.
With all my love,
P.S. In the spirit of this holiest, magical time, I’ll be sharing a little magic of my own. Stay tuned to hear about my experiences with Angels.