Wondering Thoughts of a Native Knight

Posts tagged ‘humbled’

Faith = Lifestyle Not A Religion


With all the mass shootings over the past few days, which have happen in Paris, Beirut, Oregon college, and other places, I thought I would post about Faith and rules by which I live my life, and why.

I post daily on my FB feed a small something about my thoughts, about politics, religion, humanity, etc.  I am a very blunt person and do not feel holding back will prove anything or teach anything to the next person reading or listening to what I have to say.   I have always believed I was put here on this Earth, and gone through what I have been put through from a very young age so that I may teach others.  Now if others listen that is up to them.  If others believe the same as me, again that is up to them.

As much as some may believe, I am not “preaching”.  Even though I am an Ordain Minister, study religions, and practicing Buddhist.  I do not believe in INSISTING my beliefs be everyone’s beliefs.  But, as said before, I do believe in being blunt about my thoughts and educating others on what I have learned over the years.  In this way I educate.

The title of this blog is: Faith = Not A Religion.  Now I do believe their are MANY religions on this Earth and they have their place.  They give the people who follow each one a ritual, a way to focus their faith.  I do not believe that their is only ONE face of the creator.  (again this is MY belief, I am not requesting or saying it needs to be yours).   However, FAITH – faith has really very little to do with RELIGION.

Once their is clear understand of the meaning of the two words religion and faith, understanding the difference between them is not that hard. Both words are often confused because it is thought that there is a interchangeable in their meanings. Strictly speaking, both the words are different in terms of their concepts and connotations. They may not have some similarity in their meaning, but religion and faith are very much have a reciprocal relationship in the field of religion. In the world of religion, without faith, you cannot be a follower of any religion. Even to be an atheist, you need to have faith in not believing in God. Now I know some Atheist who would disagree with that statement. Will I explain my reasoning behind this statement later on in this article.

Faith, is often spoken of coming from our heart/soul. When we use it normally, is used to mean a sense of trust.  Faith is generally is a complete confidence or trust in something/someone. Faith is not based on proof. This is why I say Atheist have faith, for they have complete confidence and/or trust in the fact that their is no God with out proof.

Faith shows how much one trust someone or something, not necessarily a God but perhaps a belief or someone or something you need to rely on.  Faith with in religion – not as the religion:  faith consists of the belief in one or more gods or deities, or none at all. However, this always does not have to be the belief in deities and gods as all religions do not believe in the god concept, but follow teachings taught by teachers and mentors instead. So, faith in this case is the faith in the teachings of someone and the lessons of life.  Faith is usually accompanied by hope because when we use the word faith to show that we trust someone, we are hoping that our trust is placed correctly. If we study how faith is built, we can see that faith is built on the belief. When faith becomes strong and unshakable, we become strong within ourselves which can be called awaking into our belief or some ball it being called to our religious choice.

Religion is not Faith,  so what is it? Religion is based on cultures and the rules they have created over time which they have named beliefs. At the same time, religion influences the culture too. Religion builds character and morality.

Religious leaders at one time were the Kings and Queens advisers, they helped draw up the rules which governed the people. Today religious leaders impart primary knowledge about the respective dogmas and tenets, which governor the people who follow different religions.  They try to build faith in the corresponding religion in the minds of the people. Thus, religion and faith are related to each other although they are different from each other.

Below is my way of life that guides my faith:  I do not think of these rules as my religion because I do not have a “religion” I practice Buddhism as in I try and live a lifestyle guided by the teachings of Buddha and Buddha says their is no almighty God.  This I do not believe (this is not my faith. What I trust within my heart/soul).  However, I do believe that the rules we live our life by, that guides our faith, are also what should be what guides our daily lifestyle and with this in mind – these are mine:


The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
– Atisha of the Buddhist faith and teachings


Back to the horrible actions around the world, religion has been said to be the center of all this.  So, perhaps FAITH is the end to it all?  All who have Faith in something good has the ability to bring Humanity back into line of peace and goodness.

I have yet to master any of the above rules I try to follow on a daily basis, that I pray (to my Creator and Earth Mother) for the strength to continue my lessons they have for me, To my teacher Buddha (who is not a God but a Teacher) to keep teaching me, and give me strength in my faith to hold strong in each of these life rules to be able to live a lifestyle that honors each of these life rules every day.

Since I started learning and following Buddhism I have thought the above rules should be the commandments on how to live life –

The greatest achievement is selflessness. – To think of others perhaps not always before thy self but perhaps as you are thinking of yourself. If you are going to do something. Think of how it will effect others before doing it. If you are going to the kitchen and live with someone ask “would this person also like something from the kitchen?” If you are at the store perhaps look at the products and think of others in need before thinking of your wants.

To master The greatest achievement is selflessness, and thinking of others leads to The greatest worth is self-mastery.  With self-mastery, one learns to control one urges, addictions, actions, etc.  To master oneself isn’t the ability to master one’s life but it does help.  It makes one’s life much more clear, much happier.  Yet Buddha teaches you can not have good with out the bad, happiness with out sadness.  So, even though self-mastery can make your life a happier life, it does not mean a life with out bad or sadness.

The greatest achievement is selflessness and The greatest worth is self-mastery leads to: The greatest quality is seeking to serve others,   which leads to continual awareness, etc.   As it is taught one rule mastered  leads to the next rule, and the next rule should become easier to master. This of course is not always true, their are stumbling blocks in life at every level in life, we may fall off those steps and need to start re-climbing.

But – imagine if just the majority of people followed their faith/ their code of ethics/life rules – be they these ones or others which they hold as dear as commandments, imagine how much better humanity would be all over the world.  Yes we still have sadness, bad times, and lessons to learn, but with faith and a sit of rules which makes life easier to life by, to each other, as well as, ourselves with kindness and peace those hard times will be less harsh and we would be able to learn our life lessons with less effort and more awareness.

I send blessings to each person and pray for peace among humanity.

Thought for the day:


Karma: Many believe Karma is – you do bad, bad things happen to you – You do good, good things happen to you during this life and in those things that you do, and that are done to you.

According to Buddhism and Hinduism – Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences, or in Christianity it is the sum of a person’s actions in this life viewed as deciding their fate upon facing the lord.

So – Your Karma – is your OVER ALL life actions, deeds, spiritual intent been good or bad? Have you believed enough, have you followed and practiced your faith – not only in word but actions? Been kind to those who needed it? Not turned your head and ignored them? Have you done your best not to judge?

As I live and pray this prayer that I was taught once –

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

So – what does your Karma look like today, this week, this year?  Do not only have faith but believe it, practice it and give thanks for it!

Homeless Jesus:


On top of the news of the Supreme Court passing the law to give all GLBT individuals the right to marry, my wife and I were texting this morning about a statue that is downtown it is at one of our local bus stops, near a church, the statue titled; “Homeless Jesus”.  It is a figure of a person curled up on a bench with a blanket over him and all you can see is his hands holding the blanket and his feet sticking out.  His hands and feet both have holes in them.  

It had me wondering: has the Bible story of Jesus been told in true context and not  translated it to mean to themselves.

Jesus was a homeless man partly by choice do to traveling and speaking the world of god, but also because that when he did seek shelter, many times he would be turned away by those who did not believe and saw him as nothing more than a beggar.

Those who valued their THINGS and their money over humanity instead of helping another human being in need, choose to turn a blind eye on who this man at their door was, and saw just a dirty beggar instead of God’s Son who was here walking among his people preaching his father’s word, studying to reach enlightenment himself. For he said many times; “I will live and walk among my people”  So, who were his people? The rich that valued their THINGS and money, that turned away those in need? Or those who were poor and welcomed others with open arms, was welling to share what they had even if it wasn’t much?

I am not saying all the poor and none of the reach were his people.  No – there were some rich who gave to the poor and welcomed Jesus into their homes, let him rest, eat, and bath.  These people received the same blessings that those who he lived and walked among.   But, remember Jesus said in Matthew 19:24; “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

I do not consider myself Christian but I think no matter who you are, to be “his people”, it does not matter where you are in life, what does matter is; are you willing to accept and love all man kind, no matter who they are, how much money they have, what race they are, what religion they are, or who they love.

Since I study religions and consider myself spiritual and more Buddhist then any other religion, consider this: As Buddha choose to travel an forsake all worldly goods in search of enlightenment, to preach life’s lessons.  So did Jesus, choose to travel and forsake all worldly goods in search of enlightenment, and to preach his father’s word/ life’s lessons.  Because both choose to travel and forsake all worldly goods, it made both homeless.  Both, were holy men but were forsaken by some, yet both denied that they were God, and said they were just prophets seeking enlightenment and preaching  life lessons. However; Jesus said he was preaching the word of his father, the one true God: While the study of Buddhism does not believe in a supreme creator.

The realization that he, like anyone else, could be subject to different forms of human suffering drove Siddhartha into a personal crisis. By the time he was 29, he abandoned his home and began to live as a homeless ascetic and five followers joined Buddha on his journey, much as Jesus had his prophets who followed him. Buddha means; as a person who has awakened from the deep sleep of ignorance. The Buddha, preached about embracing sympathy and a deep concern for the poor and the oppressed. He preached in favour of equality of all men and opposed inequalities and abuses of the caste system.

Buddhism has eightfold path which we follow while Christians have 10 comments they follow.  The eightfold path leads to extinction of suffering and impersonality of all beings, it leads to enlightenment within one’s spirit.  These are the lessons that Buddha taught, compared to the lessons’ Jesus taught on his travels.

I am not saying one is better then the other, I am not, as I stated above I study religions, myself I think they are both equally important and true.  For if both religious leaders teach peace, compassion, acceptance and shows that it is the road to enlightenment is to show these traits in ourselves and in humanity, how can these lessons be wrong, how can these religions be wrong?

Just where my mind wandered this morning – Whirling mind wondering thoughts …..

Where is your mind wondering? What is your whirling thoughts?

 

 

 

If you like to know more about Buddhism here is some

Philosphy of Buddism

Buddism in a nutshell

Comparing

 

That is mighty humble of you


.***Disclaimer: First I want to announce I am posting for the first time from my smart; dumb phone….

SO- Let’s give this a go…

I was recently asked if I was given any wish, at all, what wish would that wish be?

My answer is the same as it always has been to that question: I would wish for enough money to pay off my wife and my bills, my family and close friends bills and to make sure my family had homes to live in and cars to drive. Plus, these days I also would add to that enough to make sure I had enough to cover my dream computer and cameras, (film and digital), along with the programs to develop digital and darkroom for film. 

I have always thought this was a bit of a selfish wish myself. Wish for money for my family, my friends, and myself. When there so many others out there in need and in worse situations.

I mean; I know according to surveys given the top five wishing  categories dealt with People, Money, Spirituality, Skills, and Family.

But, I always feel I should be asking for world hunger to end or world peace.  Yet, I know in my heart that these things are not things that can be wished away.  For life is a tug a war, a yin and yang.  We need the dark with the light and the bad with the good or we would never know how to appreciate the light or the good.

After stating my wish to the person who asked me, he remarked will that was a gracious wish.

I thanked him and stated if I was granted a second wish, I would wish for others who were ill and suffering. That is when he stated: “That is very humble of you.”

This kinda took me aback for a few moments. Why is it a humble and gracious thing to care for  humankind?  To me it should be second nature to put others before thyself.  Isn’t that what every spiritual belief in the world teaches us? ”

This is the Golden Rule which each of us are taught in kindergarden, and it has roots in a wide range of world cultures. Has been for years a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts. It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers.

The Golden Rule “do onto others as you would have done to you”, appears prominently in many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and the rest of the world’s major religions .

So, if all the world religions teach this then why is it such a humbleing thought?  Why isn’t it second nature?

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Peace and Light to you!

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