I grew up as a Christian, going to church and believing whole-heartedly in it, fully inhabiting Christianity in its ethnocentric form. Moving out of this I sampled a lot of different modes, including atheism, agnosticism and strange new agey stuff. As I abandoned blind belief and crawled through achievement and rationality into the mess that was my pluralistic and post-modern university period, I was unanchored, under no religious flag and inquisitively exploring.
A turning point came when I delved into Taoism and discovered meditation. Having a practice was exciting and fresh. There’s a world of difference between mystic (esoteric, experiential) and mythic (exoteric, faith-based) religion and I couldn’t have moved forward without mysticism. Without direct experience of the spiritual I didn’t have a compass to move my spiritual life into the increasing discernment I’d soon embrace.
And next I moved into an affinity for Buddhism. Its practices and landscape were so very inviting to me, and it became as close to a home as I’ve had since my childhood’s rigid belief. I’ve maintained an interest in many religions, but Buddhism has held some sway over me for several years now. But, like Will over at thinkBuddha, I feel I can not call myself a Buddhist, just Buddhish.
So where in the vast expanse of religions does my wanderlusting heart reside? Trans-path integral mystic may not flow as smoothly or clearly as I’d like, but more of who I am can fit in it than any other name I have discovered. Being unwilling to slide Buddha, Christ or other teachers from my view, I must accept the challenge of creating structure and communion as skillfully as possible. Guidelines may be scarce here, but I feel less alone in this new territory and every day discover fellow explorers here. May we be surefooted in ascending the shrouded heights ahead.
This is not poetry. This is a direct realization, as direct as a glass of cold water in the face.
– Ken Wilber, One Taste