I think what I really need is World Religions for Dummies (I just Googled it and there actually is such a book – I ordered it). I would hope this book could explain every religion (in two paragraphs or less) and rank them according to their ability to deliver peace and joy in my particular life. I don’t think that specific book has been written yet, so I’m just going to have to trust my instincts. Unfortunately my instincts are telling me that God has bigger and better things to do than attend to my little FAITH project.
So, I’ll stumble along, hoping that committing this time to FAITH will lead to a greater sense of spirituality, and ultimately, provide me with a greater sense of joy. I’ve been comforted by the early chapters of the book of private writings of Mother Teresa. She encountered times of darkness and despair during her early years in India: “Jesus and I have been friends up to now, pray that He may give me grace of perseverance.”
I pray for the same – grace of perseverance (and perseverance in finding grace)!
In October I focused on PEACE. I think I was hoping to transform myself into a female monk, developing the peace of the Dalai Lama and the behaviour of Mother Theresa. It might surprise you to know I didn’t succeed (haha), but here’s what I did:
• Meditated – Oh how I tried. I tried various meditative podcasts, all kinds of CDs and a variety of breathing exercises. Oh, I tried!
• Breathed consciously
• Read – Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, Gandhi: An Autobiography and Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
• Walked in nature
• Dropped my shoulders – when all of the meditation failed, I figured the least I could do was learn to take a deep breath and drop my shoulders a few times a day.
Conclusions I reached:
1/. Peace is hard.
2/. I’m not an innately peaceful person.
3/. Our society is not set up to cultivate peace. The busier we are, the better.
4/. Peace is a process. I’m not much for process, I prefer to reach the end result just by hoping.
5/. I’ll have to try peace again!