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The Bliss Blog

A few days ago, I was sitting across a cafeteria table from a young man I mentor. Not sure how the conversation arose on the topic of spirituality, but it wasn’t a surprise, since no topics are literally off the table between us. The inquisitive 15 year old mused about starting his own religion. I asked him what he would call it and he couldn’t come up with a name. He also wasn’t clear about its tenets. It caused me to contemplate what my own would look like. I have long said that Love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. I invoke the name of God-Goddess-All That Is.

I was raised Jewish, attended synagogue, became a Bat Mitzvah at 13 and attended Hebrew School until I was 16. I studied other traditions, took the best and left the rest, of their teachings. I was ordained as an interfaith minister in 1999 and although I don’t have a congregation (too much in the way of politics for me), my ministry is portable. While some follow the teachings of their childhood religion to the letter, others; like me, ‘order off the menu’ and choose one from column A and one from column B in terms of  doctrine. A voracious reader, I find my gospel in inspirational texts that are less traditional, although I have read the sacred books of many of the world’s religions. I like to think that I put my beliefs into action, rather than simply keeping them internal.   I had written an article for The Good Men Project in 2014 called “Is God Really An Old White Dude With A Beard Sitting On A Cloud?” In  it, I questioned what I had been taught about theology. I know I’m not alone in the experiences and feelings I described. There are many ‘recovering whatevers’.

What would my dogma be? I prefer ‘thou shalts,’ rather than ‘thou shalt not’s’. I choose love as the litany. I welcome wisdom in the form of listening with the heart as well as the ears.  Feeding hungry people-body, mind and spirit. I have learned that prayer is portable and need not be confined to a temple, mosque, synagogue or church. It is as close as our own thoughts. Each word is a prayer, acknowledging our connection to the Divine within and all around us.

Losing My Religion-REM

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