Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beliefs and spiritual practice - CAUTION, long post ahead!

There is an awesome thunderstorm rolling over the hill, so I don't know if I'll get to keep this before we lose power, which I suspect we will, but I had such a journal-able day, that I want to get it down before I forget.

I'll just start with this one. I was reminded by reading at Keep the Faith about the Belief-O-Matic, which I also haven't taken for over a year or three. I thought it would be interesting to see what my own top and bottom five affinities were.

They were:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Secular Humanism (92%)
3. Liberal Quakers (79%)
4. Theravada Buddhism (74%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (72%)

23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (30%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (28%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (21%)
26. Roman Catholic (21%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (18%)

Interesting. It is a bit different than the last time I took it, mostly because I think that I have a better sense of who I am spiritually, and I took more time to read the quiz and answer it thoughtfully this time. I was 99% UU last time, if I recall correctly, which I may not. I'm hesitantly getting more and more comfortable with my Buddhist tendencies (I find it a hard path, so I'm just being lazy). I have a terrible time meditating, but give it a whirl every week. It's got to get easier...maybe not though.

I'm not surprised by the last 5 - I had to giggle just a bit last week when the Hill Cumorah festivities were going on. Someone rented an advertising truck that said, "What the Mormon's Aren't Telling You" and had more info...I find that kind of intolerance irritating at the very least, but I have had my own unpleasant run-ins with the LDS community, so had a little sympathy. I'm dying to go to the show next year though. I think the kids would find it fascinating, and I honestly need to improve my knowledge and cultural awareness of LDS, especially given how large a community lives in my immediate area.

Anywho, I also, being a recovering Catholic, was not surprised to see it at the bottom of the list, although I confess to having fond memories of much of the ritual used in Catholic masses. I like the predictability of our own UU sermons for that reason, I suspect.


So speaking of beliefs, and moving on to morality, I had a really great conversation with one of my best friends yesterday. We ended the conversation having mutual admiration regarding how different our beliefs can be, and how we challenge each other to think about things from a different angle. Several of our friends are having serious relationship/marital separation issues, some related to infidelity, and some not. We were struggling with what constituted a reasonable reason for going outside the marriage for love - or how to handle romantic or sexual feelings when one is in a marriage. It was really clarifying for both of us - and I don't think either of us changed, but I think we each have a new respect for each other and what we bring to the table.

But speaking of being comfortable in one's skin, my children (male and female) have been having a really great time playing Cinderella. I am sure this says something about my comfort level with self-expression.

So today, we went to the Ganondagan Festival which was very family friendly and a nice way to spend a Saturday.

Apparently, it takes all kinds, like this guy with his incredibly cool cat!

I got to try some drumming, which was a big step for me. See, I am someone who doesn't do dances of peace, or drum circles, or anything requiring me to dance or perform in public anymore. I suspect that it is not because I am shy; after all, I was a music major and have performed all through my childhood and youth. I was also the only female percussion player in my entire school from 4th grade through 11th grade, when I quit by throwing my tympani sticks at my very sexist band director, who is still performing that job. I hope that he's not such a jerk anymore, now that 15+ years have passed. It appears that his resume is top notch. I even worked with his son when I was in journalism, and I won't repeat what he had to say about dear old dad. I'm tempted to link to his bio, but I'll refrain!

Anyway, back to the whole drumming thing. I'm pretty sure that my love of the beat and its affect on me is why I don't drum or dance in public. I have always been musical, and I think that today I realized that drumming, and maybe specifically, African drumming, is a key to the mystical door inside of me. I remember when I first started attending my first UU church. I cried through every single service; I was so moved. I feel that way about drumming. I think that I could rum and probably find myself transported out of myself spiritually by the rhythm and the movement. And that's not something I do comfortably in public. However, I think I may have found my spiritual practice for Wellspring. Daily drumming.

I am even lucky enough to be close friend with the spouse of one of the people who run Bush Mango - an in, if you will. I can't afford to go, but I can hit him for info about buying a drum and getting started, and there are drum circles that meet near my house every week.

So anyway, the drumming was excellent. The Native American dancing was moving, but in a sad sort of way to me. It was such a reminder of what has been done to NAs and how precious what is left is. I was moved to tears by it, and by the very few children who were a part of the dances and the traditional singing and drumming.

Jude had a good time. He napped on our friend, and we got to stop at the House of Chicken Nuggets, as he calls it, on the way home.

A good day, a good week. A lot to think about.

1 comment:

Annalise said...

Love the picture of Jude napping...