I knew very little about the philosophy of Buddhism and was eager to attend a Friday night informational meeting at a Shambhala center right outside of Boston.
I attended the informational evening, on that fateful Friday, and I was hooked as a person who was dead set committed to finding out as much as I could about the Way of the Buddha and the study of basic Buddhism at the Shambhala center, and learning the basic koans, or teachings that took place from sitting with the koan and working it to ready yourself for a formal meeting with your teacher.
I was ecstatic about this new way of life and the teachings of the Buddha and it was not something I felt was in any direct conflict with my Catholicism and my belief in God and the Holy Trinity. I immediately was drawn to Buddhism and its way of living and I continued to pray daily to God and the Holy Trinity.
I moved to New York to take my job in trading and I immediately found a new Shambhala center in NYC and between work and Buddhism I had a full day everyday and I was very happy with my learning as a Beginner’s mind in Buddhism and my steadfast prayers to the God and the Divine I knew for so long and the solace I redeemed in the execution of my nightly prayers. I did stop going to Roman Catholic church at this point, and the reason is not all that clear to me. I think I found some friction between Buddhism and going to church to present myself as a Roman Catholic.
Eventually I got deep enough into Buddhism, and sought out a pilgrimage to Nepal to one of its oldest Buddhist monasteries to study for a six week period intensely living with Buddhist monks and nuns and participating in the daily life. In order to go, I had to adhere to the laws and rules of the monastery and of Buddhism in general, and as a result shaving off my hair became a prerequisite to attending the monastery in Nepal. Without hesitation or the thought of work retribution, I went directly to a barber and asked that my long hair be shaved off with just my hair follicles remaining on my head. Of course this was met with a lot of disapproval both familial as well as socially and work-wise. I was too high up and too good a performer to be affected for shaving my head at the firm, and I absolutely loved the freedom and the monastic way of living, so I never for a second regretted any of the times I shaved my head.
My first trip to Nepal was a tough learning experience. The strictness and punitive nature of the elders upon the new students was difficult to take, and the sitting we did for hours upon hours was arduous and backbreaking where we were instructed to get lost in the daily mediation and when we nodded off or broke our pose we were harshly tapped by the stick of one of the elders walking around the huge room of scared students just like myself. At times I wavered in my commitment but only for a moment of pure pain and hardship. I actually prayed to my God in this time to help me along with the Holy Trinity to give me the strength and energy to get through the moments I could not bare for a second longer.
I never in my study and living as a Buddhist did I ever leave my God or my beliefs of my God and the Holy Trinity. I never once considered giving up my Christianity for Buddhism as they never were in conflict for me in my belief in my religion and of my living of a philosophy.
I am told by people who knew me best that I was at my finest when I lived as Christian Buddhist. I made three pilgrimages total to Nepal and every time I fell in love deeper and deeper in the monastic life.
By the time I was ready to get married I was no longer a member of the Roman Catholic church and I had run my course with my active Buddhism for the moment so I was left without a house of worship for my Christian beliefs for a couple of years until my daughter was born and I experienced Grace in her birth for the first time ever. I will be speak of Grace at a later time, but the void in those years I didn’t have a Christian home of worship was very bleak and void of lifeblood.
To shorten my journey and spare the details that are not of importance as I found my way home to my Christian roots and my God and the Holy Trinity and the Divine I never stopped worshipping. I found my home, my current home in the Episcopal church and while my daughter was baptized I was formally confirmed in my early thirties in the Episcopal church that left me just as fulfilled as the Roman Catholic church but accepted my family and myself, and did not speak or use hatred in anyway to spread the word of my God, who I knew for above anything else did not hate me or anybody in this world of mortals.
Finding the Episcopal church was the summation of a long and lengthy search through church shopping. The Episcopal church was very much like Catholicism except it accepted me and my family and it allowed any member to question anything to do with God or the scriptures in the Holy Bible. It was referred by my ex-wife as Catholic lite and as a denomination it was like finally returning home after a long time of being lost without a spiritual home.
I was so happy and fulfilled with the Episcopal church and its leaders of the local church. I began a very intimate relationship with the priest of our church and I met with him weekly prior to making my confirmation. I found my spiritual home and one where I quickly spread my wings and gently soared with the Buddhism never leaving my mind or my way of living as a monastic.
At the time I made my confirmation in January of 2008. I realized quite sadly that I didn’t have what I wanted most from my religion which was unwavering faith. I embarked on a big thick journal where I wrote to God everyday for a year, praying for unwavering fait
h and always waking up just short of it. I believe it was the year I was turning thirty five. I also at the same time decided I wanted to wear a cross and a medallion with the Our Father inscripted in Latin. I searched high and low, all over the place for my cross and finally one day I found exactly what I was looking for. Shortly thereafter I found my medallion and the cross and medallion have since adorned my neck without ever taking them off.
About three days prior to my thirty fifth birthday I awoke without the vacancy of wavering faith. It did not strike me until later in the day when I finally realized I was one with unwavering faith, and without any doubts or guesses I was a complete believer in all that was Divine. It is a gift I am grateful for daily, and one I always touch on in my daily gratitude work to my God and the Holy Trinity.
I will leave myself here: a Christian -Buddhist with unwavering faith finding my spiritual home in the Episcopal church. I am ready to take you next through my particular mindset of what my God looks and feels like to me, and the subsequent evil and Devil on the flip side of my Beliefs. I am forever grateful for this gift of home in the Episcopal church and my unwavering faith that I say softly as many people are non-believers and I am not looking for logical reasoning of matters of my soul and the God I love and chose to believe through the Holy Trinity as my savior and my Soul’s Truth.
BORN THIS WAY-2016