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Spiritual Meme Question Nineteen

19-- do you currently have any spiritual practices? are you developing any in particular at the moment? have you abandoned any recently? what rituals in each phase did you connect with the most? the least? have holidays ever held any spiritual meaning for you? has that changed at all as you've grown?


Well, i pray before going to bed and i meditate sometimes, occasionally rarely in the morning.  My meditation is a combination of Cistercian centering prayer and Zen sitting meditation.  It is more "contemplation" than "meditation" as those terms are used by Christians.  Sometimes there is a "theme." usually not -- just quiet listening.  I meditate at least once every six weeks while in the Ophthalmologist's office waiting for my shot of Avistan.  These waits run ten to fifteen minutes and they are among the most satisfying contemplations.

I used to do a montly centering prayer with five or seven Catholic Worker connected people.  God, how i miss those guys and gals.

I used to, and will again watch (sit through? minimallly participate in?) a Roman Catholic Mass each Saturday evening.  I don't get much out of ritual.  To me it is an example of the "letter killing the spirit."  Maybe that is why i do not meditate often, it would become ritual (or maybe i'm just bone lazy?)..  Prayer is always threatening to do that.

Maybe i should be happy with the rarity of my meditation.  I am, more or less, at peace except when i buy into the illusion.  Contemplation helps pull back the veil, but it is just as good to keep "walking the Tao," chuckling at the horror, suspecting the pleasure: relinquishing what i love and loving what i hate

I have come to understand that i am, by nature, a "philosophical" rather than a "religious" person.  I say that i try to follow the Taoist teaching (Tao hsueh) and that i know almost nothing about about and have little interest in the Taoist religion (Tao chiao). Yes, i try to be "spiritual but not religious."
Writing prompts: only ones that would be hard for you to answer please! {FULL!} - the eclectic ecstasy of an ecphorizing eccentric

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
amaebi
Feb. 26th, 2016 02:39 pm (UTC)
So does "religious" entail entanglement with or satisfaction in ritual, for you?
bobby1933
Feb. 26th, 2016 06:11 pm (UTC)
Its complicated and i should do a post on it. Tentatively, i use Fung Yu-Lan's (A Short History of Chinese Philosophy) definitions. Religion is philosophy plus "a certain superstructure which consists of superstition, dogma, ritual, and institutions."

So, satisfaction? not necessarily. Ritual? yes,

This doesn't mean that ritual isn't found in lost of other places, or that philosophies are not contaminated by "superstition, dogma, ritual, or institutions. But when they are they are harder to distinguish from religions. In the case of Taoism, i find the distinction particularly easy. But Confucionism, which is supposed to be a philosophy, is rife with ritual.

I suppose that if one's "higher power" is a "philosophy"
(Confucionism, psychoanalysis, communism, capitalism, etc.) and this is shared with others; then, that is probably one's "religion" (replete with ritual, dogma, superstitions and institutions).

But i have not settled on a definition of religion and suspect that it's "spirituality component" is primary.
amaebi
Feb. 26th, 2016 08:40 pm (UTC)
Sounds as if the ritual thing is key, though?
bobby1933
Feb. 26th, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC)
I would have thought that i thought that doctrine and superstition and social organization were more significant.
Perhaps ritual has some hidden or lost meaning that plunges more deeply into my subconscious mind?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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