The question I hear alot is, How did you get started on this path?
I probably get this question more from friends and acquaintances who remember just a few years ago when I would attend Mass on some of those “obscure” Catholic feast days (a.k.a. Holy Days of Obligation) or that I wouldn’t eat meat on Fridays.
This is a tough subject to write about because I am very sensitive about sounding judgmental toward other people’s faiths, but the short answer is that I found myself asking some hard spiritual questions, and I simply couldn’t find the answers within the framework of Roman Catholicism. When I looked beyond that denomination at broader Christian traditions, I still couldn’t find the reconciliation I needed, so I gave up. I simply dropped all organized religion.
After a few months, there was huge void in my life. While I always thought I was a religious person with strong faith, it turned out I was an intensely spiritual person, and the desire to connect with my inner spirituality was too strong to ignore. It was then on a whim that I picked up a copy of “Buddhism for Dummies” from a bookstore on Pentagon City.
Let’s just say that everything started making sense from that point on. Not that it was easy to understand, but the areas where I needed to reconcile my own beliefs about the way life works with my spirituality suddenly clicked into place.
That was fall 2003. Now, I watch the path unfold before me each day. The journey is so much more difficult than I could have ever have thought, but as the world gets more and more complicated, I realize just how important it is for me to reach my destination.
It will, no doubt, take me lifetimes to get there, but I’m ready.