One thing you may not know about me is that I was a Buddhist for 11 years. I won’t go into my conversion to Christianity today, maybe I will another day. Today I want to talk about how this has effected my Christianity. What brought me to Buddhism all those years ago was the idea of giving up the ego. To make myself uncomfortable in order to not make others uncomfortable. I found that I had become too focused on me and what others could do for me and I was miserable. I began to truly love others regardless of who they are or what they have done. To love them because they are living beings and that my life was no greater or more important than any other living being.
The best example of me as a Buddhist was with my vegetarianism. I was a vegetarian for religious reasons, because I could not cause the suffering of another living thing. However if I entered someone’s home and was offered food with meat I would eat it because turning down a meal was causing suffering to another person by upsetting them.
When I converted I saw many of these same Ideas in the purity of Christianity. Giving up the things that make us comfortable and embracing the uncomfortable.
I sometimes have to hold myself back from purging what little we do have. I keep saying that once we have enough in savings that we will give most of our excess away to help others. Although there is a part of me that says “why wait until you are comfortable” and we may not, although because I have a family I will have three months of bills in savings as a precaution (although that will equal about $3000 which is a lot less than most people). One of the things I look forward to in life is to live, even for a short period of time, with as close to nothing as I can get away with. C and I at some point will hike the entire Appelacian Trail. This to me would be the closest I can come to having nothing. I want to pack as little as I can get away with in my pack and for months that will be all we have. I feel like in life The fewer things I can put in my pack the closer I feel to God. I’m not sure I would have gotten here without my Buddhist studies. Why do we need all this stuff to be happy?
My question to you is: Is there something that you are holding onto so tightly that to give it up hurts? Money is a good example. Not just to those who have it but also to those who don’t. We hold onto it so tightly that often times it hurts. Whether that is trying to obtain the biggest profit you can or holding on to what little you have to feel safe. What can it possibly do for you? Are you fighting to become comfortable or are you resting in your comfort? Let that feeling go. Take a deep breath and let it go. Become uncomfortable. Let God take care of it. Embrace being uncomfortable. If we continue to put our comfort before everything else we will never grow.