Much of my faith and beliefs has come from the traditions that were embedded and taught to me by my Mother. Growing up in a duo religion family, I was often puzzled of the truth to what who was right and what was wrong. Much of my belief in the Buddhist religion was through the traditional practices that I participated in with my Mother. My Father was never much of a practicing Protestant, and I don’t believe I ever saw him attend a Sunday service. Much of my knowledge on Christianity was limited so I started to go to other sources to educate myself on that belief. I attended different churches, and discussed Christianity with other people, hoping to find some answers that I sought. But to no avail did I find the spiritual peace that I heard of that others described to me. So I decided to focus much of my spiritual research by learning of other religions and practicing my Mother’s faith.
My Mother often practiced her religion and took me to the local Buddhist temple and taught many of her traditions to me. This helped guide me to filling the emptiness in my soul that I wanted. I continued to attend the Buddhist temple, even on my spare time, and I would sleep over and help the monks clean and even taught English to them. Throughout my time spent at the Buddhist temple, not once was I ever forced or demanded to practice or participate in the morning or evening chanting or religious practices. I did so anyways and found comfort and serenity there and was happy within myself. I often thought of entering into the Buddhist monk hood for a short period of time, to honor my Mother and to give merit to her through this selfless act.
For one reason or another I was unable to do this while she was alive, and she was not able to witness me being ordained as a monk, which I know would have been the proudest moment of her life. Last year after my Mother’s death, I finally honored her last wishes and her memory by being ordained into the Buddhist Monk hood for a period of 7 days. “I believe” through this custom and my act of selflessness and personal sacrifice I was able to give her peace, blessing, and merit in the after life. In return, this epic event in my life gave me the peace and spiritual freedom that I searched for. In the end, what I learned was, it wasn’t who was right or who was wrong, but what was right for my spiritual peace and happiness. “I believe” finding harmony and tranquility within me is the noble truth in my religious understanding.
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