i did something bold and went to my first buddhism meeting today. the seven people i met there were all of different races and backgrounds and much older than myself. before i had even a second to feel misplaced, i was welcomed to chant in this stranger’s living room, with opened arm. as they went on with their discussions, they defined every foreign word to me with spirit. i was told about the meaning of this practice, the experiences and accomplishments it allowed them to have, and how we can spread peace within our environments.
it has been years since i’ve associated myself with any form of religion. this may not be true for all, but to me, religion is only a restriction of our beliefs and a manipulation in the way we see the world. they make us lose so many parts of who we are. but today, i found my answer with soka gakkai international, a branch of buddhism that refers to themselves as an organization and a practice, more than a religion.
it’s website says, “as ‘engaged buddhists,’ sgi members aim to create value in any circumstances and contribute to the well-being of others. their practice sparks a process of ongoing inner transformation and empowerment known as ‘human revolution.’”
so pretty much i think i’m religious or a buddhist now or something.