Ring bells. Light candles.

As much as I love organization, I’m not a big fan of organized religion. I hope you don’t take offense; I know many love the church. But I struggle with churches that:

  • Dictate behavior.
  • Outlive the usefulness of their traditions.
  • Make you feel bad about yourself (“We are all sinners.”)
  • Offer false kindness.
  • Make a promise that you’ll be “saved” if you just follow their rules.
  • Ask you to say prescribed prayers.
  • Have corrupt leaders who can’t be questioned.
  • Act as an intermediary between you and the greater Universe.
  • Make you feel out-of-place if you don’t dress a certain way.
  • Fight to the death with those who worship a different way.
  • Think their god is the “right” god or the only god.
  • Are exclusive, secretive, or discriminatory.
  • Have only male leaders.
  • Take money from people who can’t afford it.
  • Spend more money on flowers or the building over community projects.

But there are many things I love and think we can learn from the oldest religions. These are things we can bring into our secular lives to help us thrive, do good work, and be happy.

  • Take time each week to be quiet and reflective.
  • Take time daily or weekly to pray or meditate, to connect and be reverential to the greater powers around you.
  • Take care of and be involved at a heart-level with your community; be there when someone in your community needs help.
  • Fast a couple of times a year.
  • Feast a couple of times a year!
  • Be kind to your neighbors and to complete strangers; be welcoming and inclusive.
  • Spend time with a connected group – especially if you get to sing!
  • Take time to ponder the bigger questions of the Universe; to read, learn, and be inspired.
  • Find people who accept you the way you are; find a place you can always come home to.
  • Be accountable for your actions – every day.
  • Tithe – give money to the best charities to do their best work.
  • Ring bells.
  • Light candles.

Sending you the peace of the Universe on a cold evening from the rocky coast of Maine. No picture tonight. I’m not going outside again until it’s above 20 :).

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I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future posts!



6 thoughts on “Ring bells. Light candles.

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