Gettin’ Religion

No surprises here.

You scored as Buddhism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Buddhism. Do more research on Buddhism and possibly consider becoming Buddhist, if you are not already.

In Buddhism, there are Four Noble Truths: (1) Life is suffering. (2) All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance. (3) Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment. (4) The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right-mindedness, and right contemplation. These eight are usually divided into three categories that base the Buddhist faith: morality, wisdom, and samadhi, or concentration. In Buddhism, there is no hierarchy, nor caste system; the Buddha taught that one’s spiritual worth is not based on birth.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
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Intersting though. I found this quiz through Michael, and decided to take it myself. Then I read what Michael had to say about his own religious upbringing and thought I’d post a bit about my own.

I was brought up in a very religious home, southern and baptist. In fact, there have been a number of ordained ministers in my family. (And, no, I’m not counting my online ordination from the Universal Life Church during my college days.) The bible was to be taken literally, period. As long as we lived at home, we were going to go to church, period. No questions, no arguments. I’ve written about my encounter with my mom over my being gay, when she immediately confronted me with the bible. Since then, I think my parents have gotten more religious as they’ve gotten older. The outgoing message on their answering machine is a bible verse.

Growing up and discovering my orientation, I had plenty of reasons to question the religious beliefs I was brought up with. I didn’t find any answers or acceptance in the faith I was raised in, and it became stifling to the point that I couldn’t wait until could leave home and explore other beliefs. Which is what I did when I went off to college.

It’s intersting that my next highest score was paganism, because I certainly did explore the whole “new age spirituality” scene in college. I read everything I could get my hand on, and even got into crystals for a while. I’m sure I helped the local new age bookstore stay afloat for a while. For the rest of my college years I drifted between that and a sojourn in the Episcopal church for a while. By the time I got to D.C., I pretty much had to check the “Other” box when it came to religion.

It wasn’t until I’d been in D.C. for a few years that I began studying Buddhism. I was on a date one evening, with a guy I didn’t really like, and wasn’t planning on dating again. After having dinner we went for a walk around the Dupont Circle area, and we walked past a secondhand book store. I have a thing about bookstores. I can’t stay out of them. So, predicatbly, I drifted towards this one, and we went in. I didn’t buy any books that night, but on the way out I saw a poster on the store’s bulletin board, advertising a series of lectures on Buddhism at a nearby art gallery. I took down the information and made plans to attend. I’d always been curious about Buddhism, but never learned much about it.

The next week, I went to the first lecture and listened to what the speaker had to say. I don’t remember what he said exactly, but I remember being struck with a sense of familiarity. Afterwards, I bought one of the introductory books about Buddhism that were for sale, went home, and dove into it. At some point while I was reading that book, it was like a bell went off. What I was reading about the basics of Buddhism basically matched up with the personal belief system I’d cobbled together over the years from bits and pieces of other things I’d explored. It made sense to me, and it was as though I’d been a Buddhist all along and just didn’t know it.

Since then I’ve tried to practice on my own, and occasionally with a (now defunct) gay & lesbian Buddist study and meditation group that used to meet in the area. At present I’m without a physical sangha, except for the one “at large.”

So, that’s a bit of my spiritual biograpy, which I don’t think I’ve shared here before. I’m far from an expert on Buddhism or anything else. I’m just practicing and doing the best I can.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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