Welcome to my blog about my spiritual journey as a non-believer. When I turned 23 (young, I know), I found myself seeking answers to many of life’s questions through the development of my own faith and learning about the faith of others. According to Sharon Daloz Parks, author of The Critical Years: Young Adults and the Search for Meaning, Faith, and Commitment (1986), faith is the activity of seeking and discovering meaning in the most comprehensive dimensions of our experience. I’m eager to discover such meaning in the most comprehensive dimensions; the question then becomes: Through what lens?
I’ve chosen to pursue my spiritual journey through Christianity.
Although my parents are Buddhist, I was raised nonreligious. I was not required to practice a specific religion, not to say I wasn’t involved in Buddhist rituals. I prayed (rarely) with incense at temple and at home. I left out fruit at my grandparents house for our ancestors. I even attended what I called “Buddha Camp” for two back-to-back summers. I learned a few things about Buddhism during that experience, some of which are more than likely misrepresentations of the religion: that it’s wrong to kill living things (even bugs), you don’t eat meat, you don’t speak while you eat, you do a lot of chores, and mornings consist of mandatory yoga at 6 a.m. and 30 minutes of meditation afterward. Needless to say (or maybe not), those practices haven’t stuck with me.
My initial motivation to develop my faith was deeply rooted in my desire to be a better person. You might have noticed that religion is a very positive thing, and believing and aligning yourselves with religious beliefs usually makes you a better person. I say usually because some people take it to an extreme–sometimes an incredibly hurtful one. The Christian faith is, in my opinion, a remarkable thing. People, driven by their religious ideologies, are capable of doing both miraculous and horrifying things. Yet, despite all of the bad that people do and say as a result of taking matters into their own hands (e.g. Shirley Phelps Roper), one cannot argue that the values, beliefs, and charges of Christianity are very good.