I ran across the term double belonging during my training in spiritual direction in Arizona. If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), it’s a relatively new term used to describe people who ascribe to one particular religious tradition (e.g. Christianity) but also learn from another tradition (e.g. Buddhism).
You may have even heard people describe themselves as Jew-Bus (Jewish Buddhists) or Buddha-palians (Episcopalian Buddhists). What would a Presbyterian Buddhist be called? Buddha-terian?
While I’m not advocating synchronicity, I do believe we have a lot to learn from each other, both within our own tradition and from people of other faiths. Particularly with people whose spiritual paths involve meditation, there are many similarities between different religious practices. Thomas Merton, for example, was well known for being influenced by Buddhist meditation techniques as he practiced and taught Christian contemplative meditation.
So let’s try a very simple and open-ended Forward Friday:
This weekend, take some time to explore other faith traditions in your area.
You could attend a Jewish temple or try a yoga class. If you’re not sure how to get started, try picking up a book from your local library on comparative religion or a specific tradition you’ve always been curious about.
Remember, this exercise is not designed to encourage you to embrace a new set of beliefs in place of your own or to create opportunities for proselytizing. Just be curious, courteous, and conscious of what pieces of truth you might pick up along the way.
Happy weekend, lovely readers! Come back and tell me all about it.