I wrote the following as at a Natalie Goldberg writing and meditation workshop at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe in June. At the time, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the austerity of the Zen practice I was sampling. Then yesterday I thought of this piece and dug it out, after yet another disappointing visit to a Unitarian Universalist church. I’ve been dissatisfied with what I’ve been experiencing in various spiritual/religious communities (have also tried out Pagan/Wicca practice, and revisiting the liberal Presbyterianism of my upbringing) – and now I’m trying to figure out what’s next.
So what do you think? What would be part of your ideal religion? What are benefits of joining an already established tradition/community versus creating something new? Who wants to help me bring into being some of what I’ve sketched out here?
My religion is going to have a big Goddess, with juicy hips. She’s going to be as big as the Earth, and be the Earth and be bigger than the stars.
We will believe in the love between mother and child, and worship creation.
We will meditate, but only in comfortable ways, and we’ll stretch together.
We will have a practice of dancing, where we dance joy into being.
Pure giggling will be our home state; we will work to reveal our true natures of amused contentment.
We will sing Girl Scout songs and Indigo Girls and worship the holy roasted marshmallow.
We will believe in ghosts and worship our ancestors. We will find our roots in the trees, and in every lineage, physical/DNA and invented via any sort of new creation – family trees grafted together.
We will heal old wounds and be present to each other’s suffering.
We will honor our own bodies first, and be guided by our dreams.
In my religion, people will believe things that are true and trust in mystical unknowns larger than a star’s lifespan.
In my religion, we will write the texts and study them, and burn them as an offering to the unknown.
We will reach back to processes forgotten and hurtle forward with our exuberance.
The crow caws, and the birds will lead us in our flights to the heavens.
We will not be afraid, we will come together in blankets of healing and peace, and hold all night vigils.
We will honor silence, and hold the crumbling Earth in our hands.
We will recreate creation in our gardens, and our bodies, and our communities. We will speak one language and many.
In my religion, we will feel free and connected and unafraid.