Growing up my parents were not sure what religion my sisters and I should have. My grandmother was Jewish and my grandfather was Catholic so when my mother and her brothers were born they disagreed on what religion to use and therefore my mother grew up without one. When my sisters and I were born my mother decided to raise us Catholic. Of course as a child I really did not understand any of what I heard read out to me from bibles, it all seemed like gibberish to me. Yet, I went to church as I was supposed to and even received my communion and confirmation. It wasn’t until I grew up and moved away that I decided Catholicism was not for me.
When my own children were born Catholicism was all I knew and that my ex (their father) was raised the same I decided it was only fair to raise them the same way. However, in time I started to remember why I had so many issues with the Catholic faith and it became increasingly difficult to take my kids to church as most kids simply cannot sit still for an hour without making noise and I just couldn’t take the eyes glaring at me. Eventually we stopped going altogether.
One day a few years ago I was introduced to Buddhism. Having been raised as a Catholic I have to admit that the idea seemed a little odd to me at the time. However, now I can honestly tell you that the temple is the one place in the world where I feel completely relaxed (even when I bring my kids)! I cannot say that I know all there is to know about Buddhism however the more I go to the temple the more I learn.
As an “outsider” walking into the temple for the first time a few years ago I was worried what people might think of me. Would I stand out like a sore thumb? Would people walk up to me and tell me that I did not belong? Far from it! As it turns out, I was instantly welcomed. Now several years later I feel like the temple is one of my favorite places to be, and the simple act of feeding the Monks gives me much pleasure. I go as often as I can and have even taken a meditation class there a few weeks ago (I would highly recommend it)!
Of course I know that everyone has their opinion on religion. My mother in the past decade or so has become a Seventh Day Adventist, which does not bother me at all. I don’t consider myself Catholic any longer but I know that I am not quite Buddhistyet either. Either way I am happy to be there. Now if only I spoke the language (thankfully many monks and many people at the temple speak English too).