Eating authentic food!
Recently one of our church members asked me, "how can we practice one religion?" I responded to that question, but I also thought I need to write about that here because I think it's an excellent question and a great theological dilemma for a lot of modern and growing Episcopalians.
Here are my thoughts about it. We are to practice spirituality and not religion. We admire and follow the footsteps of religious leaders, like Jesus, for their life rather than the rules and dogmas set by their followers, like Christians or Hindus or Muslims. It’s important to have the strength of one's own identity to have an understanding of others' differences. Or else it will be a mash-up of things without clarity.
Religious principles are identical to each other when you go deeper in spiritual understanding. That's why mystics in any religion such as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, or any other, don't find themselves in conflict with others. You will find mystics among contemplatives. Contemplatives are those who try to listen to God silently, keeping their egos out of the way, and make their dogmas less important.
It’s only when we go deeper in our religious understanding we really understand the unity of all religions. Or else it’s a monkey game of jumping from one to another and reaches nowhere or understands much of any of them because we don’t spend time to understand. We like buffets and choices! Real authentic food can be enjoyed only when we really work at making it authentic without mashing it up, like the TexMex! (Does not mean TexMex is bad. It's just not Mexican food.) It’s because of this I always encourage people not to jump religions because they won’t learn much of anything in the new place, only nuances of the same thing explained, practiced, or talked about in the culture of the new place.
Stay in one place, go deeper, and then all religious jargon will sound unnecessary. Go deeper and you will see it's calmer down there! Stay on the surface, and you will quickly learn that you are ravaged by the raging waves around you. Engage in a deeper understanding of your faith, not peripheral differences!