Buddhism. Why Not? Pt 1

FYI – Every now and then I post something from my other blog here. It’s a one way ticket. I don’t post this stuff there. So, yeah. You can feel kinda special lol, cuz you are!


page_letters-COMINGOUTdidn’t grow up with Jesus. Or Mary. Or Joseph. Steepled churches, stained glass windows and the Bible were all kind of a mystery to me when I was a kid. I remember attending a black Baptist church when I was about 3.  A small, white, one-roomed building with deep mahogany pews and sunlit walls. It was where the colored congregated every Sunday to listen to The Preacher.

Shiny, brown-skinned folk strutted spectacular in their Sunday best and exotic plumage. A rare form of peacock indeed. I must have been fostered temporarily with God-fearing folk who felt the need to introduce me to the Lord, hence my memory of this Baptist church. I don’t remember ever meeting him though. What I do remember is being terrified by the wailing and moaning and fainting in the presence of Praise-Him-Hallelujah.

And the singing was kinda cool.

To be honest, Religion kinda scares me.

The idea of some omnipotent, wrathful, White GOD living in the sky who, if displeased by your behavior, will strike you down and condemn you to burn in the everlasting bowels of Hell ~ FOREVER ~ is just a little friggin terrifying to me. And truly horrific things have been done in the name of Religion since the beginning of time. But Religion is way too big a topic for this little blog, and it’s not my intention to offend or discriminate anyone or their belief system.

So, before I go on, I have to qualify that when I refer to Religion in this post, I am referring to Christianity.

I’m Canadian. I live in Canada. Love my country! And in Canada, Christianity is the largest religion. We don’t really have an official religion because we totally support the worldview that one religion is not the sole and exclusive source of Truth. We’re very open-minded about this sort of stuff and I’m down with that. Our right to choice of religious belief is a huge part of our political culture and makes me proud to be part of such a socially progressive nation. I think that’s why so many folks love us. And want to be us. Yay, Canada! We is diversified. 🙂

Having said that, Christians represent 67.3% of the population, with the Catholic Church having the most faithful attendees. Interestingly enough, according to the 2011 Census, (information about religion is only collected once every 10 years), Islam is the second largest religion in Canada, practiced by 3.2% of the population.

I think I’m a little surprised by that statistic.

But, somewhere in between the Christians and Muslims living in Canada, 23.9% of our total population has NO Religion at all. 

And this two-part post is sorta-kinda-loosely for those people.

The 23.9%.

Of which I am most definitely ONE.


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As a brown child growing up in middle-class, white suburbia, I was faced with reactions to my difference. A lot. They were thinly veiled beneath civility and politeness. But they were there just the same. By the time I was 7 and officially adopted, I had developed a not-so-fragile thicker skin. Curious stares no longer affected me. As much.

We didn’t have a lot of religious overtones in our house. My adoptive Mother was Armenian and her loosely termed religious bent was Presbyterian. My Dad is Welch and at some point adopted the Bahá’í Faith; a teaching of the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Mom kinda poo-pooed his choice of Religion, but I don’t think she really cared one way or another. Religion was the least of their differences. She may not have been big on Religion, but I do remember going to Sunday School in her Presbyterian church.

Sunday School was very confusing to me.

All the beautiful, colorful illustrations in the Children’s Bible Storybooks depicted white angels, a white God, and a white Jesus. Admittedly, he was a little tanned. 😉 And all the children gathered around Jesus on those pages? Yeah, they were all white too. Apparently, brown children didn’t exist when Jesus walked the earth.

Without a physically identifiable biblical figure or any sweet, angelic-looking brown-skinned children in the storybooks, I was lost in a sea of Whiteness. I could not make any spiritual connection. Once I asked my Sunday School teacher why no-one in the stories looked like me. She didn’t really have an answer. Not one that satisfied me enough to make me feel included and deserving of God’s Love.

How friggin sad is that?

It was the late 60’s. Civil movements and equality were definitely on the rise. Protests against wars were being staged. Causes and reasons were abundant for every situation. The world was changing in powerful ways. But in Small-Town-Anywhere, Canada, no-one had an answer for why there were no brown children in the Children’s Bible Storybooks.

Sunday School quickly became just another place where my difference was obvious. Where my Not Enough-Ness took root. Where I didn’t really belong. I was the only brown kid in my Sunday School, in my classroom,  in my neighborhood, and in my family. Everyone could see that I was different. And I could see them seeing my difference. Good Christian parents pushing down the pointing fingers of their Good Christian children or shushing them if they were too inquisitively loud about my difference. It didn’t matter that in my home, skin color was of no concern.

The world judged.

After services, everyone gathered for a few minutes in front of the church so the adults could say their Hello’s and How Are You’s. Share news, invites and quietly judge each-other. My Mom was a terrible gossip and she reveled in pointing out the hypocrisy of these God-fearing people. She really had little use for people in general.

The kids would run around, tagging, laughing and generally blowing off whatever do-good thing they had learned that morning. I usually stood by myself. Close to Mom. It was awkward. None of those kids were neighbors or friends. I wasn’t a part of the click. One Sunday, as I waited patiently for Mom to stop chatting, this little girl about 5 years old ~ me being a grown up 8 years old ~ walked up to me and without a word, pushed her finger into my cheek, and dragged it down my face. Then she looked at her finger in surprise.

She thought my brown would rub off.

Yeah.

That was pretty much the last day I formally attended church.

The following weekend, my Mom gave me a choice.

I chose to stop attending Sunday School.


Part 2 ~ Next Tuesday. At The Buddha Neuron.  If you like this, check it out! 🙂

Till then…

OWN YOURSELF!

ACCEPT, EMBRACE & LOVE

EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU YOU!

And Namaste your ASS off!

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Photo Inspired #1

Contextual

The words

Are written

Unspoken.

Etched deep

In every curve

And shadow

Of my body.

Asleep.

And awake.

Inside.

And out.

Awaiting a reverent discourse.

Can you read me?

Feel me?

Comprehend

These words

You can’t hear me saying?

Trapped in the silence

A prisoner of my skin?

The need is barely restrained.

New Find, Indira

When You Fall In Love With A Poet

Author: Indira Reddy/Medium

Fall for a poet and she will spend hours thinking about the elbow that grazes her as you stroll hand in hand.

She will spend eons trying to capture in words, the look on your face as her hands trail down your body.

She will write pages on your hair; the way it drops right after you run. The perfect tousled look in the early sun.

She will notice the half-smile that threatens to break out during rom-coms. Despite a steady disavowal of such fare.

She will watch those dark curling lashes lying like a soft wave on smooth skin. Geometric perfection on imperfect human.

She will observe the way your body moves, your face emotes, your hands speak, your voice feels and your touch sings. And write a poem or a hundred, on you.

So, be prepared to see yourself.

When you fall in love with a poet.

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I absolutely loved this at first read. The editor in me would change a few things lol, but the poet in me releases the critic. Well done, Indira. ❤️

Exhausted

Music is back. Yay!

I’m so glad.

Means life inside me is stirring again.

It’s so much a part of who I am.

And it’s been missing for over a month now.

Discovered a new-to-me artist last week.

Tyra B.  Tyra B.  Tyra B.  Tyra B.  Tyra B

Former Girl. Now Boi.

Love her story. Her vibe. And the music she’s producing.

Fun. Sexy. Real.

Doing her thing. 31. Proud. And Finally Out.

A subject close to my heart with the death of my friend.

Today an older song came on while I was cleaning.

And it stopped me in my tracks.

I actually had to sit down and play it again.

And then again.

Blown away how the lyrics represented a moment in my life.

So perfectly.

And cut into me.

So deeply.

I cried.

Silly tears of a sentimental, fractured heart.

Maybe in acknowledgement.

The final reckoning of my unrelenting denial.

Complete.

I remember when she said this exact thing to me.

That she was Exhausted.

I remember how my heart broke.

Because I understood.

And knew she was never really coming back.

It hurt so much then. And it still hurts now.

Yeah…

After all this time.

I am endlessly surprised by the tenacity of this Love.

How it sneaks up on me in moments of unsuspect.

Stimulating memory of touch and kiss and feelings.

It’s unfair!

I don’t want to be that woman.

Stuck in that story.

Of a Life that no longer exists.

It doesn’t matter that I recognize the truth in these lyrics.

That’s the very reason they resonate so deep.

In my heart. In my mind.

In the sensitive curvature of my skin.

It doesn’t matter that it was a lifetime ago.

And yet.

Just the blink of an eye.

It doesn’t matter that I held fast to the belief.

That when you love as much as I loved her.

You stay.

Because she taught me…

Otherwise.

Every line in this song paints our ending.

From the first to the last.

It’s crazy.

But it’s true.

The tears I wipe away are the proof.

For Fuck Sakes.

Fast Foward.

Next song please!

I Need My Space Back :)

So…after debating on this issue for the past week, on and off, I have decided that Coming Out Crooked needs to go back to it’s original format. My reasons are simple. I need my space back. This space was never meant for business consumption. It was meant to be a personal space for me to work out my shit. To capture the journey of my coming out and my life, with all the pain, the sadness, the joy and the love that has been in. I think it’s important that I keep this space for me.

This message is specifically for the followers that have joined ‘my tribe‘ in the past few weeks based on the positivity messages posted here in my JUST DO YOU newsletter. I have a new home for those messages, and for the newsletter, and it’s intention is clear. If you’d like to continue to follow me on that particular journey which is catered more to positive personal development and the power of self-talk, then please find me here!

www.thebuddhaneuron.com

It’s a brand new site. A new venture. A new journey. And it’s literally being built as I write this lol so it will be changing constantly until it’s all done! But the BLOG is up and running and new posts will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. Right now, it’s where my true focus is so please feel free to join me. Everyone is invited lol. The Buddha Neuron is just as much a part of me as Coming Out Crooked. It just has a different focus. I’m a Gemini. Nuff said! Lol

That’s it!

Have an AWESOME weekend! And perhaps I will see you on the other side!

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