I’m reminded each year around Easter how much I adore my family. Much like last year, this year I’m especially aware of how tolerant my wife has been as I have begun to follow a different spiritual path — now more than a year — and how much this tolerance supports me on that path.
Often, I read and hear of quarrels in families over views, most not so “important” as spirituality; matters such as money or politics. If things like that can drag people apart, how much more so could spirituality? Yet my wife remains committed to our marriage, to raising our children together and living harmoniously, as do I.
Simply put, there are so many ways in which the last year could have gone wrong, yet none of those avenues were followed by either of us.
Her tolerance supports my faith in the teachings in ways that I suspect she will never totally understand. It is, at a minimum, evidentiary of the workings of kamma; that acts of bodily, verbal, and mental lovingkindness bring good fruit, good results, while acts based in delusion, hatred, and greed bring about the opposite. This not just in some future life, but right now, and in the next minute, or hour, or day, or year.
I suppose this is sorta like reaping what you sow, right?
Ultimately, I think there are more commonalities in religion than differences anyway. Jesus spoke of “turning the other cheek” and giving even when you only have a little. The core values of kindness, generosity, patience, and wholesomeness are pretty universal, and I think could be agreed upon by even those who would assign themselves to the “atheist” or “agnostic” crowds.
Oddly, seeing this universality in religion helps me keep my mind fixed on staying out of debates on doctrine, arguments about the creation of the world, and conceptualizations such as “this is better than that.” I can see the differences, but I’ll leave the evaluating of the qualities of those differences to someone who is looking for a fight.
And maybe in some strange way my wife sees this the same way?
Honestly, I haven’t asked her. I just know that neither of us is particularly looking for an argument, and we seem to be generally encouraging to each other even when we’re not quite sure what to say about one another’s spiritual leanings.
And in the end, is there really any difference between she and I?
That would be a conceit.
So tomorrow morning I will go to church instead of temple, and I will observe Easter with my family, and the funny thing (in my opinion) is that I’m looking forward to it. When I’m with my family, it isn’t really about differentiating between Buddhist and Christian, it is just about being with them and doing the right thing.
Be well, friends. Have a happy Easter!