Taking the middle path…my journey

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

Trying to find my voice as a writer is one of the most difficult things I have done. Finding the way I want to interpret my thoughts, dreams, nightmares and fantasies in book form is difficult. Finding my voice outside of writing with philosophy and teachings I have learned from books, the internet and putting them to use in my daily life is sometimes more difficult than putting the words on the page. I came to learn the Buddhist teachings a little by chance and a little with my own searching. Growing up I had two different religious philosophies in my parents houses.  From early on my father had us going to the LDS (Mormon) church. I went only because I was too young to understand what was going on.

Later my mother took me and my sisters to an Assembly of God church, this was an experience that I found troubling, especially as a child that never had any real religious teachings. After my mother’s attempt at putting God into our lives I did not go to church but a few times until my teens. I attended a Baptist church which I enjoyed but found myself still searching for something different. After high school and being discharged from the military after only a week I set upon a search for where I should be. I began to read different philosophies on religion. I read the King James, the Holy Quran, different schools of Buddhism other Eastern Religions. It was not until I saw an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama that I started looking at Buddhism.

I attended the Baptist church once with my future wife, she thought it was weird. She grew up in a mostly LDS household. Her mother holds onto that faith today, her father is more complicated. While I have known him he has gone to different religions. After attending the church with my future wife, I came back to Buddhism. It always seemed to me the right fit for my views on life, the way one should treat others and the way the world seemed to work.

My children are a different story. Since my son was born we have always had a Buddha in the house. He has never meditated with me. I believe each person should find themselves with a religion or spiritual philosophy that they feel suits them best. This is what my wife and I decided on before we had kids. My son has a Buddha in his room, he knows a bit about who Buddha was and why daddy cares so much for the five Buddhism statues we have in the house.

Recently he has asked me more about Buddha and why my Zafu sits in front of Buddha. I purchased a few books about Siddhartha and Buddhist teachings for kids. He wants to learn more and my wife and I have chosen to embrace his new curiosity. I believe that I did not choose to take this path, the path selected me, I only had to find it. To teach my son my beliefs with an open mind is not something I  offered to me as a child. I had to find my open mind and embrace the teachings presented to me. By embracing the teachings I am calmer, less prone to outbursts or anger. I have also found true calling in writing.


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