Saturday, August 2, 2008

Here I stand

So I am starting this new blog to help organize my thoughts on what I am. So what am I? I would like to think of myself as a work in progress. While my mother raised me in the Church of Christ, I really didn't agree with what they taught. When I was a teen, I had one of those strange and kooky friends that was into paganism, more specifically voodoo. Our talks, my disatisfaction with the church and my strong interest in mythology and other people in the world, led me into paganism. I was living with my father at the time and he encouraged me to find myself, even though he was really hoping that I would find the church. I read this one book, "By Oak, Ash, and Thorn,"

and it was what defined me for a while. I became a Druid in a grove I named the Silent Rose Grove. I also got into Shamanism and one night after I had taken too many herbal supplements ( it's a long story), I had a fevered dream about traveling through a hole in the ground that lead me to a world below full of the dead that "lived" as if they were still alive. I met with many spirits and was proclaimed to be shaman/druid now. For a while, this was my life.

Traditional Druids

Fantasy Druid

Then I graduated high school and moved from Orlando, to New Orleans. It changed me even more, with the strong pagan community, the voodoo and the Catholic mysticism. I really got into the way of magic there and felt that everything was a sign and everything had something to tell me. I still think of it as the most magical time of my life. But then several very bad things happened to me and I decided to leave New Orleans for my safety and sanity.

Decatur Street, where I used to Live

I moved to South Carolina where I attended Spartanburg Methodist College, and had to go underground. But I was still very different to the people there and it got so bad that I was getting spit on (and not in the wish you luck Greek way.) I moved to Charleston and my spiritual life was put on hold while I tried to fix my physical life, but then another crisis loomed and I decided to move back near my hometown in Florida. My mother got me an apartment next to Brevard Community College and I got a job and buckled down. I got my 2 year degree in a year and then moved back in with my mom for 9 months while I waited to go to the University of Central Florida. While I was with my mom, I started dating a pagan. It was not a good relationship and didn't last long, but I was taken to meet a Santero Priest and the Bishop of Florida (so he said) and he told me that he could see that I was and old soul and that I have been alive 3 times before. He said my first life was as an Atlantean and my last life was as an American Indian. This got me interested in spirituality again and even though he was Santero, it got me into Buddhism (to learn more about reincarnation.)

I studied more about Buddhism and Taoism while I was in University. I became a vegetarian, meditated and did yoga. I started dating a martial artist, whom wanted to teach me White Dragon Kung Fu, which I did want to learn, but not from someone I was sleeping with. We had a huge blow out fight later, when we were both graduating. I wanted to move out west, and that was unacceptable, so we broke up. I still think about that relationship as the one of the best I ever had. I joined the Americorp and moved to New Mexico. There I found a bit of peace in the land itself. It is known as the "Land of Enchantment" for a reason. I still miss the land and the sunsets and the spirituality I felt there. I got into Shamanism again and fell in love with Navajo and Pueblo religious lore. I also learned to merge my Christian upbringing with my new beliefs into something that made me feel almost whole after so many years of searching. But something was missing.

Sunface Kachina

I was still Buddhist and felt I needed to explore that part of myself and so I took a teaching job in Korea. I thought that if I journeyed to the far east I would find the true teachings of Buddhism and be fulfilled enough to take them home with me. Sadly, I found that Korea is in the midst of a spiritual war, as Christians have overtaken the capital city, Seoul, and the constant harrassment to convert has lead to spiritual numbing in me. It is also because they have taken the teachings of the man in strange ways. I witnessed a priest telling his congregation that Koreans automatically go to Heaven by virtue of being Korean and that if you are foriegn and marry a Korean, you will go to heaven as well. The obvious nationalism and bigotry there just disgusted me and made me fell disgusted with my own Christianity. Also, the Buddhism here is not spiritually fulfilling for me. But, there has been one thing here that has led me to being fulfilled. I am now a father and I feel great joy in that. I also feel an urgency to find myself, so that I can help lead my son to himself. I fear though that life in America will be hard, when we show up and are not Christian.

A famous Korean Buddhist monk

Since my son was adopted, and it was a private adoption, the only way to adopt many foreign children (and that no one seems to know about,) we have to wait 2 years before he can get a visa to America. We have actually finished our wait, but I would like to adopt again, and so we are moving to Mongolia. They are in the midst of a buddhist revival there, with many Tibetans having fled to their sisterland. I feel that it may offer me what I am really looking for, both spiritually and family wise.

Mongolian Buddhist Altar

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