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Barack Obama’s Spirituality

I was born into a Roman Catholic family, attended Sunday school and Mass once a week when I was a kid…and then somewhere along the line we stopped going.  I can’t remember what the reasoning was for not going to church anymore, both of my parents attended Catholic school and had a fairly strong religious upbringing.  It might have been too difficult dragging 4 kids to church, or because we moved quite a bit, or because my mom raised us by herself, or because of the impact divorce can have on a family.  Either way, I have attended catholic mass more since I have been in Ecuador than I have in the past 20 years.

Let me explain.  I am not finding a calling to the catholic religion here in Cotacachi…rather, Christmas in Ecuador is focused on the birth of Christ and not the consumerist affair we have created in the states.  There were celebrations every night for the 2 weeks leading up to x-mas, and we had fun attending the celebrations with many of our new friends and their children.

In my early 20′s I spent time reading about various religions, trying to find answers to questions I had about “my religion” as well as larger questions about the meaning of all of this.  To this day I can remember vividly the confusion I had as a kid about our religion, after sitting for an hour and a half (actually it was more like stand, sit, kneel, sit, stand, sit, kneel, sit, stand) listening to a sermon about “doing the right thing” and “treating your fellow man with dignity and respect” we would all rush to our cars and try and be the first one’s out of the parking lot.  Voices were raised, fists shaken, and plenty of curse words filled the parking lot of our church as we cut each other off trying to be the first out of the lot.  This confusion of a 10 year old boy stayed with me, stays with me to this day in fact, and I have never accepted formalized religion into my life.

This is not to say that I do not believe in something larger than myself, but the pursuit of answers has not been an important element of my life…

I have discussed the importance we placed on finding a balance in our lives that had not previously existed, and for me a part of this balance was to explore my spirituality.  I feel as if I am a child again, I have not been in touch with this side of me and it all feels very strange.  The simple act of “opening’ myself to possibilities is a big step.  I have taken this step and am finding the journey thus far feels like the right thing to do.

I am sure for those of you reading this story there is a fair amount of awkwardness  you feel in reading it.  I apologize for my bumbling, but I think that even this elementary discussion of spirituality is important for my learning.

Our family is surrounded with people and culture that embrace both religion and spirituality.  My sense is that the religious elements are the same as you would find in the states, but the elements of spirituality seem to be greater than I have seen or experienced in most places in the states.  Whether this is true or not is not important, what is important is that we are surrounded by an energy of land and people that make our beginning experiences very real and powerful.  On New Years eve we attended a Chanting and Meditation ceremony, both a first for me.  We brought the kids along as well, and it was a wonderful experience for our entire family.  We hope to learn meditation before we leave from a new friend of ours, at least one of the kids will probably participate in this new adventure.

What does all of this have to do with Obama?  Glad you asked…

I was talking to a friend here in Ecuador about the inauguration, I gave him my opinion on the Obama speech and he told me that a friend of his created an Astrological Assessment of Barack Obama.  I would not have thought twice about this 6 months ago, but as we try to find balance and incorporate spirituality into our lives we are open to other points of view.  Besides, the astrological reading provides a message of hope for our country and the world…

Here is the link to Barack Obama’s Astrological Assessment if you care to read it.

Peace be with you…

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