Few days ago I was sharing about the ‘love’ and about the ‘literature’ branches of my orange tree. Today I will share a bit about the ‘religion’ branch. I would have to say that since very early (my mother? my family? my culture? my country?) I was very impressed about the religious beliefs, and exclusively those from Christianity. Through observing the religious practices in society I started to distinguish your own personal belief from the human structures of the churches and the relations they established with people. Though both were related with personal and collective practices, their difference became important.
It was only in 1992 (I was 41), when me and my family had the opportunity to live four years in Tunisia, when I started to see and feel in my neighbours and friends other practices like being a Muslim (our son Juan David learned the daily prayer in Arabic!) or the Buddhist practices of several of my colleagues or the clear atheism of many others.
It was towards 1996 when I started to learn directly from Josephine Dongail, from Boy Morales (both from the Philippines) and from Sister Elaine McIness (from Canada, living in Oxford) about the meaning of breathing deeply, about the importance of silence and about the value of the different ways of meditation. I began to understand the historical importance of Buddha Sakyamuni, of the four truths and about their close relation that they have with what is happening in our planet. It was the beginning for keeping my soul opened to other religious beliefs and to see the value of inter-faith dialogues and conversations and the strong (very strong and powerful) relation with the products of our agriculture, with how we produce them and the relations that they have with the food that we eat ad the with the quality of our personal and collective reality.
In memory of the importance that they have for our own life today, I want to share with you the ancient Tibetan prayer which I learned from a text written by the Dalai Lama:
Replete with excellence like a mountain of gold,
The triple worlds’ saviors, freed from the three taints,
Are the buddhas, their eyes like lotuses in bloom;
They are the world’s first auspicious blessing.
The teachings they imparted are sublime and steadfast,
Famed in the triple worlds, honoured by gods and humans alike.
That holy teaching grants peace to all sentient beings;
This is the world’s second auspicious blessing.
The sacred community, rich with learning, is honoured
By humans, gods and demi-gods.
That supreme community is modest, yet the site of glory;
This is the world’s third auspicious blessing.
The Teacher has come into our world;
The teaching shines like the sun’s rays;
The teaching masters, like siblings, are harmonious;
Let there thus be auspicious blessings for the teachings to remain for a long time.
All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.