The Rational Religion

While I’ve pulled back from the belief that everyone should meditate, as I now feel that it’s a practice that resonates with certain people at certain times, I do feel that Vipassana can address a current void in our society. Over the last 60 years people have been leaving the church in ever increasing numbers. Having a relationship with God, or connecting over the values of the church have become less of a priority for individuals today. I would argue that the advancement of science has pushed logic ahead of faith in peoples minds, so when the church couldn’t find rational answers for the inquisitive minds of today, people left.

Unfortunately, by leaving the church because it didn’t have all the answers, we also left a strong community that taught us moral values. Some people explored the concept of spirituality, which I’ll define as a personal faith outside of the structure of organized religion, but with everyone trying to reinvent the wheel many of us got lost.

The population that I feel could really benefit from Vipassana is the group that doesn’t agree with the traditional organized religions, understand science alone doesn’t have the answers, wants to benefit from the wisdom of the past, believes in the importance of community and morality, and can’t justify taking action on blind faith. This may be a long list of parameters to define this population, but I think there are large number of people, especially between 20 and 40 years old, who fit into this group. While Vipassana is personal journey, by walking the same path, a community will slowly continue to grow. As it grows, maybe we will reinherit the positive strengths of faith and religion back into our society. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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