Closer to Christianity

I was baptized, but I’ve never claimed to be Christian. It made more sense to seek out truth independently than inside the walls of a church. The “leap of faith” a Christian takes seemed more like an accepted veil of ignorance for personal comfort than a divine guide. I got so caught up with the unprovable belief that I wrote off all the other qualities Christianity embodies.

Vipassana connected me with the importance of living a moral life. Instead of intellectualizing how morality created the foundation for a safe and functional society, I experienced directly how morality could bring peace and happiness to me personally. Instead of feeling taken advantage of by someone cheating the system, I learned how those people were suffering inside. After a few deep breathes, I can accept that Christianity was trying to teach me these things from the beginning. I need to develop faith to keep listening within even when I’m not sensitive enough to feel the answer. Isn’t that pretty close to what they teach in church?

The second quality is the value of community support to live a wholesome life. I constantly succumb to temptation when I’m alone in the world, but with the support of good friends and family, I more successful with staying on the bath. The Church provides the infrastructure for this social support. By bringing everyone together once a week and revisiting a commitment to morality and wholesome living, many people find the strength to continue walking the path. This is a wonderful thing.

When I first found Vipassana, I thought I had finally found an answer to disprove Christianity. Instead, I’m learning that the foundational values of the Church have been more advanced than my beliefs all along. Now, I’m more Christian than I’ve ever been before.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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One Response to Closer to Christianity

  1. Victor says:

    Christianity as taught during Catechism and prayer service is a religion of rites and rituals. It messes with your head since it is based on fear of eternal damnation. Herein lies its greatest shortcoming because it is embedded in the head and is not deeply heartfelt.

    Christianity’s most powerful teaching is emobodied in the word “Agape”. The full meaning of this word is realised during the 3rd stage of Vipassana during Metta (Loving Kindness) meditation when the meditator experiences a fountain of love gushing forth outward towards every sentient being. This is the moment when one becomes most Christ like.

    There is a school of thought which suggests Christ immersed himself in eastern mysticism including perhaps in intensive meditation during the 20 year period when he “dropped out” of the Biblical narrative. Love your enemy (it will drive him crazy :-)) is a contra-intuitive teaching that was propounded by Gautama 500 years before Christ.

    As a great Vipassana teacher says – those of every faith must take one Vipassana course – then they will become much better Christians, Muslims, Hindus or whatever.

    Sadly within all Buddhist countries the lay people are far from encourage to practice Vipassana. Instead in these Buddhist countries the simple teaching of Gautam to end misery by living in the present moment and cultivating agape has been corrupted into mindless worship of Buddha images.

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