Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Worship? Honor? Venerate? What?

This jumps off from the "Who do you work with" thread elsewhere, which Sage started over the weekend. In my response there I explained that as a Vajrayana Buddhist, I don't "worship" in the sense that most folks use that term. I honor, yes, I venerate, yes--but I don't worship.

I don't supplicate. I don't pray for guidance, or assistance, or what have you. I chant, to align myself more completely with a given emanation of Buddha (be that one of the 21 Taras, or Avalokiteshvara, or Medicine Buddha, or another). I chant, to focus and center myself in a place of calm. I light candles and/or incense, to honor Buddha's gift of the Dharma. I light a candle for HHDL, the incarnation of Avalokiteshvara and the head of Tibetan Buddhists around the world.

But don't tell me I worship. I know what worship feels like--and this ain't it, as they say.

So--what do YOU do? How do you define your interactions with the divine, for lack of a more comprehensive term?

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