Swadharma

Anyone who’s ventured into more than one religion – at once or separately – can attest to the comfort, joy, and simple benefit of knowing where your “home” is. Having been born into a non-religious family, I suppose I was blessed with the option of choosing my own path and making my own home.

As a teen I found myself enjoying the school band, and eventually found myself in the high school marching band. (As an aside, my hometown had the USA’s first high school marching band.) Every year we’d go away for week or so to a remote location, entirely inescapable, and have band camp. Anyone who’s watched the America Pie movies snickers when someone supposedly has a band camp story. Please let me verify, band camp IS like that.

My band camp story is one of religion, though, instead of teen sex-capades. We held band camp at a theological seminary and for a week we literally lived as monks. (I was in heaven, no joke, and have hinted at this in past posts.) Somewhere amidst all the torture and antics, a guy invited me to church. THAT is my band camp story.

Shortly after returning from band camp, I went to church – Jesus stuck to me and the rest is virtually history. For a few years following, I was a veritable monster for The Christ.

It was horrible. And it came to a very lonely and painful end when they learned that not only did I have no plans to marry someone of the opposite sex, but also that I was happy as such. I thought I had found my spiritual home. I was wrong. A few years later, after a brief journey with paganism, I managed to find Hinduism and have been home since.

I read another blogger’s post recently that reminded me of my journey – although hers is her own and is currently still pagan. I’m reminded of a huge lesson taken from the Gita of the importance and immense benefit of knowing one’s own dharma and following it – this applies to one’s religion or spiritual choices as well as the general life path one takes.

In closing, I’ll share a video of a song that has been with me since my pagan days. I sing it regularly, although the significance for me has changed slightly. I hope you enjoy it, I hope you learn to sing it too, and above all I hope you are able to hear The Voice and known your path as fully as possible. Home is where we started, after all, and is where we’re returning.

Om Shanti

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