Joanne DuPonte

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    Joanne DuPonte

    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. -Buddha

    I think people confuse religion and spirituality. Following a religion, even if you have been raised to believe it is true and therefore believe it is, is not the same as finding your spirituality. Following the teaching of another and accepting them as truth because we have been instructed to does not mean we have found our spirituality, it just means you have accepted another persons truths to be your own. Spirituality means you have found your own truths.

    I was raised Catholic in a strict Catholic family. I recieved all my rights of passage but never stopped questioning what I was being taught. I envied those who could have such faith in something I found so hard to believe. However, I never stopped knowing that there was something greater beyond what this world has to offer and that this was just one chapter in a whole story of who I was.

    I researched and studied and searched for answers to my questions which is what brought me to Eastern belief systems and it was if a light switch had been turned on within me. As I read the teaching of Zen Buddhism it was as if all the questions I had ever had were being handed to me all in one place. I often explain the epiphany, not as learning something I chose to believe but as reading something I just knew to be true. It all made sense to me once I found a path.

    No matter what a person beleives or chooses to believe, in the end we will all answer to the same divine, so how we choose to see or worship while we are here is up to the individual.

    There is no one right answer to living a spiritual life, it is all about what is right for you.

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