It is possible to have studied numerous different traditions, but the study of a tradition does not mean we have “become” that, even a little bit. Many people have a faith of choice and then add to their philosophical and spiritual armory the ideas they are attracted to within other traditions. Many, for example, will be drawn to the Buddhist teaching on compassion and use Buddhist chants and breathing techniques for meditation or “being present” in the moment. The use of these techniques is only a part of what it means to be Buddhist.
As a minister, on any given Sunday you may hear me speak from the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, or even the Old Testament, but it does not mean I am either Christian, Buddhist or Jewish. It only means that I have borrowed from their traditions to make a point as it pertains to the teaching of the Centers for Spiritual Living.
One thing I have learned is that at the esoteric level all the religions lead a person to a moral, compassionate, loving life with an underlying desire to contribute to the greater good of society.
I think it’s important to have an understanding of many different traditions for the purpose of respect and understanding that can lead to an acceptance of the other person as a valuable individual within the community.
The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.
He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.