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Greetings From Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada


Monty
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Greetings From Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

 

I slowly became disenchanted with mainline churches and started reading other viewpoints. One of the first was "Putting Away Childish Things" by Uta Ranke-Heinemann. I found my beliefs drifting further and further from mainline Christianity. Feeling the need to fill this void I researched a few religions to see if something resonated and Buddhism did.

 

I began taking Buddhist meditation classes, workshops and retreats in 1995 at the Shambhala Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia and have been meditating on and off since that time with just as much "off" as "on". What Buddhist meditation and Buddhism in general lacks is a clear connection with God. Much of Buddhist philosophy is profound and complex where language itself can literally be a barrier to understanding. I have only a superficial understanding of Buddhism, but over time, I found that I still needed a connection with God which Buddhism doesn't have.

 

Over the years I've continued to read both Buddhist and Christian books - reading a few of Ken Wilber's books; most of the books by Marcus Borg, A.H. Almaas, Michael Morwood, Cynthia Bourgeault, Tom Harpur, Jim Marion; and some of Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, John Dominic Crossan, Robin Meyers, Bart Ehrman, John Cobb, Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, Robert Mesle, Acharya S/D.M. Murdock, Eckhart Tolle, Barrie Wilson, Diarmuid O'Murchu, Thomas Merton, Denis Genpo Merzel, Elaine Pagels, John Shelby Spong, Brock and Parker, and many others.

 

So I found myself in sort of a no-mans land - in the historical definition neither a Buddhist nor a Christian. Specifically I do believe in God, but there didn't seem to be a place for me to hang my hat. I believe that Jesus is special in the same way that the Buddha or many saints are special. I believe that God is present in Jesus in the same way that God is present in all of us, although Jesus and many saints seem to have had a more direct and succinct realization of this. I do believe in 20 years Christianity will have changed dramatically.

 

I really like this sentence I just read today from John Shelby Spong "Buddhists clearly believe in God, but not in a deity who is defined in theistic terms."

 

I joined the Canadian Christian Mediation Community group at my wife's church in Dartmouth, NS in September of 2010 and continue group meditation with them. In my eyes the Christian Meditation Community started by John Main and continued on by Laurence Freeman is very similar to the Contemplative Outreach Centering Prayer of Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourgeault.

 

My wife and I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and I helped her return after a very long absence and she is happy in her faith, but unfortunately the RC doctrine of belief is so far from mine I don't attend.

 

I am an avid book reader, but I keep running out of shelf space! I order all my books online as the prices are significantly less. I use Amazon.ca (Canada), Chapters.ca (Canada) and The BookDepository.com (UK), but before buying anything I check reviews on Amazon.com (USA). One of the nice things about Amazon is that further related books based on one's initial search appear and I believe that may be where I first noticed the book "Integral Christianity" by Paul R. Smith and checked out it's reviews.

 

When I read Paul Smith's book "Integral Christianity" I finally found a place to hang my hat. For those of you that may be interested here is a copy of the book review I left with the online book sellers I noted above:

 

"Integral Christianity by Paul R. Smith is by far the best book I have ever read for someone who has become disenchanted with the supernatural aspects of religion and the doctrine of atonement still advocated by most mainline churches, but still believes in God and the example of Jesus.

 

Integral Christianity advocates an adult faith. I like the fact that rather than spending significant text outlining all the negative aspects of mainline churches, Smith's book is upbeat and positive and written in easy straight forward language.

 

For those of you who have spent much time and effort searching other religions hoping to find a heartfelt alternative, Integral Christianity can give you that while retaining your Christian historical and cultural heritage."

 

I hope you don't mind the rather long introduction. I am looking forward to having some interesting discussions with all of you.

 

Monty

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Welcome, Monty! Nice intro and I look forward to getting to know you better! Glad to see another avid reader! I hope you find this a friendly, open community and discover lots of stimulating conversations!

 

BillM

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Monty and Welcome. I'm brand new as well and live only a two hour drive from you in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, more down towards Digby way. It's not often you see two introductions on boards from people in Nova Scotia. Greetings!

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Hi Diamond,

 

And a warm welcome to you too! I checked and there are a few Nova Scotians here.

 

My desktop computer has developed major problems so I'm on my tablet which lm not very good at using. Real slow.

 

Hopefully I'll be back to normal in a week or so and we can chat more then.

 

 

All the best,

Monty

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