prayer wheels

by Zenaida

Truth sublime, truth eternal…

If all truth fits into one great whole, then where do we draw the line? I have learned some great truths from sources outside the church. In former years, I would simply have either seamlessly integrated them into my Mormon worldview, or dismissed them as being incomplete. During a period of questioning, I allowed myself some freedom to explore other methods of spiritual practice, and I moved into wondering if finding truth from other sources meant I should follow them to the source. Right now, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone has truth, and everyone has something to teach. Being open to learning from friends and strangers of other faiths, or none at all, has taught me some of life’s great lessons in ways that I hadn’t seen before, like the divinity within all human beings.

I want to share something I’ve learned from Tibetan Bhuddism. Prayer wheels are engraved with a prayer and then spun so the faithful can keep this mantra in their minds. It is the same as speaking the mantra aloud. I like this tactile, visual, interactive model for being reminded of important truth. Contemplating the mantra while spinning the wheel is very helpful in meditation.

Om Mani Padme Hum

“In dependence on one’s own practice of patience, generosity, compassion, love, and wisdom, one can transform the imperfect being to a pure exalted body, speech and mind.”

In his book, Ethics for the New Millennium, the Dalai Lama expounds on the principle of compassion. He rhetorically asks if developing compassionate love to the point of the unconditional requires the total abandonment of self-interest. He suggests that on the contrary, serving others interests is the best way to serve our own. One might say, “He who seeks his life shall lose it, and he who loses his life shall find it.”

It is reinvigorating to have truths presented to me from new directions. It helps me feel more connected to my fellow humans.

Have you found truth in exploring other spiritual practices?

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  1. Edie says:

    I like Christian gospel music and there are some Christian gospel shows on TV that I really enjoy watching. I give them a lot of credit for the current faith and level of understanding I currently have in the gospel. I am an active member of the LDS church, but these other Christians introduced new ideas to old principles for me. It gave me my own personal revival to learn and delve into the scriptures. I don’t think I would have had that without their help. I often felt the Spirit while listening to them, sometimes with tears rolling down my cheeks, and I knew that these people were sincere believers. God is no respecter of persons and His Spirit bears witness of all truth.
    Having said that, I must also say that while listening to them, there were many times that I wanted to tell them that they were on the right path, but hadn’t gone far enough. The principles they were teaching had more depth than what they were giving. There were some subjects that they thought were mysteries, yet the LDS faith had the answers. In the end, it gave me a deeper testimony to my own beliefs.

  2. Caroline says:

    I find truth in a lot of other spiritual traditions. I am particularly drawn to liberal Christianity, with its emphasis on the Christian ethic of love and inclusion driving everything else. I love the way some branches of liberal Christianity open their arms to people of all sexual orientations, and give gay people a place to worship and find fellowship. I also love liberal Christianity’s fluidity when it comes to gender issues. The way they pray to the Father, the Mother, the Creator, etc. and it’s no big deal, since all those words are seen as metaphors for non-gendered God. And also the way they include women in their clergy. I love seeing a woman up there on Sunday carrying out sacred rituals like communion.

  3. Caroline says:

    I was also going to say that one of the best things a Mormon ever said was about this. Brigham Young said something like, “We embrace all truth, no matter where we find it.” I love the way that opens up space for us Mormons to embrace various beliefs and practices that uplift, even if it’s outside the tradition.

  4. Amelia says:

    i’ve always loved that idea of all truth being part of one whole. it authorized me to seek truth everywhere, rather than just inside the church. and i have found truth in many places. i frequently listen to “speaking of faith” on public radio and have found a huge variety of approaches to spirituality there. some are just interesting. others have been transformative. i also really like the pbs series “faith and reason,” especially pema chodron’s interview (hat tip to jana).

    as far as my own practice goes, i’ve attended and found a great deal of peace in the local quaker meeting. i find more consonance between my personal spiritual beliefs and the quaker testimonies (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality). i suppose what makes me feel that way is there is no stringency in how to interpret those testimonies–there’s more freedom for individual’s to live their own beliefs as they see fit–a freedom i find lacking in mormonism. and i love the worship of an unprogrammed quaker meeting. in mormonism, i feel like we’re constantly trying to fill the silence with Truth. at quaker meeting, i feel like silence is there so people can listen. to themselves. to their community. to others. and that silence feels more honest to me. because frankly, i don’t know what Truth is, even if i think i’ve found some truths.

  5. Alisa says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve been trying to learn meditation, which is recommended by the Church, but little dteail is given on how to do this as a meditating Mormon. I’ve found that a lot of other faiths have more instruction on this common spiritual practice, and this has really opened my eyes to a new way to be spiritual, and have peace, in my life.

  6. Dora says:

    I’m tired of the broad generality of Sunday School answers: pray, read the scriptures, attend your meetings, follow the commandments, etc.

    Instead, I like looking at the process of individual spiritual searching. I like talking to people about their personal experiences. I like listening to “This I Believe.” I hunger to know how others apply spiritual/religious practices in their own lives, and how they deal with the resultant fruition or unfulfillment. It’s not so much what people or institutions declare, but how they reveal their soul through action.

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