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Praying together with my Christian friends

I was invited to pray together with my Christian friend after we exchanged religious knowledge.

I am fortunate to live in Singapore where the government emphasize religious tolerance.

We acknowledge that each religion has its own unique belief and since young we were taught never to criticize the ideology of another religion.

I guess I was also fortunate to have a Christian friend who hold such respect for other religion. So it was a pleasant exchange of information and idea without any intention of imposing belief on one another.

He initiated that we pray together. I did not tell him Buddhist don’t pray 😎

He lead the prayer. He told me to close my eyes as he recited the prayer about asking lord for guidance etc. and I recalled something I read in a Buddhist book. In that book, a Christian was questioning a lama about true God.  The lama asked her if she believes God to be a wise old man with flowing beard sitting in the sky or does it represent something more.

With that in mind I entered the prayer session. So I imagine God is not a form but represents all good quality such as compassion, loving kindness, wisdom etc.

My mind was able to embrace the love and compassion and the darkness of my closed eyes gradually got replaced by inner radiance.

As he said amen. i said amitabha.

I open my eyes and smiled at him. A fellow good human.

Then it occurred to me. Perhaps we are trying to understand the universal truth differently.

If I may use his analogy of the Holy Father with my own limited understanding. Perhaps we know our holy daddy differently. Just like brothers in a big family. One son may know dad to be extremely strict, another son may know dad to be forgiving etc. We may also celebrate his birthday and bring him different presents. If we respect each other and live harmoniously then we have a happy family.

But should one of the child decides to impose his views on other siblings then domestic discord will happen.

Recalling my prayer session with my Christian friend, I must say it was a beautiful experience.

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My Buddhist name is Ratna Jamyang Puntsog. I first encountered Buddhism in this life when I was 12. Formally took ceremonial refuge in the triple gem when I was 19. I believe the different spiritual methods were taught by Buddha to suit various beings who each have their own unique characteristic. The various sects and practices that arose are just a naming convention invented by disciples out of communication necessity. Had read and studied different forms of Buddhism. Volunteered in Buddhist organization. Until it last, I hope to share my views on Buddhism and find like minded practitioners around the world. May we practice Buddha's instruction together and connect through cyber space!

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