Do you ever have those nights where you can't sleep and it's too cold to go outside on your porch and watch for UFOs so instead you go up to the top of your blog and click on that nice little "next blog" thing? I am having one of those nights. And I am reminiscing about one of the best random blogs I ever found that way. I think it was called something like "I want to kill my neighbors" or "my neighbors must die" or something like that. It was an entire blog dedicated to this chick and her obnoxious next door neighbors, how they would crank up Buddhist chanting at all hours and hang prayer flags all over the universe and be totally obnoxious and rude to her and her boyfriend. It was absolutely hilarious. But to show you that I really love Buddhists and Buddha and the like, it's just that this particular blog was a riot, I give you the above picture to enjoy.
Since we're speaking so seriously about Eastern religion and I am so very well schooled in such topics, let's chat about another one: Hinduism. Here's the pic:
This is Bhagavan Das and I spent two weeks respectively with him at two chanting retreats. He taught me lots and lots of Hindu chanting and the very first time I met him we did "Jai Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai, Rama" for probably two hours and it was the one and only time that I ever achieved enlightened meditation. I've been trying to re-achieve it ever since to no avail. On the last retreat, I had a 2-hour-long private audience with him and he gave me a reading. It was way far out. He wanted to know why I was a Mormon and he was really concerned that it was going to cramp my style (the time before that I wasn't a Mormon yet...) because I so enjoyed the intoxicated lifestyle that he also enjoys. He also told me to hold off on having babies because I was going to come into a lot of $$$ if I managed to wait on that. I didn't listen and immediately got pregnant and subsequently we're pretty broke. He's a cool guy, he's like 7 ft. tall and he also taught me the Hare Krishna chant which is like the most relaxing and centering chant you can chant. I also blasted Bhagavan Das's music in my car the whole ride up to the Mormon church the first time I went there to meet the missionaries b/c it relaxes me and b/c I had no idea what to expect and I was a little nervous. So thanks for being there, Baba :)
Now at age 32, I'd say this guy is more my speed when it comes to spiritual gurus:
This is my very favorite elder in our church. Are we supposed to have favorites? Well, he's the one who really gets through to me on a personal and spiritual level. President Uchtdorf is a very inspired member of the general presidency and it seems like every single talk and address he gives is meant for me. His talks have really helped me through some very tough times. I just love this man as if I knew him personally.
He's from Germany. He's a pilot. He's just a really amazing guy.
Since this is my blog and I can say whatever I want to here and you can just totally ignore it all you want or whatever, I will say that I always wanted to know God. I tried to get to know him in lots of different ways, some funkier than others. I remember praying in my room when I was like 7 and asking God to let me get to know him in big ways. We didn't really talk about God too much growing up (we were Catholic but it was only a once a week in the morning thing really), and I also remember one time when I wanted to practice praying the rosary but I was afraid my fam would think I was weird, so I put them in a little purse and told my mom I was going to take a walk around the block. She started grilling me about why I needed to take my little purse with me, and I got mad and yelled at her and went upstairs, never divulging what was in my purse. I could just imagine what she thought was stashed in there.
But I really really did find my way, and when we find our way we're supposed to share it up. This is totally uncomfortable for me to do b/c most people think I'm some kind of weirdo. But truly I'm not. At least not about this. And I'm as sure as a person at my stage of the game can be: this church is the real deal. I know when you hear about the Mormon church it sounds kind of out there. I totally get that. But if you hang on for just one more minute you will probably be really surprised, in a good way. The smartest and most down to earth people I know are Mormons. And a Mormon invented TV and a Mormon found Saddam Hussein hiding in that hole in the desert. Thanks, my brethren!
Here are some things that people think are true about Mormons but aren't and really bug me when people believe them:
-We worship Joseph Smith. Not so. He was our founding prophet and opened the last dispensation (he did what? ask me and I'll tell you more).
-Men can have lots of wives. Not so. If you even try that you get x-ed. But at one time in our church history some brethren were asked to take multiple wives. We as a church understand why this was so and we're not ashamed of it. It's not our dirty little secret. There was a reason and we respect it.
-You can get kicked out of the church by excommunication and you're damned to hell. No way. You can get excommunicated in our church, and you can probably get x-ed in your church too. There are steps you can take to regain your standing in the church. An x is only forever if you want it to be.
-We hate gay people. So not true. I love gay people. God loves gay people. We all love gay people. Please stop thinking we have any beef with gay people.
-We have to give 10% of our income to the church. We don't have to give anything. You can never give a cent and you can come every week and eat all you want at our potlucks. My husband and I do choose to give our 10%, but no one is breathing down our necks about it. We do it b/c we believe in the law of tithing.
-We are all going to vote for Mit Romney. Oh no, so sorry, not the case. Though my mom would be happy if that one was true...
Have a great Sunday wherever you are!