Oh, how I wish I was like Ram Dass, Krishna Dass, and all the other masses of Dasses who hung out with Neem Karoli Baba and experienced from him unconditional love! They are so transformed by that experience of love and that ongoing relationship
Contemporary Christian music, as well as most contemporary expressions of Evangelical Nondenominational
In Catholic circles, devotion has historically been more directed toward the Saints and restricted to seeing them as examples after which we should model our lives. There's nothing wrong with it, and it's a different sort of devotional spirituality than we see either in the east or in Protestant circles. There is much less talk of total surrender (to the target of devotion, anyway), with the notable exception of surrendering oneself to Jesus through Mary in some forms of Marian devotion. Certainly, however, there isn't the image of Jesus as secular lover adapted slightly for popular consumption, and unless they are shopping in the local fundamentalist book store not too many young Catholic women are hoping to have Jesus' baby. Thank God for small favors!
|His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama|
We in the west can be extremely naive about the Guru mystique. Buddhist teacher Noah Levine tells of the conference he attended with a friend who tagged along to check it out. There were a number of prominent Insight Meditation teachers at this conference, people like Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and others. By and large, Insight Meditation teachers don't wear robes, they wear comfortable street clothes such as jeans and a shirt. There was one person at this particular conference all dressed in robes with his ratty hair tied in a knot. Noah knew this guy had just come off of a years long crack binge. Sure enough, the friend he took to the conference was all excited to have spoken with the fully enlightened crack head in robes and was unable to see past the street clothes of the real teachers. Perhaps most of us in the west are far too gullible when it comes to spiritual teachers to even consider practicing Guru devotion.
Maybe I am meant to live out my devotional spirituality in the relatively light-weight arena of gathering in spiritual community to sing spiritual songs, chant, hear spiritual readings and a message, receive the Sacraments, and other more traditionally western pursuits, even if dressed up a bit in eastern clothing and practice now and then. I can appreciate the rich devotion that some people like Ram Dass are able to have toward their Gurus even though it's not my cup of tea. And, if Jesus is looking to get lucky tonight, he's going to have to check out the ladies at the Christian bookstore. Sorry, Jesus.