A Catholic nun taught me my Buddhist mantra

The past of my faith

The next afternoon, my professor gave me my first assignment: to write a timeline of my faith that included all of the good moments of my faith, and all of the bad moments of my faith. It was a very involved homework assignment and I spent hours writing it all down. From the first mystical experience I had as a seven year old, all the way through to the intense debates that occurred in the class prior to hers that morning.

The present of my faith

The next afternoon I was given my second assignment: to write my creed. I was to write down what exactly I believed, what I was still unsure about, and what I did not believe. It took me a lot of soul searching to think through what I actually did, very concretely believe, and I wrote that all down here.

The future of my faith

The next afternoon, my assignment was to make a list of everything that brought me peace and happiness. Then I was to prioritize that list from most to least. This was designed to help me understand what parts of my faith were most important to me.

What is my mantra?

By the end of the week, I felt as though I had whittled my faith down to it’s essence. I had effectively Marie Kondoed my religion, removing everything from it that did not spark joy, and leaving the only thing that did: that I feel most at peace when I recognize that everything is simple, and that I best practice that simplicity by experiencing beauty.

Author of a newsletter about writing (and other things) called The Novelleist. About to release my novel via Substack. Subscribe at ellegriffin.substack.com.

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