Rev. Vicki A Bennett D.D.
Rev. Vicki A Bennett D.D.
As a Buddhist, I am awed when I read the Pali Canon and the knowledge and wisdom of the Buddha's teachings. He was fully awakened and in receipt of all the intrinsic intelligence of the Universe. I aspire to becoming an awakened being that I may bring all whom I come into contact with the same awakening.
I have been on a solidly spiritual path for over 24 years now, but that was not always the case. I am a 59 year old woman who struggled through the lessons of this lifetime for 35 years before I began to see just who and what I really am.
I have tried to instill the knowledge of my journey in my daughter and now my granddaughter. I find that we are so frail until we take the journey within and discover the truth of our existence.
As a student of Buddhism, I have trained myself to be the objective observer so that I may not judge others, but see the lessons that they struggle with and be compassionate. This also allows me to be compassionate with myself and that is the greatest gift of all.
You were so open and honest in your final lesson to us; I will try and be the same. Like you, I did not have a wonderful mother. She was distant and silent, and I struggled to make her love me. I was and still am an artist and she felt that I was a failure even though I graduated from college and went to grad school, taught college and am a success as an artist. This was not good enough for her.
My father abandoned her when I was born, and so to her I was, â€œjust like my father and so she never attached herself to me as I would, like my father, leave her. She remarried when I was 4 and he died of a heart attack when I was 7. I saw the whole thing, he was sitting in front of me, but she never explained anything to me, didn't take me to the funeral, just abandoned me even more completely.
I was constantly seeking affection, someone to pay attention to my emotional needs and unfortunately I was a beautiful young girl and this got me molested by a 25 yr old neighbor when I was 13. I was severely traumatized but again she ignored me. Her solution was to have our family physician prescribe mild tranquilizers for me and force me to live on them for 3 years.
My pattern became to seek out men who were emotionally distant, who would abuse and ignore me and then abandon me. After a second divorce at 33, I was a brilliant artist who suffered from chronic migraines, hated men and had managed to give myself uterine cancer.
After my hysterectomy, I gained weight for the first time in my life. I was 35 and no longer a perfect size 8. Since I had based my entire life on how I looked and how many men I could attract, I was devastated. I actually would cross the street if I saw a good looking man sitting out on his porch for fear that he might cringe if he had to look at me. (And I had only gained 25 lbs.)
Loosing my perfect figure was the perfect catalyst for me to begin my spiritual journey, the why me? became, who am I and why am I here? And this led to a number of synchronicities that became the path that I followed. As I opened myself to a higher consciousness, I was pulled through one door after another and allowed to explore the rooms within myself.
I learned to be completely quiet within, and then to journey out of body, to meditate for hours on end and to see the magic of the universe unfold before my eyes. I flew in my lucid dreams, brought back the wisdom of the clear light beings that woke me and took me on expeditions into the universal consciousness and beyond.
I have been given a gift that is beyond riches. I have come to a place where I am approaching clarity. I am grateful for that gift everyday, thankful that I found this church of open-minded beings that I can commune with over the internet. Happy that people like you have chosen to dedicate themselves to the greater good and hopeful that you will achieve clarity also.
In your final essay to us you wrote:
I have decided that any philosophy written by a philosopher who has never been married (and who if married has not made it through at least ten or more years of marriage) is a philosophy that is less than worthless. Marriage teaches us about ourselves like nothing else. When we live with someone, that someone will eventually learn who we really are, not who we want the world to think we are. This forces us to look at ourselves. This is so traumatic that divorce, as difficult as divorce can be, is often easier than honest introspection. Without this part of life, any philosophy is left wanting because the philosopher has never had to face himself in so honest a way as marriage requires.
This caused me to stop and take pause. I can see the truth in your words and yet I know that this was not true for me. I could not see myself or the person that I would become while I was in an abusive relationship. I kept asking, What is wrong with me? and, How can I make him love me? These were the very same questions that I asked my mother.
When I realized that I could not be whole while I was trying to get someone to love me, I left my husband whom I loved with all my heart and soul. I left him so that I could love me, so that I could discover the woman that I have now become. And now when I perform weddings, I am filled with joy for the couples that I am marrying, I don't feel the sadness of loss, the why am I alone?
I am full, whole and complete. And this was only possible by giving up the need to have someone love me physically and emotionally. Balance is best kept by finding your ground and staying in the moment.
At this moment, I am reading Quantum and the Lotus it is a dialogue between a Buddhist monk (Matthieu Ricard) and a physicist and professor of astronomy (Trinh Xuan). It is the meeting of two minds discussing the reality of reality
The Heart Sutra is the mainstay of Buddhist thought, form is emptiness, emptiness is form meaning that nothing in and of itself arises independently and so everything is devoid of intrinsic being. We are just collections of atoms (energy) each creating our own universe with that energy and colliding with each other so that our realities overlap and evolve. Thank you for sharing your energy.
We are all one.
Rev. Vicki A Bennett D.D.
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.
The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar