Q: I wonder is your site religion-based? I am a nontheist Quaker. I love all the ideas shown here and I am very interested in your eCourse program. Thanks. – Bonnie R.
A: Thank you for your note and good question, Bonnie. We are not religion-based, meaning we do not espouse any particular organized religion, but instead we respect all spiritual paths and strive to be welcoming to all. We do believe that grateful living is a spiritual path itself, and one that can be followed whatever one’s religion – or lack thereof.
Br. David Steindl-Rast, who co-founded A Network for Grateful Living, is a Benedictine monk, with Catholicism as his core tradition (and some years spent studying Zen Buddhism). That said, we consider him an “everyday mystic,” as many of his teachings are universal and he holds great respect and interest in other traditions. Asked how someone so steeped in a religious tradition like Catholicism could find his way into exploring so many other faiths, he replied that the monastic life is like digging into a well: “over the years you dig deeper and deeper in your own understanding of things, until the day arrives that you reach the waters that connect us all.”
He wrote an interesting article, Religion of the Heart, in which he writes, “I’m not talking about the religions, but about Religion. This Religion which underlies all the different religions — from which all the different religions spring — is the religion of the heart. But we must clarify what we mean by “heart.” Rightly understood, the heart stands for the whole human person, for the innermost center of our being, for our totality, not for any part of our selves. I am appealing here, and will be appealing all along, to your experience. Only if what I am saying is true in your experience, is it true for you. It might be true for me, but if it isn’t true in your experience, then it is irrelevant to you. Please, keep checking what I offer you against your own experience. I suppose that we all share the experience of moments on which Religion hinges. I speak of experience, not of teachings we have learned in church, at school, or at home. Religion hinges on experience.”
I hope you will continue to enjoy our site and programs!