Ibrahim Farajaje, the Provost at SKSM, had this to say at the closing of his drash (sermon/reflection) for the opening ritual:
So, Come, Come, Lovers of Leaving,
Come across the threshold into living in the differences;
So, Come, Come: Leave limited consciousness to be plunged into the Ocean of Oneness;
So, Come, Come: Leave attachment to limited notions of self;
So, Come, Come to become Microcosm and Macrocosm;
So, Come, Come: Leave behind notions of 'us' and 'them';
So, Come, Come: Let us build sacred, vibrant, fun, deliciously organic, (g)locally-grown and sustainable communities in the Caravan of LOVE!
And both Ibrahim and Reb Zalman talked about multi-religious identity. Can you just sit with that for a minute?
You mean I don't have to be merely Christian? I can be both Jewish and Christian? I can be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist? Not in the sense taking on any of the exclusivistic aspects of these traditions, but in the sense of authentically embracing and living by their holy texts, images and names for God, and spiritual practices that invite illumination, deepening, and unity/love among all. To be multi-religious (wow!) is to break down my exclusivistic faith constructs so I can reach out fully with deep awareness, embracing and accepting my neighbor as the embodied revelation of the divine. If that isn't holy practice, tell me what is.
You know what? We only get one shot at this set of circumstances we're placed in. Every choice we make has an unknowable (but imaginable) ripple effect.
Ask me my creed:
Will I choose to embrace only Roman Catholic identity any longer? No.
Will I reject Roman Catholic or Christian identity? No.
Will I spend the next years of my life seeking out the best living spiritual teachers there are from each of the world's major religions so I can sit at their feet and learn from them? Yes.
It's a new day, my friends. I shed the shackles with which my long-time faith binds me so I can put on the power to love that my faith has always offered me. And my faith will be broader and richer and more diverse than I ever imagined it could be. Starting today. Well, starting yesterday.
I went up to my Bay Area bestie after the talk was over and gave him a long, tight hug. "Thank you!" he said. He pulled back and looked at me and said, "Wow, that really had an impact on you, didn't it?" I nodded and my eyes got all wet and he said, "You're shaking."
Reb Zalman and Ibrahim Baba and all the people present in that sacred place rattled me, shattered me, made a new way possible for me.
If you want me, I'll be picking my way through the rubble, moving forward in amazing, radiant, warmth-imparting light. <3