10 August 2007


Here in Fiji, religion is as commonplace as technology is in the West.

Upon first meeting someone - they will ask you your name, your age, for myself... country of origin, whether you are married and what your religion is. For many, this is not a simple one word answer.

In fact, my explaination often begins with saying I am inter-faith which of course requires some explaination. I often continue on to say that my spiritual tradition is something more of Hinduism and Buddhism than Christianity. I explain that my congregation in America (UU) values compassion and love as well as equality and justice. I also usually add something a little more concrete about my practices often saying that I try to maintain daily meditation and yoga and I am a strict vegetarian.

This is all well and good. And hopefully I enlighten my audience more than baffle them. But then there comes the time when I am asked to pray or say grace aloud. I often fumble through some vague blessing asking everyone present to remember person and circumstance that has allowed this food to be present, the whole time sweating the fact that I am not going to mention Jesus or Allah or even Lord at all. I don't quite feel comfortable saying Goddess aloud in public. A possible hang up from Catholic School days. So today, I've been rumaging around the internet for inspiration... something universal and inspiring... so that I can use the precious moments I am given to express my faith with conviction.

Here are some of the things I have come across.

Gatha Before Eating (And other prayers)

"Bless all of those who have brought this nourishment to our table -- through their labors and their lives."

Have any thoughts or inspirations you want to share? Please feel free!

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