Our little clan (made up of just the people that I live with) includes me (Druidic Buddhist with a Wiccan background), a Discordian Heathen with Chaos magic background, a Hellenic polytheist (my wife), and three young people who don’t make much mind about spirituality at this point. Our extended chosen family is even more of a mixed bag.
When the conversation turns to types of spirituality, I am wont to say “And I’m just a Buddhist.” This somewhat upsets the missus, and she called me on it recently. To her, my comment seems to diminish and dismiss my spirituality and is a negative. Full disclosure: I also live with moderately severe major depression and anxiety, so negativity is particularly poignant in my case.
Anyway (and as I recall, my memory isn’t the best right now), as part of a larger conversation the other day, she flat out said that she doesn’t like it when I use that phrase to describe myself. The message that I took away from her was that there is nothing wrong with being a Buddhist. The word that upset her most was “just” because she sees it as me doing negative self talk. I see it differently.
Part of Buddhist teaching is that everything in life is transient, nothing is permanent (See also: dukkha) and that unhappiness is caused by trying to hold on to something that will not remain. I am currently trying to work back into Druidry through multiple avenues, but when it comes to my basic spirituality, I am, in essence, “just a Buddhist.” I don’t think (or feel, anyway) as if I have a connection to Deity as the others in my house do, even the youngsters. I don’t hear the proverbial “god-phone” ringing. I don’t get the spiritual poke in the ribs by the divine.
I don’t know much of Druidry (at least, not consciously), but what I do know is that, in part, it celebrates the here and now and is present in this moment, this season. This is not different from the Buddhist doctrine. Is Druidry significantly different than Buddhism? Maybe. But for now, I feel that I am mostly, simply, Buddhist.
Still, I am a little jealous of the people in my family whose god-phones ring. I guess I want some external validation.