“My religion is kindness”
By Thomas Leichardt, MTCM, DMQ (China) About Tom
These words of the Dalai Lama always struck me with a deep sense of truth and wisdom, as do Amma’s words, “When someone is full of Love and Compassion, one cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths, or two religions.” Using these words as a springboard, I had the following insights about diversity and harmony:
My religion is kindness. My religion is love. I see all the religions as petals of one flower. While most see the differences, I just see the one. It is a misguided human intellect that divides, while the heart mends together, brings together diverse pieces into oneness. It is through the power of love that many become one; that two become one.
That transcendental reality which some call God, others, the Dao, and even others, the Great Mystery – how could it ever be contained in one religion, in one system of beliefs? I say, it cannot be contained even in all of them! For the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, while our understanding, comprehension, and knowing of who we are and what God is, is always evolving, changing, and expanding beyond what we’ve ever known before. Therefore, no followers of any religion or tradition can ever claim to have a special hold on the Truth; be they Hindu, Daoist, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Indigenous, or from any other denomination. We must transcend our differences, then, even embrace them while we embrace each other as brothers and sisters, for Love is the underlying message of all religions.
You may know a tradition not by judging its customs or worldviews, then, but by the fruits of its people’s actions, by the degree of love stirred in the hearts of its followers, by the degree of joy that radiates from them, and by the heartfelt acts of kindness in which they engage.
“Though a flower is composed of many petals, it is one flower. The human body consists of many parts, and yet it is one body. In the same way, the world consists of many different countries, cultures, languages, races and people. But for Amma there is just the world – there is only one.” ~ Amma
I’ve had so many countless opportunities to be with and travel with Amma, that her teachings continuously radiate and reverberate within my soul. I’ve watched endless streams of people come to her every day; old, young, rich, poor, this religion, that religion, military people, drug dealers, prostitutes, police officers, politicians, all seeking spiritual comfort and grace. What I’ve come to know, is that there is something inside each one of us that goes beyond any of these distinctions. It is the part that longs to reconnect, to remember. In that sense, we are all on the same path, seeking the same source. In realizing this, we invoke harmony where there is diversity, we see unity underneath all our differences. Kindness, compassion, these are the qualities to rally behind. All of our outer differences are just there to make the world more interesting and intriguing. What is underneath all the apparent differences, however, in each of us, is what really matters.
About the author: Thomas Leichardt is a holistic medical practitioner applying various modalities to help restore his patients’ natural alignment with health, vitality, joy, and clarity. Thomas has an acupuncture and energy medicine clinic in San Jose, CA. He also teaches classes in energy medicine and is faculty at Five Branches University. Make an online appointment, or for more information, visit the author’s main site.