Email about meditation, church, Northern Exposure
Email reply to a friend:
Regarding the life of a hermit, in my own experience living in isolation, I found that the quiet life helped my experiences. In meditation I felt the blood flow throughout my entire body, felt sound as a sensation on my skin as well as in my ears, and also stayed mentally awake as my body fell asleep. It's a very cool feeling to be fully conscious as your sense of hearing fades away. There were more things than that, but I also found that I need to be around people, which was a big shock to me.
I'm not sure what to think about the Catholic Church. On the one hand I really love old churches, like Mission Viejo in California, and another small church just north of Santa Fe. I've sat in both places for hours at a time, and they wouldn't exist w/o the Catholic Church.
And as I learn more about the concept of community, I also think a good local church can be a cornerstone for a community, providing education, a framework for helping people that need help, and generally being a bonding/rallying point for a community. I just don't know how to extend that recipe to the masses and a big institution, or whether anyone should even try to extend it.
Hmm ... I just wrote a whole bunch here and then deleted it ... the short version is, "If you feel like the Catholic Church is flawed, is there something you can do about that? Also, does the overall good outweigh the flaws?"
(This reminds me of a Northern Exposure episode where Holling discovers that Shelly has extraordinarily large feet. He talks to Chris (the DJ), who tells him that's usually a sign of when a relationship is over for him. But in the end Holling decides that his love for Shelly outweighs his feelings about her enormous feet. Love conquers all.)
If I'm ever a pastor, those are the kinds of stories I will tell. :)