Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

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Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Paliut » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:32 am

Well i will be working at a place where they are most, if not all, Christians (theists) of some sort. I really do not want to seem "offensive" but neither do i want to make my believes public. I have faith in the buddhas teaching but i left christianity and left theism behind. Now it is 12 hours before my first day there, and I know they have sermons and prayer.

I personally am not worried about the sermon, i can sit there and listen or simply meditate or silently chant to myself. The problem comes with prayer at first I let my ego arise and say "NO!" now that i think about it maybe i should take a stand for the benefit of all people there.

My plan is to join in prayer holding hands so no one gets offended. Making sure i avoid any suffering i can cause in another person. In the prayer i can do 'silent illumination' or chant Om mani padme hum' silently. I am still a bit off on this, I wanted to share with you guys to see what advice you can give me or at least your take on it.

:shrug:
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Ogyen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:44 am

Don't be offensive, they have their beliefs, and you're in their house. You can just be polite and keep your head down during their prayers. You might not know their prayers, no one is expecting you to be Christian, are they? What if you were just atheist or muslim?

Is actively participating mandatory?? If not, pretend you're a social scientist blending in with the local fauna. :woohoo:

Really it's up to you, but no reason to make an ego thing out of it.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Paliut » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:50 am

Ogyen wrote:Don't be offensive, they have their beliefs, and you're in their house. You can just be polite and keep your head down during their prayers. You might not know their prayers, no one is expecting you to be Christian, are they? What if you were just atheist or muslim?

Is actively participating mandatory?? If not, pretend you're a social scientist blending in with the local fauna. :woohoo:

Really it's up to you, but no reason to make an ego thing out of it.


Yeah you're right, i mean i am an atheist, but now that i became a buddhist i have to weed out the unwholesome intolerant factors i created. Thanks for your input. It has greatly helped.

As for mandatory or not, i dont know but i dont want them to give me a reason to not like me and fire me. :/ so i might be social scientist blending in! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby plwk » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:58 am

Exercise your constitutional/legal right...as much as they can too... apart from this part, make sure your work is up to par for what you're paid for, no company can simply dismiss one based on non participation of religious activity that is against one's will or else it will be a cause for legal action ...
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:09 am

Strange that religious practices would be so overt in a professional environment like this.

If you do want to "fit in" though, you don't have to say the words or believe in a god to pray for compassion, wisdom, and the wellbeing of others. If the words feel inauthentic, I think you have it exactly right by at least contributing to an atmosphere of warmth. Don't let the ego put up a big old dualistic "those Christians, me atheist" barrier. What your ego resists and bristles at is very important to pay attention to.
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Paliut » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:15 am

plwk wrote:Exercise your constitutional/legal right...as much as they can too... apart from this part, make sure your work is up to par for what you're paid for, no company can simply dismiss one based on non participation of religious activity that is against one's will or else it will be a cause for legal action ...


On this point you are right, but you see they dont need to fire me based on my religious view, they will find another reason even if minute to fire me. Of course this is based on assumptions. I will do my best.

duckfiasco wrote:Strange that religious practices would be so overt in a professional environment like this.

If you do want to "fit in" though, you don't have to say the words or believe in a god to pray for compassion, wisdom, and the wellbeing of others. If the words feel inauthentic, I think you have it exactly right by at least contributing to an atmosphere of warmth. Don't let the ego put up a big old dualistic "those Christians, me atheist" barrier. What your ego resists and bristles at is very important to pay attention to.


That is true. Thanks for your wise words of input duckfiasco. Meditating on compassion and mindfulness is good. I shall do that.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:22 am

If you live in N. America under the independent Constitutional states its your right to voice your opinion in matters concerning religion. (or no religion)
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby tomamundsen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:40 am

My own advice would be to join hands and do the prayers with them. No need to say mantras under your breath or anything. I have found most Christian prayers and ideologies to be very wholesome. In my opinion, a true bodhisattva mahasattva would join in and put their heart into it.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby KeithBC » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:44 am

Personally, my choice would be non-participation: I would simply not attend the prayer meeting. If that is not an option, for whatever reason, I would participate as little as possible, while avoiding any show of disrespect. Sitting while all others are standing, for example, would be taken as a sign of disrespect, so I stand when they stand.

However, I draw the line at saying prayers. For me to be saying a Christian prayer would be false speech, and would be disrespectful to both my religion and theirs. When prayers are spoken, even if I know the words, I just look ahead and meditate.

If you are interrogated (oops, I mean asked) about your non-participation, do not be embarassed to tell the truth without preaching. Personally, I think it is very important to be truthful about matters of religion.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Paliut » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:20 am

Thanks for the input. I shall take all your comments into consideration as to what to do. :)
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby dakini_boi » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:22 am

tomamundsen wrote:My own advice would be to join hands and do the prayers with them. No need to say mantras under your breath or anything. I have found most Christian prayers and ideologies to be very wholesome. In my opinion, a true bodhisattva mahasattva would join in and put their heart into it.


:good: I agree with this. You could think along these lines - these people, just like every other being, simply want to be free of suffering. If the thought of praying to "God" or Jesus makes you uncomfortable, just bear in mind that to these people, God and Jesus simply represent the means to end their suffering. As long as they're not praying for harm to others. . . I don't see that you could go wrong.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby tomamundsen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:04 am

tomamundsen wrote:In my opinion, a true bodhisattva mahasattva would join in and put their heart into it.

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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby rory » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:22 am

I wouldn't do it. Just say I'm a Buddhist and leave. The pressure to 'fit in' by joining in their Christian prayer is the pressure to convert to their way of thinking.
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Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Huifeng » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:41 am

Why not "come out"? :shrug:

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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby seeker242 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Paliut wrote:Well i will be working at a place where they are most, if not all, Christians (theists) of some sort. I really do not want to seem "offensive" but neither do i want to make my believes public. I have faith in the buddhas teaching but i left christianity and left theism behind. Now it is 12 hours before my first day there, and I know they have sermons and prayer.

I personally am not worried about the sermon, i can sit there and listen or simply meditate or silently chant to myself. The problem comes with prayer at first I let my ego arise and say "NO!" now that i think about it maybe i should take a stand for the benefit of all people there.

My plan is to join in prayer holding hands so no one gets offended. Making sure i avoid any suffering i can cause in another person. In the prayer i can do 'silent illumination' or chant Om mani padme hum' silently. I am still a bit off on this, I wanted to share with you guys to see what advice you can give me or at least your take on it.

:shrug:


Would "taking a stand" really benefit the people there? How would it benefit them?
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:06 pm

I say go to the service, do the prayers they do, smile and enjoy it... there's no harm in any of it. True dharma speaks through all things :smile:
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Nosta » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:58 pm

When i am in a Christian ceremony - for many reasons, since i live in a Catholic country - i do one of these things:
1) I am silent, respeting their ceremony but not participating. No one will notice, since there other christians who also dont know many aspects of the ceremony. I will be like this, silent, if i am tired, bored, etc.

2) I may join palms, but in that case my mind will try to join with main purpose of the ceremony. Let me give an example: if i am in a funeral, what will be doing/thinking all the Crhstians there? Will be wishing the best to the deceased person, that he may go to Paradise, etc. They will be missing that person, crying for her, etc. So, in that case i will make something similar: in my mind i will be honestly and strongly wishing that such person may have a nice rebirth in next life, specially one where she/he will contact with Dharma.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Jikan » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:23 pm

In the US (don't know about other parts of the country), there are very few instances in which an employee can be required or coerced to join in a religious event. These would include working for a church or a religious school, for instance. Otherwise, you can politely say "no thanks," mind your own business, and if there's retribution... lawyer up.

Are the laws different where you are working?
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Paliut » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:12 pm

I am in the US, I know about the law and my rights.but I feel that not participating will make other people mad and I personally dont feel the need to want to deal with that.. I was part of the first prayer. I meditate and visualized compassion arising since they spoke of just that. Of course theirs aimed and dedicated to god. I arises from thinking of metta ajd the buddhas.
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Re: Asked to join Christian Prayer; Need Advice Please

Postby Ogyen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:04 pm

Paliut wrote:I am in the US, I know about the law and my rights.but I feel that not participating will make other people mad and I personally dont feel the need to want to deal with that.. I was part of the first prayer. I meditate and visualized compassion arising since they spoke of just that. Of course theirs aimed and dedicated to god. I arises from thinking of metta ajd the buddhas.


There you go... problem solved. In essence, God as the pinnacle of all your ideals, means something different to each and every person anyway... they just have their expression in this Christian form, you have it in your dharma form :consoling: If you aim to be kind, then everything falls in line with your principles. Getting hung up on form may or may not be relevant, only you can decide what is or isn't important to take a stand on. Glad you figured out what worked!

:namaste:
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