Hi, I'm someone who believes that God is directly experienced. I've felt the presence of the sacred in the practices of several faith traditions including Christianity, Buddhism, Yoga, and Shamanism. I think the Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the greatest pieces of religious literature I've encountered. I love the poetry of Rumi, Rilke and Mirabai. Jesus for me is a yogi pointing the way to an immediate encounter with God. No need for magic. Just a man who broke through and sat with God, and it changed his life. He went out and healed people who desperately needed healing. As a healer myself (I'm a physical therapist) I identify with his healing the most. I found my way into the beliefnet community when I took the Beliefomatic quiz and it rated me first a Mayahana Buddhist, and next a Liberal Protestant. Funny thing is that I identify myself as a Catholic. I did spend seven years as a fairly devout Theravadan Buddhist and this has been a great influence on my faith life. The poet in me sees the encounter with the sacred as a poetic moment out of which we try to sing a song. The trouble is that the experience of God is mostly a nonverbal encounter. One of my daughters has autism and she is nonverbal. Sometimes I sense a depth of Spirit in her that is more authentic than all the texts and all the doctrines. At such times I think of Thomas Aquinas who after a profound experience of the living God gave up his Summa Theologica, his life work, because it could not come close to what it felt like to directly experience God. Instead, he went on to write beautiful songs about the Holy Eucharist.
I am married to a wonderful woman and have four children: Two boys (ages 15 & 13), and two girls (ages 10 & 7). I am trying to teach them that no matter how dumb some of the things people say about God are, God, the real God, transcends it all. Ultimately, God will continue to be God regardless of how much we botch it when we try to put the experience into words. This should not stop us, but rather call us to compose more songs.