I was raised in a fairly traditional Christian home, and that was what I grew up knowing. Of course I was aware of other religions, but never really learned much about them. Even as a child I was drawn to Eastern culture, although never allowed to explore it (I wasn't even allowed to take a martial art class!).
Now, as an adult, I have studied other religions, taken classes, and started reading on my own. I have never felt complete in my Christian beliefs, and I am very drawn to Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. My biggest problem is that everyone I know (friends, family, husband) are all Christians, and most would consider me the devil's work if I actually announced a convertion.
After several years of wandering, I finally decided that I no longer considered myself "christian," although most family and numerous friends remain (and probably will continue) unaware of this. Although I can't say that I actively practice Buddhism, my thoughts and approach to the world are slowly starting that direction. As I learn more, I'm sure actual practice will also become much more frequent.
I'm hoping to learn more about Buddhism, and in general just how to deal with families who are not open to other alternatives when it comes to religion. Since I still believe there is a god(s), I also hope to learn how to deal with my own ingrained ideas and what I am seeking.
In addition to the above I love riding horses, something I have done my entire life. Seldom have I been without a horse of my own, and have had a chance to try most disciplines at one time or another. My own horse is currently retired, but I've found another one to ride and work with for the time being.
My other passion is my martial art, which also helps to define who I am. I study a very traditional, very comprehensive style - Hwa Rang Do. Often our art is misunderstood, but much of this stems from very poor translation years ago, and there is currently a lot of work to correct the misunderstandings. We also do not allow people to come in, train, learn our stuff, and go reteach it on their own. All schools and black sash ranks are approved and tested in front of the current leader - many americans don't like that idea of responsablity and loyalty, which also leads to false ideas. Personally, this art holds many of the values that have been lost in our current culture, and it's become a part of who I am as a person and most certainly as a martial artist.
I love animals in general, enjoy riding motorcycles (sport bikes), and am an artist who will *hopefully* be starting a MA program in Animation and 3D very soon! My household currently consists of my hubby and myself, 2 cats, 2 dogs, 1 rat, and 1 horse. We have chosen not to have children besides the four legged furry kind for many reasons.