A few summer thoughts on the Way ...

Over the past few decades I have made a spiritual journey that many have made before me, and, I dare say, many will yet make. I have moved from a monist, exclusivist spiritual position—my religion is the one true religion—to a pluralist, non-exclusivist position—all spiritualities have something to teach us, and all religions fail us.
I count my primary spiritual lineage to include Jesus, the Buddha, and Laozi, though not exclusively so, and I delight in finding gems of insight in many traditions. 
For me, the bottom line is that spirituality must be useful in the everyday affairs of life—I suppose a sort of spiritual pragmatism. If it's not useful, why be bothered with it? If it causes hurt and pain to my self or others, where's the good in that? In my three primary spiritual traditions I have discovered these things. At its best each spiritual tradition:
  • Provides wisdom regarding a decent, humane, and compassionate life.
  • Shows us a Path, or Way, to live. 
  • Holds at its core a practice, rather than a set of dogmas or beliefs.
Taken this way, there is a remarkable synergy between the traditions. Each informs the other. Together they are more than the sum of the parts. When religion or spirituality becomes merely a set of beliefs about the world, and where those beliefs differ, then we have a recipe for conflict and angst. Where spirituality is a Path of compassionate, there we have hope for a better future.

Needless to say, my spiritual lineage may not be yours, and that is fine. But, if you are interested in exploring the richness and similarity of Jesus, the Buddha, and the Dao try these very accessible sources:
Marcus Borg, The Lost Gospel Q: The Original Sayings of Jesus
Gil Fronsdal, The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations
Stephen Mitchell, The Tao Te Ching: A New English Version
Enjoy the Way this summer,