It’s all about the Connections in our Beliefs…

Hallelujah and Namu Myoho Renge Kyo

Editor’s Note:

0Namu Myoho Renge Kyo means Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law and is the central mantra chanted within all forms of Nichiren Buddhism.

Hallelujah is a transliteration of the Hebrew word הַלְּלוּיָהּ, which is composed of two elements: הַלְּלוּ (an exhortation to “praise” addressed to several people) and יָהּ (the name of God) and is generally translated as “Praise be to God.”

1I have a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which is a fancier way of saying: “I see the connections in everything.”

I believe that connections exist everywhere, all the time, and it is our privilege as humans—if we want to grow and expand our knowledge—to find these connections.

I was born a Roman Catholic and baptized, and received my first Holy Communion. Then a major change in my family life occurred. Oddly enough, I was the child who started this roller coaster ride when I came home one day and asked my dad why we didn’t read the Bible. Soon afterwards, my father left the Catholic Church, taking us along with him, and we became “Born Again Christians” attending a fundamentalist Baptist Church.

3Since this transformation at the age of eleven, I have been mindful…more like consumed with the topic of religion, eternal life, who goes to heaven, who doesn’t and why. Is there a heaven, or is it a stream of energy in the Universe, or the now more popular term: Multiverses?

This has been a journey for over four decades. I have written a thesis on the topic and my fascination with formal religion, or a more broad way of looking at it…spirituality. I have finally decided that I categorize myself as the latter of the two. My disappointment with formalized religious doctrine, is just that. I see it as doctrine. Humans often times crave or look for rules to guide or decide which way to go. I believe that these rules should be more like guidelines. This is my personal belief. That said, I have extreme respect for all people and all religions and hope they will share their stories with me throughout my lifetime.

4Anonymous Andy wrote an article on the Secret Chord…this secret chord we will strike with our life. He then went on to talk about Shrek (one of my favorite movies, for different reasons), but most of all the song, with lyrics. I got caught up in the Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…almost to infinity, and that is what Hallelujah represents. It represents the word of all words in Christianity…Praise be to God. When all words fail us, it is this incredible chorus to sing, in repetition as a comfort. It is the chorus of Handel’s Messiah and many other hymns, I am sure many of you have sung on multiple occasions, if you are Christian.

5So, there you have it. It is a mantra. I do jokingly call myself a Catholic/Buddhist. Much to my father’s dismay (if he knew), I would have to say that Catholicism is my culture, in my DNA, and impossible to dismiss completely.

I have had the chance to attend many different religious ceremonies and have felt welcomed wherever I have visited. I got the chance to chant at a Buddhist service and although I didn’t completely feel the transformation, I did feel the connection with this group for the hour I joined them in chanting.  As I learned, the purpose of chanting, is to attain perfect and complete awakening and unify with the spiritual force which animates the Universe.

6As humans, we are so small. Yet, we want to feel important, and that is where the Ego comes in. At times, we have to dismiss our own egos to become a part of something greater than ourselves. Something greater that leads us to another life—eternal life or this stream of eternal energy.


It’s what makes us feel less lonely on this planet. Yes, so, I do get the organized religious stuff. We crave a sense of belonging. We want to grow and expand our knowledge—to find these connections.

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