Will I find home with OBOD?

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Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by zamotcr » 26 May 2014, 17:11

I'm currently a member of ADF and so far I like it. I like to study scholarly sound material, books, and such. But, I feel that ADF is too limiting in my practice. According to ADF, its preferable to choose one IE Hearth Culture, I have two, trying to stick worldview Indo-European is preferred for personal practice but not required (I have Asian influences and I like it). Trying to believe what ancients did... But I do like also what modern druids do, not only ancient ones, nor I believed everything that ancients believed.

So I got a lot of interest in OBOD, specially because it can serve as a spiritual path rather than a religion. In the website it is explained that OBOD is compatible with other paths and religions, like Buddhism and Taoism and this is what I do like from it. I do like a lot Celtic mythology, but in my personal practice I find hard to stop just there, I have a lot of influences from Buddhism and Taoism and the cultures from which other gods has called me (Helenic gods, Welsh gods). And this influences are making me think of OBOD, because it is said to be compatible with those paths, and with my already IE gods (the working I have done in ADF).

The problem is: I have heard a lot about the sources that OBOD uses. It is often said that OBOD is inaccurate, using poor and bad sources, that is fluffy, new agey, etc, etc. I would like to know, from people in the course, examples of this, if it's possible. What can be inaccurate about a new spirituality? I know that most of what is believed in OBOD is not what ancients druids did.

Of course, I pretend to balance what I can between ADF and OBOD. I have the ADF scholar sources to know better about ancient ones, and OBOD to know about modern ones.

Thanks so much. I hope I have explained myself. Do you think I will find home in OBOD? I want a spirituality to flow with, not a religion to dictate me what or what not should I do.

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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Aphritha » 26 May 2014, 17:29

OBOD is pretty open. Though it does have a lot of Celtic influence(as to be expected, of course), it also draws inspiration through other cultures as well. It can easily be blended with any path, or adapted to suite your needs. There are people from many different paths; those with Eastern influence, or Wiccan ones. There are Christians, and Atheists, and just about everything in between.
I'm not so sure I understand how OBOD is dubbed 'inaccurate', as its more of a course of personal growth and discovery, rather than a rigid academic course. I think a person in OBOD could easily source out for either the more 'new age' or scholarly route, as they choose. In my opinion, the course concentrates mostly on the here and now.


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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Wolf Dreamer » 26 May 2014, 17:32

Hi Zomtcr,

I think you will find a home with OBOD. Today we are experience a season of new growth in Druidry and what was done or not done by the ancient Druids is not the most important consideration in a spiritual path, at least not in my humble opinion. What is important is if a tradition works today and I can say, at least for me, that it does. One thing I love about OBOD is it inclusivity. I have a back ground with eastern philosophy and I've felt my OBOD studies have been complimentary to my previous work. I feel at home here and I hope you will too.

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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Sciethe » 26 May 2014, 19:41

zamotcr wrote: ...The problem is: I have heard a lot about the sources that OBOD uses. It is often said that OBOD is inaccurate, using poor and bad sources, that is fluffy, new agey, etc, etc. I would like to know, from people in the course, examples of this, if it's possible. What can be inaccurate about a new spirituality? I know that most of what is believed in OBOD is not what ancients druids did.
[...]
I want a spirituality to flow with, not a religion to dictate me what or what not should I do.
OBOD is inaccurate? :-) Good grief, you've been talking to some pretty dogmatic people! Look at Philip Carr-Gomm's (our Chosen Chief) latest post on his weblog:
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” ― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
I think you'll find a home here if what you want is a flowing spirituality. There are no dictates here, and as you rightly suspect no dogma to even call inaccurate. It all makes me as a spiritual but scientifically minded man very happy.
Welcome. :shake:
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Art » 26 May 2014, 20:34

I think it is safe to say that we are all approaching the same tree if from slightly different directions. The answer may be a simple as whether you choose to approach the Divine through pomp and sacrifice or to simply invite the Gods over for tea and a chat. There is nothing wrong with different approaches and in fact, the evidence of the spade tells us that different tribes in antiquity had different approaches as well. (Citations available)
Earlier this month I attended a Pan-Druid gathering wherein OBOD, ADF, and AODA were represented by folk considered elders in their different approaches. It was a lovely weekend with lovely people and further cemented the aforementioned notion that we’re all approaching that tree. At one point, we developed and facilitated a ritual consisting of an OBOD style opening, an ADF style rite, and an OBOD style closing. The ritual went as smooth as polished silk and whichever ancestors, spirits, or other who happened to be interested were undoubtedly tickled pink.
Rest assured that there are “scholar sources” in OBOD who are fully informed about the ancient Druids and ADF has sources who are fully informed about contemporary Druid practice.
The answer to your question rests solely with you. I think you will find that the OBOD program is better geared to reconstruct you as an individual however the reality is that no matter what approach you take, what you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put into it. Personally, I find that OBOD presents an approach to life and sacred practice that fits my heart perfectly. I may explore other avenues and, hopefully, will always retain an open mind however my soul rests in OBOD…quite comfortably.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by zamotcr » 26 May 2014, 21:53

Thanks everyone! That seems perfectly fine for me!

Im just wondering... it is possible to think of OBOD as presenting Truths using Celtic mythology as a vehicle of truths or beliefs that are not only Celtic but to the Earth and humanity itself?

Thanks!

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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Brân Gannaid » 27 May 2014, 04:38

zamotcr wrote:I'm currently a member of ADF and so far I like it. I like to study scholarly sound material, books, and such. But, I feel that ADF is too limiting in my practice. <snip>

The problem is: I have heard a lot about the sources that OBOD uses. It is often said that OBOD is inaccurate, using poor and bad sources, that is fluffy, new agey, etc, etc. <snip>

Do you think I will find home in OBOD? I want a spirituality to flow with, not a religion to dictate me what or what not should I do.
If you are feeling that ADF is too limiting, then that is true for you. For others, it may be the perfect path.

For me, OBOD is not at all dogmatic or dictatorial. One can be scholarly, "new agey," or something else, depending on the individual. If you read through the forum, you'll find we are all over the map.

I find it to be an extremely spiritual path, and it fits well with my own background of New Thought, Native American spirituality, and skepticism. I also have a science background, and it blends nicely with my world view.

You can complete the two introductory Gwersi before jumping in with both feet, so you can see if it feels "right" to you.

I've found that I fit right in with those from the other Druid groups as well as Wiccan ones. Yet, my heart resides with OBOD. If you do decide to take the course, I highly recommend getting both the written and audio materials. I listen to the audio in my car or while I'm doing housework, painting, gardening, etc., and then study the written ones when I have leisure time.

Affirming you are on your perfect path, and whatever choice you make will be right for you.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by elementalheart » 27 May 2014, 08:03

In answer to your later question, I see OBOD as supporting the individual to find and express and grow in their own truth, inviting exploration of Celtic mythology as one possible way and accepting that there are others as or more useful to some of those individuals.

There are indeed some what you call fluffy new agey types, and some hardcore atheists, devout Christians and practitioners of many other religious and spiritual practices. Some believe in one or multiple deities, others see them as psychological archetypes or interchangeable pantheons expressing universal human characteristics or literal historical figures or.. as many views as members of the Order probably!

The key is understanding that ones own truth is not to be imposed as a single one and only truth on all and sundry in the way religions do. It is a unique gift to be explored, grown, changed along the way of that one individual, while respecting that others might well not find that same route useful at all. Neither is wrong, nor greater/lesser. There is an ego which seeks and which wishes to be right and be recognised as right. That ego is not bad, it is human and it can be right and recognised and find and still seek further, without any other needing to be wrong, just other.

Ignore anyone that has a single universal truth to impose by force of will or argument or claims to be a better kind of druid (including yourself) and you'll find a home for all you are and can become. Just don't expect everyone (?anyone) to agree with you completely and you'll be fine here and wherever else you care to be.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by DaRC » 28 May 2014, 12:00

problem is: I have heard a lot about the sources that OBOD uses. It is often said that OBOD is inaccurate, using poor and bad sources, that is fluffy, new agey, etc, etc.
It's too easy to point fingers between paths, to create the 'us and them' paradigm which is very Celtic :o In many respects throughout history the Celtic tribal desire to fight each other has been their downfall.

I have read several ADF authored books and also OBOD authored ones in addition to my own reading. Both sides have, what could arguably be called inaccuracies, but could more accurately be called perspectives. OBOD does, from what I have seen, use a rigorous scholarly approach to the inclusion of information. However, it casts it's net much wider than the ADF. The ADF focuses very much on 'Celtic' material BUT (I would argue) on occasion doesn't apply, or ignores, modern scholarly thought around the cultural interactions and relationships which dilute the Celtic worldview.

An example of this is the Book of Kells which up unto recently was viewed as a purely Celtic creation, which fulfilled (some things I had read in...) the ADF worldview. The current view is that it is a production of an Insular Art culture - which is a Celtic/Germanic (Hiberno-Saxon) mix which means that Celtic culture has always taken and absorbed influences from other cultures
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insular_art

As a Druid I think it is best to look at/work with all modern Druidry threads and then to draw your own opinions. Have you also looked at the AODA? I've always loved John Michael Greer's take on things...
http://www.aoda.org/
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Whitemane » 28 May 2014, 13:11

Have you read anything by Brendan Myers or Emma Restall-Orr? They might be off the ADF radar because they are not reconstructionist. Myers focusses on Irish druidry and is both scholarly and intense. Emma Restall-Orr is distinctly modern and some of the emotional intensity in her writing is almost overwhelming. Both are well worth reading if you haven't already done so.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by zamotcr » 28 May 2014, 15:02

Thanks everyone.

You know what? I will forget about reconstructionism. Only headaches.

I'm in a point in my life where I want to develop my spirituality. Trying to focus on "what was done in the past" has made me worry of history, but not of actual practice. Now I want to practice, old or new.

The thing is, I do like Celtic culture and spirituality, but I don't want to restrict myself only to "Celtic" stuff.

I don't care if the teachings are presented with Celtic mythology and culture, what I do care most is about the teaching itself, hopefully the teachings are not only Celtic, but a quest for the Truth. I don't know how to explain me :shrug:

I know OBOD use Celtic culture and mythology, what I hope is to get from its teachings, lessons and perhaps truths that are not only Celtic, but perhaps universal teachings, just that OBOD chose to use Celtic language to explain them. I am missing something? I just don't want to be a "Celtic follower guy"-only. I have also interest in some Eastern teachings and would like to combine them. I want my spirituality to be holistic. What I want is a spirituality which is simple not limited by being Celt, just an universal spirituality for me. Can I work this through OBOD?

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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Sciethe » 28 May 2014, 15:15

zamotcr wrote: I want my spirituality to be holistic. What I want is a spirituality which is simple not limited by being Celt, just an universal spirituality for me. Can I work this through OBOD?
Yes.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Aphritha » 28 May 2014, 16:01

zamotcr wrote: You know what? I will forget about reconstructionism. Only headaches.
Reconstructionism seems really neat, but probably impossible. Who can really say what the ancestors did for sure? We have our ideas, and explanations that seem most likely, but I don't think there's any way to ever really know. We can try to aim as close as we can, but I think I'm of the opinion that any deities being worked with are probably not overly concerned with the manner they're addressed in(provided its respectful). Times change. Things change. Practices change. Its only natural.
zamotcr wrote:
I know OBOD use Celtic culture and mythology, what I hope is to get from its teachings, lessons and perhaps truths that are not only Celtic, but perhaps universal teachings, just that OBOD chose to use Celtic language to explain them. I am missing something? I just don't want to be a "Celtic follower guy"-only. I have also interest in some Eastern teachings and would like to combine them. I want my spirituality to be holistic. What I want is a spirituality which is simple not limited by being Celt, just an universal spirituality for me. Can I work this through OBOD?
I wasn't overly familiar with Celtic mythology/culture when I came to OBOD. I'm still not what you'd call an expert. But, I have really enjoyed learning the new myths, the new lore, and adding it to my practice. I never felt the need to change what I was doing unless I wanted to. OBOD introduced me to Brigid, but never pressured me to stop loving Aphrodite. In reality, I'm kind of a 'mythology junkie'; trying to only acknowledge one 'path' is totally stifling to me. While my two 'main' deities are Greek, I use the material and references in OBOD to learn about the Celts. I also lately have become enthralled with the Baltic pantheon, and have been carting around a book on Hindu mythology in my bag for the last few day's reading. So far, I haven't been kicked out of OBOD, though now that I've admitted it, maybe I should watch out...(kidding, of course) I think its safe to say no matter what your 'flavor' of spirituality is, you'll either find someone who shares it, or is at least happy to listen. In my opinion, OBOD helps you set up a practice that works for you.


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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by zamotcr » 01 Jun 2014, 00:10

That sounds cool. Thanks everyone.

My idea of spirituality is a universal one. I think all myths, not just Celtic ones, have teachings and truths and are worth of studying.

I'm polytheistic and animistic, but what I won't like is to limit myself to one Pantheon, or what ADF does, only Info European.

I like a lot Asian philosophies too, not just ancient European cultures. I want my spirituality to be holistic, that is: Western (50%) + Eastern (50%) = My path.

Is that possible or workable within OBOD, or Druidry spirituality? If a Chinese god calls me, I want to attend the call, and included him in my world view without having to change my worldview. I don't want to reject a spirit, a god or even a culture, in favor of OBOD Celtic view.

Apart from Celtic cultures I have a strong interest in Chinese and Korean cultures, and their spirituality have done a lot of good things to me, but I can't choose either Western or Eastern, because if I choose one, I loose the beauty of each one, and I don't want that for my spirituality.

Saying this, I can still find home here? :) will obod work for me as a framework to put all together?

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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Aphritha » 01 Jun 2014, 01:06

zamotcr wrote:
Saying this, I can still find home here? :) will obod work for me as a framework to put all together?
Yes. Many here are greatly influenced by Eastern traditions, sometimes more intrigued with that way than Celtic. Worship(or don't worship) who/what you feel like. OBOD does not attempt to confine you to their path, merely helps guide the way to your own, where ever it may lead you, be it Celtic, Eastern, both, or neither.
In my experience, I've yet to be someone told "you can't do that in OBOD!" Its extraordinarily open minded.


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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Brân Gannaid » 01 Jun 2014, 06:13

Aphritha wrote:
zamotcr wrote:Saying this, I can still find home here? :) will obod work for me as a framework to put all together?
Yes. Many here are greatly influenced by Eastern traditions, sometimes more intrigued with that way than Celtic. Worship(or don't worship) who/what you feel like. OBOD does not attempt to confine you to their path, merely helps guide the way to your own, where ever it may lead you, be it Celtic, Eastern, both, or neither.
In my experience, I've yet to be someone told "you can't do that in OBOD!" Its extraordinarily open minded.
While I came to OBOD craving the Celtic studies (my roots), I spent many years immersed in many traditions via Science of Mind and New Thought, and later Unitarian Universalism (which has a pagan off-shoot). Throughout the Bardic studies, the teachers have made it clear that we are welcome to use whatever works for us, or feels right to us. I've not seen any dogma at all.

OBOD is practical as well as intellectual, and I've personally found it to be an excellent choice for one like myself, who has been exposed to and immersed in many other paths. Since one can experience the introductory lessons without signing up for the course, it's possible to get a taste of what it might be like for you.

Aphritha pretty much nailed it.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by elementalheart » 01 Jun 2014, 08:12

A personal view, in case it is of use.

We get what we need to get in order to get it.

Why wouldn't a divine being or a creative energy of nature choose to be experienced in more than one way by someone that has an approach to life that embraces the possibility of more than one myth having some truth and use within it?

If you were unable to cope with the concept of deity outwith the masculine bearded aged biblical one then you would probably be treated to contact through that form, and if you were a practitioner of a shamanic tradition you might accept any one of a range of animal spirit beings as a guide. Possibly neither would be comfortable being confronted by a Hindu elephant headed deity so it likely wouldn't happen except at a point where challenging boundaries of truth and spiritual practice were exactly what that person required. At which point curiosity and faith that there was some point in the exercise might lead to an interesting conversation or some research into that deity that revealed why that form was significant, or a complete rejection of the experience, but it would still be an important decision.

What we experience is not necessarily "real" as in the only truth or face of it. Divinity is by definition impossible to limit and yet we continue to try and make it this god or that goddess or.. or.. when there is more likelihood that a divine essence can express itself in more "and"s than we could ever comprehend or draw a human figure around and name and believe we had it labelled and understood for our own peace of mind.

I doubt I speak for more than one OBOD member (myself) when I express my truth, my belief, but OBOD doesn't demand that I sign in blood and for eternity to follow its one true way and that is the only reassurance you'll get, the absence of a one true way other than your own experienced path unfolding.

A more interesting question set would be why you need to ask and be reassured, whether anyone could ever really convince you it is right for you to join OBOD, whether you would be right to believe them without trying it for yourself and finding out. It may be that asking the question is the important step for you, or taking action despite what anyone says, or in trusting, or or or... :wink: But it is your journey so ask yourself, in your heart, your gut, your spiritual practice whatever that is, and take the step that feels most right for you at this moment. There is no guarantee, only opportunity to explore. Do it or don't do it, whichever is your truth, and you won't go wrong.
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Moonleaf » 17 Jul 2014, 09:22

Well you've had a lot of interesting and thought-provoking replies...so I'll add something too :)

I've practised Taoism for around 25 years and was looking for a group in 2007 to practise with like-minded people but could not find one, so I joined a Buddhist group but left after a few years thinking it was not for me, so I set up my own Taoist group. In the meantime, I met Druids on a few occasions and a friend kept telling me of a nearby group so I went and still practise with them. I joined OBOD and its Bardic audio course to find out what the organisation was saying (more of that in a moment).

Despite what people might argue, there is a universal Truth that is being overlooked by nearly all of humanity...most of the main religions began by someone trying to explain what they had come to Realise and how to live life in accordance with it (which is our nature); millennia of interpretation, misunderstandings and ego result in the religious practices we see today HOWEVER the Truth is there if you look for it and it is explained nearly identically in Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and Islam. Buddha for instance, would not have wanted the beauty of nature to be destroyed so a temple in his honour could be erected...it goes against his teachings and yet the world does it...as does Christianity and Taoism. OBOD states that a revealed way such as that of Buddha and Christ is not an approach it wishes to take, it in a manner provides lots of information from various sources and leaves you to interpret them and in the Bardic course Philip Carr-Gomm states something like there is a danger in not directing in this way, the Druid practice becomes nothing to no one and yet the space it leaves makes it available to all. Equally, in being too direct, there is the danger we are misguided by those who do not know. The Truth you and I mention can be found in tales such as Ceridwen and Taliesin however it is multi-layered in meaning so that we become lost in the metaphor and ultimately it can be a case of the blind leading the blind. If we are guided by someone who knows then is this not ok? Can spirituality be anything but that? We might claim OBOD is not doing this but it can do nothing but that...the very act of selecting tales and quotations and believing that whoever created them knew some truth is not really different than going to India and listening to a Guru - you take the information and decide what works for you - those who ask for blind faith and those who give it, well that is something else. And in the name of accuracy who would have called themselves Celts? My wife is Welsh and her friends claim Celtic heritage but they are British and 2,000 years ago would not have called themselves Celtic, they called themselves Pretani (according to Greek visitors around 500BC). Academic accuracy does not equate to spiritual development. It comes down to knowing what you really want.

Perhaps the Gods you describe that may call to you are the face of a single God...perhaps it is the face of Yourself speaking to you in its many voices...and when we look deeper into the silence within we find only one voice...as OBOD says "deep within the stillness of my being", or the Psalms "Be still and know that I am God", Tao Te Ching "returning to the Source is known as stillness". Each religion is ultimately a single Religion or Spirituality; for instance Taoism confirms what I have come to realise by watching nature and Druidry brings about a practical down-to-earth approach, each balancing the other. I personally get little spiritual satisfaction from Druidry however it is very grounding and I like the people at the grove I am in - so two practices become one - but I am neither a Druid or a Taoist - either thought drives one into an identity and furthers the problem...but for some people, believing that they are 'something' provides much peace...some would argue, in realising they are That which is all things is to find a peace that does not rely on circumstance...which do you want, which seems like the Truth to you?

So my friend, be a member of OBOD, be a member of the American equivalent, become a Buddhist monk...what your heart seeks is the Peace of what it IS, the settledness of its Calm and worrying over which practice to do disturbs that...each is like a flower in the garden of spirituality - why only smell a rose?
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by DaRC » 17 Jul 2014, 12:21

as OBOD says "deep within the stillness of my being", or the Psalms "Be still and know that I am God", Tao Te Ching "returning to the Source is known as stillness".
Good words Moonleaf - I like the italian 'Tranquilo' to explain it
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Re: Will I find home with OBOD?

Post by Moonleaf » 18 Jul 2014, 08:24

Yes, tranquilo! :)
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