Challenge of a Different Choice

This morning I listened to Roshi Joan Halifax speak of spiritual leadership, and it seemed it was my 50 year-old son she described. David has cultivated a generous heart of loving-kindness. He walks a path of non-harming and of care, living a highly ethical life. He is dedicated to bringing others to peace. He lives a life characterized by truth and integrity. He lives from love and its patience. My son actualizes balance and uprightness in the midst of chaos and confusion. He behaves from a base of respect for all. He works for a world that works for all.
And when Roshi Joan went on to list the following qualities needed today in the world, it is my son I see.

He knows what he stands for.
He lives his values.
He inquires and is curious to discover what will serve.
He asks the hard questions.
He speaks out for what he stands for.
He listens to the call of conscience.
He is courageous despite risks.
He takes principled action or inaction.
He is responsible and accountable.

As I write, he is on his way to South Africa to participate as a volunteer minister in a Covid Decontamination project in Johannesburg. The auspices that sustain him are not mine. He has long been a Scientologist, finding his community there, where many of us fear cultism at best.

Over the decades, I have made my peace with his affiliation. It was that spiritual movement (and yes, business, not unlike the Catholic Church) that turned his path from drugs when he was just becoming an adult. My mother’s heart can never cease to be grateful for that. For years my acceptance went no further than gratitude for saving his life. But with time, and as his youthful proselytizing enthusiasm quieted, I looked more to the way he lives his life than his church’s precepts, to understand the influence.

I feel a  mother’s happiness when I see how he has community. His Scientology friends, whom I have met over the years, give me a sense of generosity of spirit. My boy of stars, raised by a feminist and hippie ‘village,’ has found his own family-of-choice. That fact that Scientology is viewed by the mainstream with as much prejudice and bigotry as my own lesbian family-of-choice is a parallel not lost on me.

I have been challenged to see through my fears and judgments of his path. And the challenge has enlarged me.  I still have my irritations about  his church, but it no longer matters at all. It’s none of my business how my son nourishes his one wild and precious life. And how can a mother be anything be thankful to watch her child become such a full and loving human being, the one Roshi Joan Halifax has described. May his Africa sojourn bring him great growth, much adventure and surprising joy.

One Response to “Challenge of a Different Choice

  • I am not surprised that he is such an amazing guy…after all, I know his mother !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *