TLDR; I am a Buddhist of the Mahayana tradition. I’m not very good at it, but I’m working on it.
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
Thankfully - in my opinion - I wasn’t born into a very religious household. There was religious talk, but no horrible stories of having to get up early to go to church. My parents were Agnostic and Pagan-New Age-Neo-Lutheran-Wiccan. Yea, that seems about right.
Due to my need to learn about things I made the study of religion a special interest over many years. I’ve studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses, attended Russian Orthodox services, observed and attended multiple Jewish holidays (fun fact: I hate fish, but I like Gefilte fish) and attended and participated in multiple modern Pagan rituals and rites.
It will surprise most people to find out I am baptized. Not only am I baptized, I am a baptized Mormon. That’s right! I’m a Latter-day Saint. So yes, that was a long time ago and yes, I’m aware of some of the more unique things the LDS church is into like Celestial marriage or Baptism for the dead. The reason I left the church was because it’s deep, deep and evil racism so it kinda balances out.
Multiple times during my studies I went back to Buddhist Dharma. Eventually I realized that my spiritual practice was Buddhist and my philosophies matched perfectly with a set of philosophies called Mahayana Buddhism.
Cults like Scientology and Falun Gong and the processes of indoctrination have always interested me. Sadly some of these cults have managed to take root in our hearts and minds. Hopefully next time around we’ll do better.