I recently visited a friend’s home, where a picture of Christ sat next to a picture of Krishna on a makeshift altar. I was shocked and said she cannot serve two masters. She was insulted, and my visit ended abruptly. Admittedly, I was rude. What should I do?
Rabbi Rami: You should visit my home. Not only will you find Christ and Krishna, but Buddha, Ganesha, Kwan Yin, Avalokitesvara, Mary, Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada, and Vivekananda as well. But I serve no master, only Truth: Alles iz Gott (all is God in Yiddish). When I know all is God, I see all beings as sacred and the mystics of all religions pointing toward Truth. As for your friend, I would email her, apologize for being rude, and ask her to help you understand what she means when she honors both Christ and Krishna.
I say the same Christian grace before every meal. I think God is pleased I do it, but I’m not so sure my doing it is very spiritual— instead of a matter of rote and obligation. How can I make it more meaningful and from the heart?
First, stop saying grace completely. Stop for a few days or maybe a week, and see how it feels not to do this. If God is pleased when you recite grace, is God angry when you don’t? Second, instead of saying grace, silently pay attention to the food you are eating. Notice its texture, color, and smell, and think about the lives you are consuming and all the people who worked to bring this food to your table. Third, draw on the sense of wonder and gratitude arising in you as you do this and compose your own grace. Mine would be something like this: “I give thanks to the One in whom all life arises, to the lives I am about to consume, and to those whose efforts make this meal possible. May I honor you all by living my life as a blessing to all the families of the Earth. Amen.”
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