I remember reading somewhere that a saint ( Saint Augustine of Hippo? ) had wrote that it’s okay to adopt non Christian concepts as long as they help you be a better Christian. I hope I understood that saint right.
Bearing that in mind, I’m wondering if anyone else here has done something similar.
For myself, here’s a list of non Christian concepts I’ve adopted over the years.
1: From the Tao Te Ching, I’ve found a passage in which the author recommended delving into the roots of things in meditation. I’ve found it useful to do this delving in order to discover the root causes of my interior problems.
2: The Zen Buddhist practice of shikantaza; in which a meditator allows the free flow of thoughts and emotions to rise and fall within the mind without chasing after them, getting caught up in them or judging them. It’s proven useful to discern what my mind is preoccupied with.
3: From the Platonist tradition, a certain meditative exercise in which the meditator focuses on, identifies with and silences the physical world, the random thoughts, conscious thought and the mind itself. Using this technique, I had an interesting vision in which I discerned the beautiful and benevolent interconnectedness of God’s Creation. This unified my fragmented mind at the time.
4: Also from the Platonist tradition, the visual of looking up out of the earthliness of the world and focusing on God in the heavens.
5: From Japanese Shinto, I’ve adopted the practice of clasping my hands together and bowing toward Jesus as I pass by the remonstrance in church and when I pray before an icon of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help. As a form of respect.
6: The Filipino concept of kapwa. Kapwa is a precolonial concept that has the individual as a part of the larger community; not as an atomistic individual. As a part of a greater whole of which he is a part; taking on the interests of the community as his own. I’ve found this very appealing and helpful in how I relate to others. Personally, I think Western culture could benefit from adopting this concept.
Beyond these concepts, I pretty much am a faithful Catholic and I practice Ignatian spirituality.