As a child I was brought up in the Anglican religion. My mother was quite ‘religious’ – she prayed a lot and went to church whenever she could. We lived in the country and it was not easy for her to get to church. I was sent to an Anglican Girls Grammar School but the religion taught there was so ‘dead’: it was simply a set of rules of things one should not do, some moral values which were worth living by, but that was all.
Although I believed that Jesus had told his disciples to be loving there did not seem to be love anywhere, just fear that one would not be ‘good’ enough. Church services were something we had to attend and I cannot remember one ‘sermon’ inspiring me in any way. I do remember the gossip after the service, which was all about what ‘Mrs So-and-So’ was wearing, or some scandal or other; I could feel this was all very unloving.
I continued to attend church irregularly once I left school and also got married in one. In Montreal, Canada in 1955 there were no civil marriages and one could only be married in a church! I had my children baptised but left their confirmation up to them and did not send them to schools that taught religion. As you can see I did not have any bad experiences but I didn’t have any inspiring ones either.
I lived my life as best I could with integrity and truth, but there was always a feeling of lack there. I believed that I did not truly know what love was and how to be truly loving towards others; I looked for answers in many places along the way – the ‘New Age’ seemed to hold some interesting ones – but when explored further seemed as empty as religion had been.
It was not until I was in my sixties when I began to listen to Serge Benhayon and go to the presentations he gave through Universal Medicine that I began to realise there was another way to live one’s life. This was called The Way of The Livingness, and I realised it had the answers to so many of the questions I had been asking myself for many years. Here was a way to live that was truly loving, a way to learn to love oneself, to nurture oneself and from there to love and nurture others.
If religion is a way of life then my religion is The Way of The Livingness. This is not a set of rules one should live by or a list of things one should not do – it is a way of evolving back to where we came from. It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others. It is a way of returning to the love and joy we felt as children before we became overwhelmed by life.
This does require us to be absolutely honest with ourselves and at first this can be confronting. However, once we look at our perceived ‘faults’ or ‘failings’ we see them as being nothing other than our own creations from which we can choose to rid ourselves very easily, or not… it is always our choice. Our lives are made up of our choices along the way as are the lives of others, and thus we can never judge or feel different from another as we are all travelling along the same road, making our choices every day.
I simply choose to have joy and love as my way of being which for me is now living a truly religious life, The Way of The Livingness.
By Rowena Parkes, Age 84
The Outlier – Thanks to The Way of The Livingness
Organised Religion versus True Religion
Living Religion: A Relationship With Self-love, And God
383 thoughts on “Living a Religious Life & The Way of The Livingness”
When we live from the simplicity of life, and feel the natural joy and harmony from within, we are in ‘The Way of The Livingness’ a religion that simply allows us to return to our natural way of being, where humanity is equal no matter what race colour or creed we come from.
Yes, equality is blind. It has no interest in what you have, don’t have, do or don’t do for a living. It is a connection with the essence within us all or who we are, where we come from and what we are made of.
Living from and with joy, harmony, and love is an amazing way to live, ‘I simply choose to have joy and love as my way of being which for me is now living a truly religious life’.
There is not one rule in true religion, nothing we should do or have to do; The Way of The Livingness is connection to our inner heart and living from that loving place in every aspect of our lives, this we can choose in any moment.
‘ It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others.’ Why on earth do we choose another way to live? The mind boggles when we really feel into the choices we make to make our lives miserable through the judgment, the comparison, the completion etc we have with people. None of that has any purpose, We’re all here together to work together, and it is absolutely possible to do it another way.
I agree with you about the simplicity and joy of living love towards ourselves, our bodies and others. There are so many people who feel discriminated against because of certain religious beliefs, such as gay people and women, and some religious beliefs use God as an excuse to harm others who aren’t part of their group. None of this to me is love/God.
Choosing to have Joy and Love as your way of being makes for some very good sense to me! And the crazy part is, it’s available to every single one of us. Why on earth would we choose differently – once we’ve cottoned on to this way of life of course??!!
A great question Elodie, ‘Why on earth would we choose differently’, when we can choose Joy and Love as our way of being.
The wisdom and absolute Love in your words is deeply touching and honouring of us all, beautiful Rowena.
I think it’s great how you say that as a child you just knew/ could feel that gossiping was unloving – it reminds me how we innately do know what love is (to be able to say what it is not) and so it’s something we know from inside of us and can re-connect back with rather than it being abstract or something we need to attain from outside of us.
“If religion is a way of life then my religion is The Way of The Livingness. This is not a set of rules one should live by or a list of things one should not do – it is a way of evolving back to where we came from.” Beautiful. Connecting with my innermost and moving with love from there – a true religion – reconnecting back to who I truly am.
Reconnecting back to who we truly are, connecting to our innermost and ‘moving with love from there’. A beautiful way to move and live.
True Religion is simply allowing ourselves the opportunity to express the essence of who we are, as when we do that we are naturally in union with the all.
I am really appreciating, thanks to Serge Benhayon and his presentations and through our own everyday way of living, we have come to understand and are now expressing what being religious truly means instead of going to churches and being ‘good’. This is so powerful. We are coming home.
Our lives are the result of the choices we make every day, and our choices play out what we are aligning to. So, bringing honesty to what we are choosing and why is how we bring awareness to what we are aligning to. As you have beautifully shared Rowena, The Way of The Livingness offers a way of living that is simply a return to living in connection to our Soul, to the love we already innately are and the oneness we are all a part of, through our every day.
What choices are we making, how are we moving, all these factors affect what we are aligned to.
When a religion needs rules to keep functioning, it’s clear that has lost its initial essence.
“It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others. It is a way of returning to the love and joy we felt as children before we became overwhelmed by life.” I am so pleased to have re-connected with this way of living, I feel full, search for answers less and have developed a relationship with truth, love, joy, playfulness and energy that supports me in a way I had not remembered.
It is very true that we can never judge another no matter what we are presented with. As I learn to accept myself and be open and transparent with others the judgement is diminishing. I can hold myself more easily without getting pulled into the criticism and judgement of another. I have an understanding and acceptance for who they truly are which feels a very natural way to be.
Love and joy as a way of being, now that is something to shout of and yet it’s very natural to all of us and how we can all live. It may be considered unusual as the majority do not live this way but it’s totally possible if we’re willing to be honest with ourselves and truly address any hurts or issues we see, in the understanding that there is nothing wrong with us, it’s just that we have chosen to be less than the love we are and any moment we can choose differently.
Religion for me too is not about a set of rules or something contained to a certain building but about the values that I bring to my everyday life, the way I am in all that I do and all whom I’m with; something that can be continually refined.
The thing with the religion that I was brought up with, it didn’t actually matter how good you were anyway because we are born sinners and unworthy and that is pretty much our lot. Oh you can confess those sins but because we are human we will always commit more.
Doomed from the beginning :i.. not a supportive entry into life for a child being labelled as a ‘sinner’, and then the counter trying to live as a ‘saint’ is neither true. To live by the love of one’s heart is natural and free of the imposition.
I love your description of The Way of The Livingness. From my experience it is not a case of choosing this and suddenly ta dah you are there (although our essence is always innately there which we can connect to) but it is a constant willingness and re-evaluation and stock take of our life and the choices we are making as you so rightly say absolute honesty is an essential key to this as well as our intentions with everything we do.
To be left uninspired by a religion, is an experience that denies the glory of God that lives within you. And so here we have the true purpose of religion and what it is really meant for as not being about vanity or control, but rather about your re-connection with your divine spark.
Have we ever considered that mainstream ‘religion’ is the perfect companion for people who live empty lives? Although this is not true for everyone, we have to start talking about what religion does for us and what we ask it to do for us.
The choices we make regarding religion need to be respected. The Way of The Livingness might sound strange to some – not like a religion at all; others will think because they’ve never heard of it, it is has no validity. As with Rowena, The Way of The Livingness has inspired me where no other religion or path could, and the changes I’ve made as a result of my living of the principles it presents have been both positive and profound.
One life, one unifying religion, one teaching that has stood the test of time The Ageless Wisdom, which is presented by one amazing presenter, and it is one Livingness that is The Way that is there for all equally!
I was also brought up in the Anglican tradition… I was an altar boy until I fell asleep and dropped the bishops cross ☺ that was it for me with religion until I rediscovered God in every breath and in every footstep.
I had looked for God all my life through various religions, but it wasn’t until I was in my sixties that I found him, in the teaching of The Way of The Livingness, in my own inner heart, and the inner hearts of all mankind.
The blog is great but I am still stuck on the fact that you are 84 and look as a beautiful and graceful as ever. You are sharp and wise, if that is not proof enough of what The Livingness offers, I don’t know what is. Your writing also shows how switched on and active you are in the last quarter of your life, truly inspiring.
I was not drawn to any religion as I was growing up but when I was introduced to The Way of The Livingness I knew I found the true world religion. I am inspired every day to live love and truth, this is the religion I know will ignite fire back to humanity.
I looked at many paths to life, and The Way of The Livingness is the only path I know of that gives me all the answers how to lead a true way of living, a life about Love, Truth and living a life that benefits all. No rules, simple but not easy.
“…It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others…” A religion that pays homage inwardly (esoterically) rather than to something outside oneself.
Yes and as such we are able to walk it as part and parcel of our way of living, not just speak it and try to sell a theory or a formula. It never worked for me, that felt empty, so why would it work for others. Go the inward connection!!!
Thank you Rowena . My growing up I always had a liking for religion , ( I grow up in the republic of Ireland which basically was ,is controlled by the roman catholic church ) I loved when the priest read the gospels and read the parables of Jesus.
But all the rest contradicted what the parables of Jesus presented , the sermon of the priest , the way I was raised, the way people interacted with each other, it was all unloving. But I loved the parables they made sense to me . When I heard the presentations of Universal Medicine I got the same feeling , thank you Serge Benhayon . Now I know the truth of “religion” my relationship with God thats why I liked religion so. There is a way to live a religious relationship with God and I love it.
“It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others. It is a way of returning to the love and joy we felt as children before we became overwhelmed by life.” The Way of The Livingness is also my knowing and understanding of true religion as a way of life and everything else is not and this is very simple and known within.
My experience of religion was much the same as yours Rowena, it was very uninspiring and I could see people acting very Holy within the walls of the church but acting completely different on the outside.
This is interesting to observe because I felt the same as you. I get very inspired when I see people living true religion as it reminds me that we all do know what true religion is.
So true kevmchardy for it is actually what you do out of church that matters and has the biggest impact on both yourself and others’ day to day life.
There is so much about Religion that put me off when I was a child, especially seeing as I was Catholic and could not understand their version of God – it made no sense to the loving God that I felt deep within. I was naturally cautious when I heard of The Way of The Livingness being a Religion, I could feel how uncomfortable this felt in my body because of the bastardised and untrue versions of Religion I had been exposed to as a child. The Way of The Livingness has been life changing for me in so many ways as it is a true Religion, and as you so beautifully sum up in this line – ‘It is a way of living that is full of love – towards ourselves, our bodies and towards others’, yes absolutely, I totally agree Rowena.
Realising life is made up of our choices is a huge step, one that requires great honesty and responsibility and one that is so liberating.
The truth is our bodies always want to choose life, but in life many times we are living anti-life. When we feel we know what is truth, we know what is life, and in life we are re-discovering ways to truly live. This sounds simple but it is not easy, because most things in life actually discourage us intensely to live and to reclaim what is true. Therefore to truly live, we have to first develop a steadiness and solidity within ourselves, which is to develop a foundation of love with ourselves.
When we start to wake up and realise how we have been living and the extent of the unloving actions towards ourselves and others, it all stands out so strikingly as being abusive that it makes you realise how asleep you must have been, and how come we did not come to this awakening of our own accord. I know for myself and my family it took attending the Universal Medicine presentations by Serge Benhayon for us to stop and listen to the truth of the matter.
Values and rules imparted that are apparently worth living by but not actually lived are empty and indeed dead in both their teachings and potential to inspire change and true evolution.
True religion is a very personal relationship and has very little to do with dogma or rules imposed upon the many by the few.
There is such a stark contrast between a set of rules that have been written in stone, and a living way that is guided at all times by our innermost to be in service for everyone. In particular that we need others to re-interpret the written rules, or we are the ones that inform our choices based on the divinity we can feel inside and all around.
“…gossip after the service…” is also a form of religion, ie a way of having a relationship with other people that feeds a version of connection that is in fact not connecting but separating.
How true, often when we look at behaviours they can be counter to that which we are truly seeking, connection with each other.
If true religion is simply making daily choices that truly support us in our everyday, that lead to a healthier, more vital, more inclusive and more committed way of life, surley this requires deeper enquiry when so much of our society is dissatisfied, unhappy, unhealthy and constantly searching for something to bring answers to the bigger questions about life.
“The Way of The Livingness. This is not a set of rules one should live by or a list of things one should not do…” – this is such a difference to all the idealized, solution based, life improving promise making or old spiritual or religious tradition praising methods and teachings. It is simple, clear and practical. You know it when you give it a moment of openness.
Religion, if it is about our natural relationship with God can only be inspiring. This is where we are reminded we are so much more than we have been led to believe and intimately connected to everyone and everything. There is nothing greater in life. For religion to not be inspiring means that man’s reinterpretations of God and religion have gotten in the way and tainted the awe and love that should naturally be there.
“…once we look at our perceived ‘faults’ or ‘failings’ we see them as being nothing other than our own creations from which we can choose to rid ourselves very easily, or not… it is always our choice.”
Beautiful blog Rowena and the words above are particularly powerful to read and feel. Every part of me knows that I am responsible for the way my life is but I don’t live as though this is the case a lot of the time. Blame, indulgence and irresponsibility may make me feel ‘better’ at times but they also make it more difficult to connect to joy and glory.
I’ve read this a few times and had the experience myself…. where a Church or Sermon just seem so lifeless, with no connection to me or the wider community. I love what I have found through Universal Medicine in The Way of The Livingness. Super simple, warm and full of love and life… not for me, but through me for humanity.
I love that the words ‘religion’ and ‘enriched’ go hand in hand; life should never feel cold or empty, and connecting to the flame of us, the stars and there being something ‘more’ is what makes life religious.
“This does require us to be absolutely honest with ourselves and at first this can be confronting. However, once we look at our perceived ‘faults’ or ‘failings’ we see them as being nothing other than our own creations from which we can choose to rid ourselves very easily, or not… it is always our choice.”
The honesty can be confronting because it requires to take responsibiliity for the next steps we take in order to live more of the love we are.
It can be very sad the moment we realise that much of what we live amongst in our world is not holding any love and care for humanity. This moment though is a tipping point, one where we begin to explore what is love and how it feels to live from and with it.
Something that stood out for me when reading this, was being honest with ourselves….now I have begun to unreel the layers of dishonesty that surround the way I live, particularly how I have ignored what my body shares, but it does take some doing to let go of the ideas we have about life being good and right and about ourselves. This is however loving, it is loving to be aware of the whole, consider how we are with others, be honest, these are simple tenants of a way of being, that is religious, otherwise it is all rules and just words. The Way of The Livingness has a key message in it’s title, it is a living way, aligning with it, comes from a lived quality, it not just speaking about doing it. When I choose to begin to heal with responsibility, and return to an essence of pure love and truth that I have felt, I am living a religious life. This I understand and can relate to.
Rowena, this is very beautiful and so simple, this feels like true religion to me; ‘Here was a way to live that was truly loving, a way to learn to love oneself, to nurture oneself and from there to love and nurture others.’
More than ever before, science and research are drawing a great big link between our health and the way that we live. So if we want a truly well life, then surely it makes sense to make the way we are every day our devotion and focus? If you wanted to sum this approach up you could not do better than call it ‘The Way of The Livingness’. After all what is more powerful that the quality we choose to be? Thank you, Rowena, for this reminder to cherish and honour me.
We are all traveling along the same road. I’m so appreciating the understanding of this that allows me to drop judgements I once held. Sometimes I have to work on this and can feel judgement towards myself that needs understanding and healing. Judgement feels so toxic and deprives us of supporting one another along the same road with the same destination we will all get to. It is never a race or competition but an appreciation of one another.