Too much renunciation

By Paulo Coelho

I met the painter Miie Tamaki during a seminar on Female Energy. I asked what her religion was.

‘I don’t have a religion any more,’ she said.

Noticing my look of surprise, she added:

‘I was brought up as a Buddhist. The monks taught me that the spiritual road was one of constant renunciation: we must overcome our feelings of envy and hatred, any doubts about our faith and any desires. I managed to free myself from all of that until one day my heart was empty; my sins had all disappeared, but so had my human nature. At first, I was very pleased, but I came to realise that I no longer shared the joys and passions of the people around me. That was when I abandoned religion. Now I have my conflicts, my moments of rage and despair, but I know that I am once more close to other people and, therefore, close to God.’

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