Like the spiritual journeys of Buddhists, Gnostics, and Christians like Thomas Merton, when you are on your own journey, you must first seek to learn, understand, contemplate, and reflect on your circumstances and beliefs. Only then can you apply what makes sense to create your own path. Don’t simply accept what others say or copy what others do.
Very well said.
The value of being open to ideas that are not part of the dogma is overlooked. And as a leader highlighting those that challenge the dogma (such as Thomas Merton for the Catholic church) is wise for a leader to do. Of course, you need to highlight efforts that hold true to the spirit/core-values while challenging dogma. It isn't just different ideas that are needed but the right different ideas.
Bench in forest at the Abbey of Gethsemani (where Thomas Merton lived)