As much as I would like to showcase an authentic reflection of ‘diverse’ practitioners in the west, the reality of this issue is beyond the scope of this narrative. Consider these subjects as spiritual friends that are brave enough to share these stories about their intimate practice.
As a word of caution, spiritual seekers, especially within the Buddhist tradition, rarely discuss (much less proselytize) their beliefs and practices outside of their community. From a practical level, in this day and age, being ‘religious’ and not wanting to be hypocritical are notable reasons why most of us don’t share how much the practice has influenced our lives. Like all journeys, the path to liberation is rarely so straightforward but the confidence comes from knowing how to navigate.