August 09, 2010

Religion and roommates

Should it matter what religion or faith your roommates adhere to? A recent New York Times article suggests that when it comes to selecting roommates, religion can be a key factor. Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists alike seek living arrangements where practice won't be an issue:

Olivia Magdelene, 30, a Buddhist, is not looking for a roommate of any particular background, but someone who doesn’t mind her rituals. So when she posted a room-wanted ad on Craigslist, she specified what she is willing to pay ($500 in any borough) and that during her daily meditation she burns incense like nag champa, which she says some people find noxious.

“I basically listed my religion and my practices in the ad because I am looking for other people with like minds,” says Ms. Magdelene, an artist who also works in child care. Religion, she says, “is not a thing you can outsource to a mosque or a temple; it’s a way of life.”

To take her religious life out of her home, she says, “is like asking an artist, ‘Why don’t you just do art across town? Why do you need to sketch in your bedroom?’ ”

For those interviewed in the article, practice and daily life should not be compartmentalized. According to Justin Hilton, a young man living in a Christian house in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, "living where religion is as much a part of daily roommate life as making sure there’s milk in the fridge, means the principles of his faith are always in practice."

Have your living conditions ever interfered with your practice? How important is it to live with people who share your beliefs?

To read the entire New York Times article "Sharing the Faith, Splitting the rent" click here.

Image: nytimes.com

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Timmy Mac's picture

Do kids and babies count as roommates? If so, then yes, my roommates screw up my zazen practice all the time!