]I live in a country where religion is an integral part of "culture". Take ]out the religion and most of our customs, rituals, festivals and beliefs ]would be gone. So I'm not a "Westerner who doesn't understand the ways of ]the East", etc. Heck, I used to be pretty religious as a kid. This was a ]societal influence rather than a personal thing, I guess. I did the prayer ]thing, talked to God, etc. As I grew older and started thinking more, I ]found it harder to understand ("Why aren't my prayers working?"). I ]gradually became an agnostic, and then later, an atheist. I've yet to be ]smote by lightning. :) ] Maybe it wasn't your prayers that were the problem. Perhaps they were misdirected. Ever try praying to Joe Pesci? (http://www.humor.com/html/comedians/june_carlin.html) HTH, Sean G.