The festive season is with us again and we even had “Black Friday” in UK trying to tempt us to spend more and more money on discounted goods that we probably don’t want and mostly don’t need.
Maybe age makes one more sanguine when encountering such things and whilst I am all in favour of getting together with our loved ones for a few days to pause and enjoy shared time, the so called “traditions” of Christmas sometimes seem to me to be increasingly irrelevant and perhaps self-indulgent. As I mentioned once before, traditions are merely habits. They are recurring patterns of behaviour, nothing more, even though they are often elevated to a place of false sacredness.
The message of the Christ, whose human incarnation we celebrate at this time, was very simple. It was about love and forgiveness, peace and hope. It was one of total selflessness. So I have decided that whatever I do in this time socially, I will give as much attention as I can to exploring that wonderful love and seeking ways in which I can become it more, sharing it with others wherever possible. For me as a life-long seeker after truth that is most important thing I can do just now.
As we observe our world as a place still riddled with pain, warfare, greed, poverty and selfishness, the magic truth is that we, in our own small corner of life, can make an enormous difference if we identify with that wonderful love, truly open our hearts to it and embrace our world and all the life upon it. It is a time to love, more and more, and really put the joy of others first before our own perceived needs and wants.
The greatest demonstration of love is not simply in loving those it is easy to love and appear to love us and please us. It is revealed more profoundly in our love and forgiveness of those we find difficult, awkward and even unkind and hateful towards us. Finding our love for our enemies is the supreme human triumph, a real sign of the Christ operating through us.
So whilst in the glow of the shared joy and moments with your families and friends, along with sparing a loving thought for those who will be alone, deserted, or homeless perhaps, I invite you to join me in thinking too of the difficult ones, working and searching in your heart for the love and forgiveness they deserve. If you can, do something simple and practical to demonstrate that love – a loving text, letter or phone call maybe or, where appropriate, even a visit. It is the most wonderful thing we can do as we become truly Christ-like. Then we live as an expression of that great unselfish love lived by the man whose birth we remember at this time.
The Dalai Lama said that we are supposed to love people and use things but in this world we tend to use people and love things.
Let us make this holiday period a time of real love, loving others selflessly whatever our traditions and habits dictate. What a marvellous difference we can make.
My love to everyone. Enjoy your holiday.
For those of you continuing to work with your inner process, self-mastery and the ideas I have been sharing, during this year end look especially at the situations and people in your life that still irritate you, or have hurt you. Make this a time where the practice of forgiving others is high on your agenda. Continue clearing and releasing so you can experience a deepening inner peace and greater joy. It may not be easy to begin with and will require a relaxed persistence, but the rewards for all involved are immense.
A simple way to do this is to:
Breathe deeply and rhythmically for a minute or two.
Think of that event or individual you wish to forgive, to release and clear.
Then say the words “I love you and bless you” over and over in your mind for another minute or two, repeating this process as often as you can until you feel more peaceful towards the situation.
This will release so much trapped energy and unwanted memory both in you, your life and others.