Showing posts with label manger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manger. Show all posts

Monday, December 12, 2011

Occupy the Heart! Christmas Reflections

I cannot help but applaud the “occupiers,” protestors of the greed that is symbolized by “Wall Street.” Yes, changes are long overdue, and yes, we were not wise enough to make them on our own volition; and yes, we’ve asked for it, deserved it, no less; and, finally, yes, most of the people in western nations would not have made any other choices but to live beyond our means, both in money and in the world’s natural resources!

Whether the protestors cause any political change directly is less the point (to me) than the fact that they symbolize a shift in consciousness. For every occupier there must surely be a million, perhaps millions, of people in support of what they are saying. So there may well be some changes in attitude and policy in the years ahead.

There is a story from the life of Paramhansa Yogananda (see the book, “Conversations with Yogananda,” by Swami Kriyananda, wherein he was being thwarted by the Los Angeles Planning and Building Department regarding one of his properties there. Discussing his frustration with a group of disciples, someone blurted out, “There ought to be a revolution!” Yogananda chuckled at first with everyone else, then paused, became quiet and more serious, and then added, “There WILL be a revolution!”

Well, none too soon in my book. But I’m not here, today, to complain about our political and economic troubles. One could write a book about those and yet, for one’s effort, nothing would change. It’s the Christmas (or, would you prefer, Solstice?) holiday season and it is one of good cheer and goodwill toward all.

Instead, I say, “Let’s OCCUPY THE HEART!” By that I do not mean something soupy and sentimental. The heart is the receiving station for intuition and deep feelings, not just the boiling cauldron of ever-changing emotions that most people believe and experience the heart to be.

In the stories of the birth of Krishna in India, and Jesus Christ in Israel, the former was born in a prison, and the latter, a manger. Both were pursued by the local king who sought to kill them, as both were perceived by him to be a threat to his worldly power.

To us this symbolizes that our materially-minded, self-involved, self-affirming ego will fight our soul qualities to the death because the ego knows that the awakening of our soul nature threatens to de-throne the ego. But it’s easier to kill the soul when it’s still an infant and relatively helpless. The reason many children were killed in these two parallel stories is that infant soul qualities wherever located and whatever form they take are always a threat to the ego’s rule of the body kingdom.

In the darkened chamber of our heart, even if but imprisoned by the ego, lives the infant of our divine, soul Self. This calmer, wiser, and kinder higher Self occupies the heart and is the source of our heart’s natural loving nature. Whether we occupy Wall Street or Main Street or 228th Street is less important than the heart that pre-occupies us.  It is “where I am coming from” that counts far more than “where I am going to.”

We all have very different lives and only a few can go out and occupy anything at all. It’s less important what we do, and far more important how we do it. We like to think that what we do is important, and it is to us, or, at least, we may need that attitude in order to summon the will power, energy, and creativity to accomplish our work. But, let’s face it, drop dead today and someone else will take your place. They may even do a better job than you.

It is not my intention to suggest anyone act irresponsibly, just honestly and wisely, as best we can. What I am saying is that the intention and consciousness behind our every word, thought, and emotion, indeed, our essential “vibration,” is the real determinant in the happiness and fulfillment we discover in life.

During the Solstice season , on the shortest day of the year, the sun of God is born and with each passing day thereafter, he will grow in strength and wisdom as he ascends toward the summer Solstice. What a beautiful symbol and what an opportunity for us to be still, resting in the manger of the quiet and humble heart, to witness, pay reverence and adoration, to offer gifts of our intention, goodwill, and devotion to this infant Light.

It is this deeper knowing that brings millions of people out into the cold winter night on Christmas Eve to participate in devotions of all type, even when this may be the only time of the year some people do this.

For as the tiny oak seedling can grow into a mighty tree which gives rest and shelter to all creatures, so too the Light of God, manifested in the spark of divinity which is our own and unique soul, can grow and wrest from the pretender king ego the princely throne of our heart, mind, and body once again!

Christ is not just a human being born two thousand years ago. Christ is the Light reflected in every atom of creation that endows creation with innate intelligence and joy. It is this Christ consciousness that certain souls have fully realized (“Self-realized”) that anoints them as prophets, as messengers down through the ages who come to remind us of our true Self. Christ-mass therefore is the celebration of the second coming of Christ in our own hearts. He comes in the dark night of the soul’s winter, when nothing of this world can satisfy us. It is the Christ, the Kristna, the Buddha that comes to us as a messenger, carrying a Light which shines in our personal darkness and lights our way. That message is the same everywhere: “Know thy Self,” turn within to discover that that light is within us, as well.

Meditation is the priceless gift of India to this age of great change that we might find the inner security and inner peace of our soul. “Give me a light to light my way, truth is the light, so wise men say.” Imagine if this Light were to occupy the hearts of even but a small percentage of humanity, today! It would change the world in a way no legislation, no protest, no funding from a rich foundation, nor any treaty could ever do.

A blessed, bliss-filled celebration of the universal Christ consciousness in you, and in all creation. Occupy your heart of Light.

Nayaswami Hriman