It is my desire to share with you this Christmas season a deeply felt message of Love and Hope and Joy.
Life as we experience it has a way of throwing surprises and disappointments in our path, which frequently try our faith, challenge our beliefs, and threaten our peace and happiness. In my own life, the shock and surprise of the recent loss of my beloved son Jon, in the prime of his life, was without a doubt the most difficult and challenging psychological and emotional shock I have ever endured. It has, however, returned me to the awareness that ultimately there really are no endings, but only new beginnings.
Were it not for the generally held belief of the Christian world in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, it is doubtful that there ever would have been a Christ, or a Christmas. So for me, the Spirit of Christmas can be summed up in one word, resurrection. But not the physical resurrection of one man, but the true resurrection as Spirit, for which the resurrection of Jesus is but a metaphor. It calls us into remembrance. Remembrance of the one true spirit which animates and experiences every facet and every experience which each of us, and all of us, have ever known. It is not the life identified by our name and social security number, or temporally extending from one calendar date to some future one. Or restricted to the dimensions of this one limited human body. It is the calm, still, loving and joyful spirit of eternal aware presence which has never left us for a moment, nor is capable of ever doing so. It is always who and what we are at center.
It is what makes our world possible, what makes our joys, interests, friends, family, life, and all our delights, loves, and all our large and small satisfactions possible. It is breathing us now, pumping our blood, and regulating effortlessly the billions of known and unknown bodily processes without which there would be no joy, no loves, no life.
It is this awareness that calls to us now; that calls to us endlessly. It is this awareness which we are. It is too close to us to be seen. It is too close to us to be described. Truly, it is us. But we can only know it by its effects. We know it as the joy we feel in the face of an infant. We know it as the love we feel for our family members, our friends and life partners. We know it as the compassion we feel for those who undergo difficult conditions and tragic circumstances. We know it as the joy and bliss we feel in the warm company of those dearest to us, including our beloved pets. We know it in the transporting bliss and ecstasy of complete immersion in an experience we love– music, painting, books, sports, the arts, the movies– whatever it is that lifts us up!
To you, my friends, and to you, my friends whom I haven’t met yet, I send you the deepest joy and peace of which I am capable, to express my deepest gratitude for your presence in my life, in our life! In the light in your eyes, I see my joy reflected. In the smile on your face I see my own joy revealed. I thank you all for being my true spiritual presents, both now and always. My life would have no meaning without the divine grace of your presence in it. It is my fondest wish that this Christmas season and always, not one thing ever escapes your recognition that it is, in essence, a gift to you, deserving your deepest thanks, and your warmest embrace!
Blessings to you, both now and always, and Thank You!