The Nativity – A Beautiful Light Within

 

What has become of Christmas? With the true meaning lost within the busy quest for self-gratification, there is little time to read of study the real meaning of Christmas, yet our very survival on this planet depends on us elevating our hearts and soul to another level, one where ME becomes we….The soul of man today dwells in unrelenting noise that drowns out all contact with that blissful inner harmony that can only be found in inner silence. This inner and mystical silence wherein the purest spiritual state can be achieved is the Silent Night…”

 

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The Nativity

In the Christian story of the “Nativity”, the King of Kings as the Son of God is born in a stable among the beasts of burden. This most noble and glorious of Beings is depicted as being born in the most lowly of abodes. His room is a manger fit for animals, his bed is made of straw, his source of heat is the very breath of the beasts that so very wilfully share their quarters with him. The stable is not a castle or a mansion. The Shepherds are not noblemen and there are no servants waiting on him. Why does this most glorious, exalted and long awaited wonderful event transpire through such humility, modesty and lowliness? Why this event is called the Silent Holy Night?

This image of the divine child is a most beautiful symbol revealing very profound principles and truths. The stable sheltering the beasts represents the material aspect of our beings as that which belongs to the body, form and matter. It is that which belongs to the physical self, which houses the animal appetites and the desires of the senses. It corresponds to that which is the lowest aspects of our being, that which binds us to the earth. Just as the blooming of the beautiful sacred lotus flower on the surface of the waters has its roots below the surface anchored in the mud underneath, so too our highest spiritual understanding is rooted in that which is the lowest in us.

The comforting warmth given off by the breath of the beasts is allegorical of the alchemical fire of the vital force resident within every cell in our body. It is this fire that incubates the divine child within us. The darkness of the Holy Night represents the unconscious mind that has begun to be illuminated by a star which the Magi seek to behold and follow to the manger. If we meditate on this beautiful picture of the kings of the East adoring the Divine Child, we realize a beautiful image. The stable is no longer perceived as something lowly when divinity has found abode within it. The radiance of this infant as the unfolding and birthing of a man-god reveals the consummation of the alchemical wedding of heaven and earth. What a beautiful and sacred temple our lowly stable has become as we realize a most wonderful presence within its simple and humble manger! What a blessed and sacred temple the body of man truly is!

The soul of man today dwells in unrelenting noise that drowns out all contact with that blissful inner harmony that can only be found in inner silence. This inner and mystical silence wherein the purest spiritual state can be achieved is the Silent Night. If we keep vigil, and we receive the higher grace of God, then we will become conscious of that Holy Night, where we will perceive the star of the Magi and follow it to its crib in the manger as the inner depths of our beings, and there behold the new born Divine Infant representing our birth into a new and higher spirituality. In this way we will realize our own divinity as our inner master reveals himself and manifests his light into the world.

Merry Christmas and All Best Wishes to all. ~ Steven Kalec

 

Little Things Matter, Hummingbird Magic –

spend a few minutes being mesmerized by the Hummers

I just love Hummingbirds. Their dazzling wings and swift movements remind me of gloriously clad angels. And like angels they appeal to the spiritual side of my nature. I can’t cease to wonder at the beauty of nature and all it has to offer. Who can doubt there’s a divine plan for ourselves and all creatures, when watching a tiny humming bird. They are so tiny, so exquisite that we are simply mesmerized by them. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth’s creatures before we lose them forever. Yes, even the tiny hummingbirds we can lose if we destroy their habitat. We’ve been homo sapiens for a long time. Now it’s time to become homo conscious.

Our love and admiration for the Earth and her beauty has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination. We have all suffered, for too long, centuries of individualism and competition that have brought about tremendous destruction and alienation for other creatures and the Earth itself. We need to re-establish true communication–true communion–with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another as children of the same mother.

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images from the Internet
images from the Internet

Goddess Earth – Inspirational Quotations

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Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, is a man at great peace even as he predicts the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change.

The 86-year-old Vietnamese monk, who has hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, believes the reason most people are not responding to the threat of global warming, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, is that they are unable to save themselves from their own personal suffering, never mind worry about the plight of Mother Earth.

Thay, as he is known, says it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed.

By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth.

 

 

Look beyond fear

In Thay’s new book,  “Fear” he writes about how people spend much of their lives worrying about getting ill, ageing and losing the things they treasure most, despite the obvious fact that one day they will have to let them all go.

When we understand that we are more than our physical bodies, that we didn’t come from nothingness and will not disappear into nothingness, we are liberated from fear, he says; fearlessness is not only possible but the ultimate joy.

“Our perception of time may help,” Thay told me in his modest home in Plum Village monastery near Bordeaux. “For us it is very alarming and urgent, but for Mother Earth, if she suffers she knows she has the power to heal herself even if it takes 100m years. We think our time on earth is only 100 years, which is why we are impatient. The collective karma and ignorance of our race, the collective anger and violence will lead to our destruction and we have to learn to accept that.

“And maybe Mother Earth will produce a great being sometime in the next decade … We don’t know and we cannot predict. Mother Earth is very talented. She has produced Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great beings.

“So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us. And we have to accept that the worst can happen; that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser.”

 

Excerpted from the Guardian On Line with thanks

 

Amazing photos of our beautiful home, Earth.

 

 

Prediction – Inspirational Quotations

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A disciple of Yogananda once asked, “Will the Earth be destroyed?” “Definitely not,” he answered. Sri Yogananda also said, “I prophesize you will see a new world! a world of peace, harmony, and prosperity. The earth will know no wars for hundreds of years, so tired will they be of violence of all kinds.”

The earth, in this new Dwapra age, will see inconceivable progress, not only with great advancement — scientific and otherwise — on all levels of life, but there will even be travel to distant planets. Dwapar Yuga is a time when man will penetrate the illusion of space. If space is indeed an illusion, then the most distant galaxy must be no farther away, really, than our own feet! Perhaps man will then be able even to travel to galaxies that now seem impossibly distant from us.

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Prediction

The ancients have predicted there will be a time when all creatures of Earth will understand each other and know each other’s thoughts. And although we will still consume each other, the necessity of function and the assurance of our return will remove all trepidation. Fear of another will only occur when a threat is imminent. Suspicion and fear from unknown motivations will be eliminated. And because we will know each other’s thoughts, we will no longer waste any time with those who don’t appreciate and love us.

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We will understand the language of the weather and the seasons. We will know what to expect and cultivate accordingly. Sufficiency will be assured. Hunger will be optional. We will understand our place in the world and harmony will prevail. This prediction is the promised reward for the final maturing of our species.

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All species have a cycle of existence that resembles the cycle of an individual life. For example, tortoises are in advanced maturity in their cycle. They have achieve wisdom and serenity. Antelopes, on the other hand, are in the young adulthood of their cycle as a species. They enjoy the enthusiasm and energy of movement, courtship and the curiosity of new ideas.

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Humans are in the adolescent part of their cycle. This manifests in their insecurity and bluster, in their unfamiliarity with their bodies, in their desire to appear knowledgeable about all things, in their quarrelsomeness, in their easy embarrassment, and in their secret urge to improve themselves.

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All stages within these cycles are important and necessary. We wouldn’t want to go from youth to old age without the intervening transitions, even if we could. We might miss something exciting. So there is no negative judgement in finding our species in its adolescence. We should just enjoy it and look forward to what comes next. The prediction is coming true..

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~ Bill Martin from Lost Legends – 1995

We Are All Connected, Sai Baba ~ Inspirational Quotations

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Charming old photo of Baba with young school children

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The Earth is like a one-room schoolhouse in which students of different grade levels are assembled together: first graders co-exist with college seniors, remedial students with the gifted.. Its courses are taught in every language and cover every subject. Students of all nationalities and all races attend this school – all of humankind does. All are on the path toward a spiritual graduation. The lessons in this school are difficult because here we have bodies so we experience illness, death, loss, pain, separation, and so many other states of suffering. Yet, the earth also has such powerful redeeming virtues, like incredible beauty, physical love, unconditional love, soul mates, pleasure for all our senses, kind and compassionate people, and the opportunity for accelerated spiritual growth. Eventually, over the course of many lifetimes, we will learn all these lessons. Our education will be complete, and we will not need to come to Earth again any more.

(Like Baba always said, we are like light-bulbs, all of a different size and shape, each alive with a different wattage. From one hundred wattage power to one thousand wattage power. This is the “current” that runs through us all, and is found in all creatures, from the macrocosm to the microcosm.)

On the astral planes, we discover the advanced dimension that exists beyond our human awareness, and we begin to look into the many mysteries. There we can see and feel the sublime manifestations of what on Earth appears to be solid and material, and we acquire an understanding of these absolute energies at their most elevated vibration. There, we explore the nuances and levels of loving-kindness; compared to Earth and its physical form, it is learning at a higher octave. Even though these lessons are the graduate-level-courses, they are still part of our soul’s curriculum. Our knowledge is always expanding.

From page 19  Chapter 1: We Are All Connected, Miracles Happen, Dr. Brian Weiss and Amy E. Weiss. 

Inspired by Miracles Happen, Dr. Brian Weiss


The Quest For Light – Inspirational Quotations

The quest for this Light has been the perennial purpose of life. This Inner Light is the Beloved within, the Bride of the mystical wedding. All human relationships are rehearsals preparing us for our metaphysical romance:the cosmic love-making of the sparkle of light encountering the bon fire, the small candle flame entering the sun, the lotus bud blooming, human becoming angel.

The light within each one is being born.

THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH
Julie Redstone

The future of the earth is the future of God’s expression within the realm of the physical, both within physical matter itself and within the consciousness of men. The new world that is being born, even today, holds sacred reality at its center, no longer separated from the truth of its immersion in a sanctified and holy universe that has been created and blessed by the One Creator of all.

The future of the earth is shaped by light’s present intensification upon the earth as ordained according to a Divine timetable that it be so – a timetable that is now activating a movement on a planetary level into a higher dimension of consciousness. This planetary activation, brought about by the higher frequencies of light, has, as an additional consequence, the purification and release of all that is not of the light into individual and collective awareness so that only purity, light, and love remain and so that the dominant frequency pattern of the earth and her inhabitants can blend with the frequencies of the higher dimensions of light.

Movement into the earth’s future began long ago, in the progressive infusion of a longing for spiritual truth into the earth’s energy body so that despite the fact that society was becoming more and more complex, with more and more of an acceptance of a standard for itself that departed from its sacred origins, despite this, the inner collective heart of humanity beat more strongly with a longing for true spiritual enlightenment and for a return to a different way of life. These two trends, so at odds with each other, have been with humanity for a long time now, and they are, for the first time today, being addressed so that the next step in the earth’s spiritual evolution can take place.

The higher frequencies of light coming to the earth today bring with them a new consciousness of oneness. They alter the existing pattern of separation and alienation which has given rise to conflict over the centuries, and permit the installation of a new pattern within consciousness that acknowledges that what harms another also harms myself, since the other is part of myself.

This growing awareness of the other-as-self is part of the future of the earth, as are the energies of love and compassion which such an awareness generates. Out of this beginning shall come the motivation to create the firm foundation for a new society – one in which responsibility for the well-being of all, rather than the well-being of a few, shall prevail, and one in which the earth herself will be cared for by all, rather than used by all without adequate concern for her well-being and longevity.

We move into the future of the earth today with a mixture of hope and celebration as well as with ongoing distress over the unhealed portions of the earth’s functioning that continue to cause great suffering for many. These unhealed aspects of planetary consciousness are coming into sharper focus today as part of the earth’s purification, so that the darker energies which give rise to such separation, no longer hold sway within the human mind or heart. Ultimately, the earth and all of her inhabitants will be free of these energies, for the Mind and Heart of God have ordained that it be so – that the future of the earth be a future of peace and hope for all, and that the earth itself become a sanctified and holy planet of light. May it be so, and may the earth itself and all of her inhabitants be blessed.

Thay Walks His Talk – The Value Of Kindness

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh says a spiritual revolution is needed if we are going to confront the environmental challenges that face us.

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has been practising meditation and mindfulness for 70 years and radiates an extraordinary sense of calm and peace. This is a man who on a fundamental level walks his talk, and whom Buddhists revere as a Bodhisattva; seeking the highest level of being in order to help others.

Ever since being caught up in the horrors of the Vietnam war, the 86-year-old monk has committed his life to reconciling conflict and in 1967 Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying “his ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.”

So it seems only natural that in recent years he has turned his attention towards not only addressing peoples’ disharmonious relationships with each other, but also with the planet on which all our lives depend.

Thay, as he is known to his many thousands of followers, sees the lack of meaning and connection in peoples’ lives as being the cause of our addiction to consumerism and that it is vital we recognise and respond to the stress we are putting on Earth if civilisation is to survive.

What Buddhism offers, he says, is the recognition that we all suffer and the way to overcome that pain is to directly confront it, rather than seeking to hide or bypass it through our obsession with shopping, entertainment, work or the beautification of our bodies. The craving for fame, wealth, power and sex serves to create only the illusion of happiness and ends up exacerbating feelings of disconnection and emptiness.

Thay refers to a billionaire chief executive of one of America’s largest companies, who came to one of his meditation courses and talked of his suffering, worries and doubts, of thinking everyone was coming to take advantage of him and that he had no friends.

In an interview at his home and retreat centre in Plum Village near Bordeaux, Thay outlines how a spiritual revolution is needed if we are going to confront the multitude of environmental challenges.

While many experts point to the enormous complexity and difficulty in addressing issues ranging from the destruction of ecosystems to the loss of millions of species, Thay sees a Gordian Knot that needs slicing through with a single strike of a sharp blade.

Move beyond concept of the “environment”

He believes we need to move beyond talking about the environment, as this leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet in terms only of what it can do for them.

Change is possible only if there is a recognition that people and planet are ultimately one and the same.

“You carry Mother Earth within you,” says Thay. “She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.

“In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.

“Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

“So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it and realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.”

Putting an economic value on nature is not enough

Thay, who will this spring be in the UK to lead a five day retreat as well as a mindfulness in education conference, says the current vogue in economic and business circles that the best way to protect the planet is by putting an economic value on nature is akin to putting a plaster on a gaping wound.

“I don’t think it will work,” he says. “We need a real awakening, enlightenment, to change our way of thinking and seeing things.”

Rather than placing a price tag of our forests and coral reefs, Thay says change will happen on a fundamental level only if we fall back in love with the planet: “The Earth cannot be described either by the notion of matter or mind, which are just ideas, two faces of the same reality. That pine tree is not just matter as it possesses a sense of knowing. A dust particle is not just matter since each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.

“When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.

“We want to be connected. That is the meaning of love, to be at one. When you love someone you want to say I need you, I take refuge in you. You do anything for the benefit of the Earth and the Earth will do anything for your wellbeing.”

In the world of business, Thay gives the example of Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of outdoor clothing company Patagonia, who combined developing a successful business with the practice of mindfulness and compassion: “It’s possible to make money in a way that is not destructive, that promotes more social justice and more understanding and lessens the suffering that exists all around us,” says Thay.

“Looking deeply, we see that it’s possible to work in the corporate world in a way that brings a lot of happiness both to other people and to us … our work has meaning.”

Thay, who has written more than 100 books, suggests that the lost connection with Earth’s natural rhythm is behind many modern sicknesses and that, in a similar way to our psychological pattern of blaming our mother and father for our unhappiness, there is an even more hidden unconscious dynamic of blaming Mother Earth.

In a new essay, Intimate Conversation with Mother Earth, he writes: “Some of us resent you for giving birth to them, causing them to endure suffering, because they are not yet able to understand and appreciate you.”

How mindfulness can reconnect people to Mother Earth

He points to increasing evidence that mindfulness can help people to reconnect by slowing down and appreciating all the gifts that the earth can offer.

“Many people suffer deeply and they do not know they suffer,” he says. “They try to cover up the suffering by being busy. Many people get sick today because they get alienated from Mother Earth.

“The practice of mindfulness helps us to touch Mother Earth inside of the body and this practice can help heal people. So the healing of the people should go together with the healing of the Earth and this is the insight and it is possible for anyone to practice.

“This kind of enlightenment is very crucial to a collective awakening. In Buddhism we talk of meditation as an act of awakening, to be awake to the fact that the earth is in danger and living species are in danger.”

Thay gives the example of something as simple and ordinary as drinking a cup of tea. This can help transform a person’s life if he or she were truly to devote their attention to it.

“When I am mindful, I enjoy more my tea,” says Thay as he pours himself a cup and slowly savours the first sip. “I am fully present in the here and now, not carried away by my sorrow, my fear, my projects, the past and the future. I am here available to life.

“When I drink tea this is a wonderful moment. You do not need a lot of power or fame or money to be happy. Mindfulness can help you to be happy in the here and now. Every moment can be a happy moment. Set an example and help people to do the same. Take a few minutes in order to experiment to see the truth.”

Need to deal with ones own anger to be an effective social activist

Thay has over many years developed the notion of  applied Buddhism underpinned by a set of ethical practices known as the five mindful trainings, which are very clear on the importance of tackling social injustice.

However, if social and environmental activists are to be effective, Thay says they must first deal with their own anger. Only if people discover compassion for themselves will they be able to confront those they hold accountable for polluting our seas and cutting down our forests.

“In Buddhism we speak of collective action,” he says. “Sometimes something wrong is going on in the world and we think it is the other people who are doing it and we are not doing it.

“But you are part of the wrongdoing by the way you live your life. If you are able to understand that, not only you suffer but the other person suffers, that is also an insight.

“When you see the other person suffer you will not want to punish or blame but help that person to suffer less. If you are burdened with anger, fear, ignorance and you suffer too much, you cannot help another person. If you suffer less you are lighter more smiling, pleasant to be with, and in a position to help the person.

“Activists have to have a spiritual practice in order to help them to suffer less, to nourish the happiness and to handle the suffering so they will be effective in helping the world. With anger and frustration you cannot do much.”

Touching the “ultimate dimension”

Key to Thay’s teaching is the importance of understanding that while we need to live and operate in a dualistic world, it is also vital to understand that our peace and happiness lie in the recognition of the ultimate dimension: “If we are able to touch deeply the historical dimension – through a leaf, a flower, a pebble, a beam of light, a mountain, a river, a bird, or our own body – we touch at the same time the ultimate dimension. The ultimate dimension cannot be described as personal or impersonal, material or spiritual, object or subject of cognition – we say only that it is always shining, and shining on itself.

“Touching the ultimate dimension, we feel happy and comfortable, like the birds enjoying the blue sky, or the deer enjoying the green fields. We know that we do not have to look for the ultimate outside of ourselves – it is available within us, in this very moment.”

While Thay believes there is a way of creating a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the planet, he also recognises that there is a very real risk that we will continue on our destructive path and that civilisation may collapse.

He says all we need to do is see how nature has responded to other species that have got out of control: “When the need to survive is replaced with greed and pride, there is violence, which always brings about unnecessary devastation.

“We have learned the lesson that when we perpetrate violence towards our own and other species, we are violent towards ourselves; and when we know how to protect all beings, we are protecting ourselves.”

source: The Guardian On Line


The Good and Evil Man Does, Sri Yogananda Speaks – Yogananda

Photo Source: National Geographic

The good and Evil Actions Of Man Affect the Harmonious Balance Of The Earth.

  Excerpted from The Divine Romance – Sri. Yogananda

“God has given man the power of destruction as well as the power of creation. We have made the world beautiful, and we have the power to destroy it. When we desecrate the world, the environment undergoes a violent change, which is called partial dissolution. Such upheavals have occurred many times, one example is Noah’s flood. These partial dissolutions are due to the wrong actions and ignorant errors of mankind. Don’t think “the happenings” of this world are going on automatically without God’s knowledge. And don’t think that man’s actions have no effect on the operation of His cosmic laws. Everything that has happened throughout the ages is recorded in the ether. The vibrations of evil that mankind leaves in the ether upset the normal harmonious balance of the earth. When the earth becomes very heavy with disease and evil, these etheric disturbances cause the world to give way to earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters.”

It is the same as when you live wrongly for a long time; various in harmonies begin to manifest in your body, as well as certain diseases. Disease is not a punishment. It is a poison that you yourself create in the body, and the Divine wants you to get rid of it. But all too often, by the time you try to throw it off, the body has become completely deranged, and you die. So, just like the human body, the earth suffers from inharmonious disturbances and disease. And it is because the combined actions of the people all over the world affect the planet on which we live. There is no question about it. The good and bad karmic conditions created by man determine and influence the climate;  they affect the wind and the ocean, even the very structure of the earth,  sometimes causing earthquakes. All the hatred, the anger, the evil we send out into the world, and the agony and rebellion they  cause, all these are disturbing the magnetic force of the earth, like static in the ether.  


In a profound sense every man has two halves to his being; he is not one person so much as two persons trying to act in unison.  I believe that in the heart of each human being there is something which I can only describe as a “child of darkness” who is equal and complementary to the more obvious “child of light.”  ~Laurens van der Post


But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily  vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! – Kate Chopin