December is the most holiday-filled month of the year, in the US. It’s also the month that groans under the weight of expectations, family dynamics, financial outlay, and forced cheer. Yet despite commercialism, stress, and broken relationships, there is much love and joy as well. Twinkling lights, holiday traditions, connecting with people you love, and fervent wishes for peace and goodwill abound. Holidays, with their rituals and feasts, spring from a deep place in our soul that is hungry for meaning, connection, and a spiritual way to live. This is the golden thread of Love and Light that is woven through the ancient practices and new traditions that knit us together, as one family of humans, in spirit, body, and soul.
All our holidays tend to be embedded in feasts, friends, and family. It is through our gathering that we share our love and connect heart to heart. This is an outpouring of the Love that is the impulse of Life, the engine behind the whole universe, and the gift that is forever flowing in, through, and as us. So often we crave love, seek love, and are unhappy when we don’t feel love, yet the very love we seek is who we are. Love is not something we receive, like a gift. Rather it is the very essence of who we are and what we bring to the feast. Our presence is our gift to Life just as infinite Love is Life’s gift to us. This season is an opportunity to BE Love wherever we go, with whomever we are celebrating, including when we are alone. Remember, love is always present because the thing you are seeking, IT IS ALREADY YOU.
The primary holidays we celebrate at CSLDallas this time of year are Bodhi Day, Hannukah, Solstice, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Each holiday is unique and precious, bringing something important to our spiritual awareness. Yet each holiday also has one significant element in its ritual celebration in common – the lighting of candles – bringing in the Light. The Enlightenment which the Buddha achieved under the Bodhi tree included a deep realization that the Buddha Nature, this enlightenment, is within each of us. In the lighting of the Tree, Menorah and Kanara an outer light is rekindled so that the inner Light may be affirmed. This Light is already within shining forth through many hearts and lives. This season is an opportunity to BE Light wherever we go, with whomever we are celebrating, including when we are alone. Remember, light is always present because the thing you are seeking, IT IS ALREADY YOU.
Love and Light do not contend with nor fear the darkness. There is a beautiful rhythm in the yin/yang of these complementary opposites, weaving through the turning of our lives. Some years are more joyous and others more challenging. Some seasons bring great togetherness while others feel quiet or alone. This is the Wholeness of Life revealed and reveled in. Like the Lord of Misrule, when the Fool is made the King and the King serves the Fool, there is a balance and harmony in the seasons of our lives. This season is an opportunity to Be Whole – wholly wherever you are in your journey, wholly yourself, and wholly present to the joys and sorrows of life. Remember that inner Wholeness is always present and can never be harmed, damaged, or broken because the thing you are seeking, IT IS ALREADY YOU.
Woven throughout is an awareness of family, community, and humanity. The things that we value and that make for wholeness in our togetherness come from the deepest part of our souls. Not from our fear or need, but from that inner knowing that says, “you are me and I am you” and remembers that what we do to and for each other not only impacts the whole but is an expression of our own individual wholeness. The health of the community and our own health are reflections of each other, because we are, in fact, one body with many branches, beautiful flowers, and ripening fruit. This season, as we commune and share, gather, and prepare for the New Year, is an opportunity to remember that integrity, contribution, empowerment, and unity of purpose make for strong communities of powerful individuals who are Whole, filled with Love, and being the Light.
This holiday season let us step into the truth – we are already divine. There is nowhere to seek and nothing to find. Rather we are to realize the truth – divinity already lies within. The Love, Light, and Wholeness we seek is already present. The gift has already long been given and is given again and again each and every day. As Holmes writes “The thing you are looking for, you are looking with, and looking at.” This is ONENESS. This season Be ONE! Be one with all beings everywhere. Be one with humanity, even those who are difficult. Be one with yourself – the joy and uniqueness of your own being. Be ONE! Be one of those who knows the truth and lives Wholly from Love and Light for it is already present.
This holiday season may you, yourself, be the gift.