15 Dec The Journey To Christmas
The Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty. ~ Jesus, Book of Thomas
“Merry Christmas” – what does this mean? It is so strange to me that our society insists upon making Christmas a day for “worshiping” the birth of a man who was not even born on the 25th of December. Even more perplexing is that we have no real consideration for his message or the light in the teachings he offered to humankind – teachings meant advance us into the Christ within and bring us into the soulfulness of the Oneness we all deeply long for, but are not conscious of.
Because Jesus’ teachings do not fit into our need for human survival nor do they appeal to the ideals of the ego based in gratifying itself through overindulgence, sumptuous wealth and egregious power, Christmas has become nothing more than the lustful pursuit of unabashed gratification. This has made us susceptible to “side paths” that deter us by pointing our attentions toward serving our greatest weakness – the ego.
“Merry Christmas” actually reveals the truth that we regard Christmas merely as a “holiday” and a time to make “merry,” which usually means we eat too much, drink too much and spend too much all in the futile effort to rationalize and/or sanitize the awful things we do to ourselves and to others in this world.
When inner 'work' is dismissed as mere hope or foolishness, we can no longer hear the Authentic message in Jesus’ teachings urging us to move forward into the Light of Love. ~ Siraj
Religion further obscures his message by telling us that we are “sinful” and can never achieve Christ Consciousness – in total disregard for the fact that Jesus’ entire message is that we CAN!
To genuinely “hunger and thirst” for the Truth of the self in this life requires a resolve that is absolute in its dedication and unwavering toward the inexplicable discovery of self-realization. Most of us make up stories about ourselves rather than find and follow The Way of Love. Sad to say, it takes many, many lifetimes to come to the place of absolute resolve for the meaning of Life as Love.
I have never been able to correlate society’s idea of “Christmas” with Christ Consciousness. Throughout my 50 years of teaching I have offered various methods of de-emphasizing the “merry” part of Christmas for the sake of a spiritual practice in the effort (hunger and thirst) to reach the Christ within through meditation and conscious living.
Unfortunately for most people, Christmas is merely about sentimentality over memories of past “family gatherings” and “traditions” as well as the “merry” (gratifying) times they remember and desperately want to recreate. “Christmas spirit” is relegated to flattering each other with gifts intended to make us feel “loved”…while, in truth, we are actually simply pleasuring ourselves as grand “bestowers” of fulfilled desires.
When there is a sense of consciousness within, it allows us to elevate our attentions to that of offering a gift that will serve the person for whom it is intended through authentic Love. ~ Siraj
To offer such a gift we must be willing to give without a “giver” being involved in the gift. I offer to you this wonderful story of a Zen Master and a supposed “giver” found in the book: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones:
While Seisetsu was the Master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei, a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold (Ryo) toward the construction of a more commodious school. This money he brought to the teacher.
Sesisetsu said: “All right. I will accept it.”
Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three Ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.
“In that sack are five hundred Ryo,” hinted Umezu.
“Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred Ryo is a lot of money,” said Umezu.
“Do you want me to thank you for it?” asked Seisetsu.
“You ought to,” replied Umezu.
“Why should I?” inquired Seisetsu. “THE GIVER SHOULD BE THANKFUL.”
Yes, it is the GIVER, who through his giving, has become conscious, which humbles him to the point of realizing just how powerful living without a strategy for survival can be. When the AUTHENTIC awakens within through such a gift, there is no longer any “human” fear of giving…there is no “ego” dictating what can and cannot be given.
In true giving, the blessing is not just in the act, but also in the wisdom to drop what is false and realize that every act of giving is a path to Love. Those who understand this are grateful to be a channel for Love through their giving, which reveals the path to reach “the other shore” through consciousness.
To 'hunger and thirst' for that which brings forth awareness is what a spiritual practice is all about. How few have the 'time' or patience for it. Such arrogance! ~ Siraj
One year I gave my students the gift of a lifetime, the gift of all eternity. I wrapped it up in boxes with fancy holiday wrappings and gave one to each of them. When they opened the boxes, excited to see what their teacher was giving to them and hoping it would show how special they were to him, they found the boxes were empty.
Some laughed it off thinking it meant that I was too “poor” or “cheap” to put anything inside the box that would show them I love them. Others were deeply disappointed, for they were hoping for something to show that they were “special” to me. Not one of them could see that “emptiness” was the greatest gift that could ever be given to them. Every one of them missed.
It’s sad to think that most people, especially in this current economic climate, do not have the courage to give that which is truly necessary. Sometimes it is money, other times it is forgiveness and still other times it calls for an object that is needed to simply help a person in their worldly life. It all has to do with karma, fate, and destiny that most people ignore because they simply do not understand.
Having ears you cannot hear, having eyes you cannot see. ~ Jesus
I have given all sorts of gifts to people over the years of my life. I have demonstrated to my student’s authentic generosity in the face of their own illogical miserliness, which reveals the hate and fear they are deeply devoted to. When they see demonstrations of authentic giving their minds take over and their egos make them impervious to the demonstration of compassion because to their logic and reasoning sees generosity as illogical and detrimental to their own survival. Rather than step out of the boat and “walk on the water” beside me, they just shake their heads because they know cannot and will not do it.
“Bean counters” who hoard money and fear the future are paralyzed to live a life that is karmic. No matter how I show them, no matter what I do to help them…they remain unchanged, fixated in fear and living steeped in thoughts of their rationalized hate. There is no GRATITUDE for their lives, none whatsoever.
To live in GRATITUDE is the Way to God. ~ Siraj
This year, I will not wish you a “Merry Christmas.” Instead, I wish for you a SILENT NIGHT where you discover through meditation the “pauses” and “gaps” between your thoughts where real communion with God as Love exists. Life continually urges you to go to this place of SILENCE within the NIGHT of your being, but you have not been listening. May you LISTEN now and awaken to the blessing of SILENCE in the midst of a world in utter chaos. What the world needs now is the LIGHT that is only found within those of us who “hunger and thirst” for Love.
May you FIND it, LIVE it and SHARE it generously…now and always.
Sit in Silence, just the Silence - nothing is more necessary or more important than this
Love is the transformation of form from immature to mature, from form to formless - awakening to the Truth of Love as our authentic nature
The Love story of Christmas is to begin metamorphosis through the daily practice of meditation and insightfulness as a lifestyle
Thought is duality - meditate and carry the energy within you so that you may experience insight over thought
When you allow insight to replace thought, you move into a space of non-duality where you realize the matter of Love as the Source of the All