This Week's Quotation:
Christmas should be celebrated not only by appropriate festivities and the exchange of material gifts, but also by deep, continuous meditation, making your consciousness a cosmic cathedral for Christ. You should offer therein your most precious gifts of love, goodwill, and service to uplift your inimical brothers, as well as your friendly brothers—physically, mentally, and spiritually.
~ Paramahansa Yogananda, The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You
Your Most Precious Gifts
Many years ago, when I first read Autobiography of a Yogi I was struck by the deep love and reverence that Yogananda had for Jesus, the Christ. I also came to learn that he not only celebrated Christmas but also brought the true spirit of it to his followers.
As I reflect on my own experience, I can see that the most precious gifts I have received from the people in my life, never came in a decorative box with a bow on it. The most precious gifts came in the form of love and encouragement, like the time my aunt Mary first heard me sing and play guitar when I was 18 years old.
It had been several years since I had seen my favorite aunt. As a military wife, she and her young family had been stationed in Okinawa. When she came to visit us, my mom insisted that I play and sing one of my songs for our guest. I was reluctant yet compliant. I was also very nervous. When I finished playing my song, tears streamed down her face. She told me that I had a gift and that I MUST do something with it. She encouraged me to leave Oregon and to come to stay with her and her family in California, where they had just been stationed at Camp Pendleton. At least there was an actual music scene in San Diego. That moment, and the precious gift that she gave, changed the trajectory of my life.
Something magical happens when we are the giver of the gift as well. Each time I say yes to the call to be of service, to love, and to uplift another, I am fulfilling the mission of my soul, which is thrilling. When I am creating a cosmic cathedral for the Christ, through my spiritual practice and conscious living, I am changing my world and the greater world that we share. That is the true meaning of “it is more blessed to give than receive” I feel a surge of joy and fulfillment when I give the gift of love and service, don’t you?
As we approach the Christmas holiday, I invite you to join me in bringing these most precious gifts to our world. Let us bring the light that we are… the love that we are… the joy that we are, into each moment. Let’s choose to bring compassion to those souls who might be struggling at this time of year and acting out in ways that we don’t understand. Knowing that as we do this, we are birthing the Christ for real. Isn’t that what the true Spirit of Christmas is about?
About Open Windows
We, the authors of this blog, dedicate it to the transparent exploration of the world's sacred scripture and enlightened spiritual thought. We believe that the original inspiration of all faiths comes from a common source, named and revered in a myriad of ways. With that understanding, the innumerable symbols, beliefs, and practices of faith cease to divide. They become open windows to a common reality that inspires and unifies us. We find deeper insight and nourishment in our own faith and from the expression of faith from others.
We hope these weekly quotations and meditations speak to your heart and soul.