The Heart’s Awakening
Recently I heard a minister arguing with a radio talk show host over whether it’s right or wrong to remove “Merry Christmas” signs from department store displays, which apparently some major stores did this season in an effort to be inclusive.
“We’re the reason for the season,” the minister claimed. Not so, countered the host. The solstice has always been a time of celebration before we creatures withdraw into winter’s seclusion and the quiet inner self.
What matters, he might have added, is the spirit of the season. We can celebrate and enjoy our religious traditions, and find in them community, guiding principles and greater awareness of God. But it is our quiet ways which lift us into the heart’s embrace and the oneness that gives rise to our finest qualities: kindness, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness and love. Only by living in oneness can we can reach the One.
I dream of a time when religious distinctions fade away like burnt-out candles, and self-knowing flickers into the quiet, deeper being to kindle the wisdom of the heart and shine its radiant light into the world. This light is not some distant star, as in the Christmas story, but the truth of who we are: pure, perfect beings of light seeking birth in a world torn apart by partisan conflict and war.
In the past year, as catastrophic earth changes opened our hearts, I watched peace break out across our planet and ring the bells of freedom and hope. People wandered from the safety of their homes and crossed boundaries to reach out to one another, awakening to their own goodness and the sacredness in all of life. It is no accident that now we are rejecting war, killing, poverty and corporate greed.
We have opened our eyes and may never close them again. Perhaps like you, I believe that in this past year the power of prayer unmasked corrupt politicians and mitigated earth changes that might have caused even more human suffering. Untold numbers of us, moved by some indefinable urge, sent healing light to world leaders, spiritual teachers and Mother Earth, and it is clear that these open, undirected prayers did bring about higher good. Today we are experiencing the spiritual awakening sought by so many for so long.
Let us remember this in days to come: Only the awakened heart can awaken us to peace and reconciliation. Here is our common ground, in our dream of love.
How do we hold the light of truth amidst inner and outer conflicts that drive us to war? It is easy to do if only we can believe and remember this: Eternal truth lives in the depths of our hearts, in our wisdom and oneness, and will always guide us to peace.
This is the lost message of all great spiritual teachers. If we want peace, we must cultivate it in our hearts; if we want joy, we must seek the wellspring of joy within us. If we dream of knowing the Beloved, we must know the beloved in us, in others and in all things.
Let us turn within, beyond the busy distractions of the outer world, and grow in the contemplative darkness of winter. Your wisdom and beauty lie within and beg release. Open your heart to yourself and blossom.
The day is coming when we will all stand side by side, welcomed and accepted for our unique gifts and creatively sharing our abundance: living together in prosperity, grateful for it and opening the heart ever wider to co-create a new humanity on a peaceful, enlightened planet. If we dream this, we will awaken to it.