A case in point:
My Grand-Daughter Keaton Izzy entered this incarnation on Monday, December 16, 2013 and has now had her first birthday. It seems like her Incarnation into this dimension was only yesterday -- AND that she has been here forever.
I wrote a piece last year a couple of days after her birth, deeply touched by the Sacred Miracle of her Newborn Presence. I can honestly say, a year later, that peering into her eyes still confirms for me the existence of Perfection in the midst of the apparent chaos of it all. Coming in the midst of the Holiday Season (her "due date" had been Christmas Day itself), her birth -- like that of each and every being -- is nothing less than a Holy Miracle.
As I wrote last year, my heart pretty open to the Big Picture, I also took a look at the painful downside of the holiday season. I hope my attempt to Understand the One Love, in all it's aspects, was, and is, helpful. Here it is. One Love, Lance.)
"Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. "
Even as a child, the Christmas season always brought with it a certain sadness. Something seemed more than slightly askew. The messages of "peace on earth" and "goodwill to all", the prevailing storyline proclaiming this to be a special time of mirth and merriment, didn't resonate with what I was experiencing. I imagined it was just the chaos and uncertainty of my own childhood that left me feeling somehow "out of the loop". As the years have rolled by though, I have thought that less and less as I look around me at the generalized stress and melancholia that seems to emerge during the holidays. Perhaps, at no time of the year is the disparity between what is and the way it's 'spozed to be so obvious. Many of us feel that disparity profoundly.
The stories of the birth of Jesus, like the stories of the birth of Buddha, are woven with strands of myth and miracles. Preceded by dreams and visions, accompanied by choruses of angels and showers of perfumed blossoms cascading from the sky, each of these special beings brought into the world teachings which stressed the primary role of love and compassion in our lives. In their Teachings, each of these Incarnations spoke of an essential spiritual reality that lay within and beyond each of us. Each repeatedly pointed out that worldly rewards of wealth, possessions, status, power, etc. were "false gods" and that grasping onto things would always lead to human suffering -- individually and collectively.
And yet, here we are in the US today, about 6% of the earth's people living in the richest nation on earth, chewing up about 50% of the earth's resources and spitting out about 50% of it's pollution and garbage each and every day.
At Christmas time, the contretemps of scattered piles of new toys laying in the midst of mountains of torn wrapping paper as a celebration of the birth of Jesus never escapes me. I imagine Him wandering into the room after Santa leaves and saying something like "Hey folks, remember when I said "Don't store up for yourselves treasures on earth...for where your treasure is, your heart is."? (Matthew 6:19-21) .
I suppose that I shouldn't pick on Christmas too much, though. (I'll let my twin Brother Lefty ramble on about it instead: http://leftysmithsings.blogspot.com/ ) The Truth is that each and every moment of each and every day hold the opportunity to focus our hearts and minds on the One Love -- or not.
So, I am deeply grateful that there's lots of caring and good cheer among family and friends that happens during the Holydays as well. (After I finish this piece, I'm going to dust of Lefty's autoharp and see if I can remember how to play some Christmas Carols.)
(Whew. To make a short story just a tad bit longer: )
As I held the newborn Keaton, I could feel the Ultimate Preciousness of Life in my arms. With my heart open and aching, I was also aware of Death -- both in it's final form and in the more common form that emerges when we fail to recognize the ever-present Sacred Miracle that were immersed in. As always is the case in the Majesty of the Present Moment, Life/Death intersected in that room, with a newborn babe at the beginning edge of its incarnation in the midst of loving parents and grandparents. The Adoration on the Magi had nothing on this scene. It wasn't a manger, but a rose is rose is a rose. This, too, was a Sacred Birth, a Perfect Incarnation of the One Love.
The bottom line?
Love is central to both the Teachings of Jesus and of Buddha. Jesus proclaimed Love as the basic "Commandment". Buddha said it's power to heal was the only Eternal Law. It seems it's just like the Beatles sang, "Love is all you really need." Love connects us to one another and to the One which is Love. It is, after all, as simple as that.
But, of course, simple doesn't mean easy.
As I sit here with sunlight spraying diamonds in the snow outside the window, I pray that Keaton will Know that she, too, is the Christ Child, Saraswati, Kwan Yin, the Buddha. I pray that she will Know that she emerges from Love, that she is Love and will ultimately return to Love. I pray that as I stumble ahead failing often enough, hopefully, to keep me from getting too big-headed, I can be one small piece of that Knowing.
I'm going to Sit now. It seems to help -- a lot.
What are you up to?