The Sacred Season
"Don't you know? The Kingdom of Heaven
is within you."
Yeshua of Nazareth
As we enter into the Holiday Season we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by the constant demand of places to go, things to do and people to see; not to mention filled with the stress and fear of getting sick as well. Between the shopping (even if it is online), parties and decorating we can easily find ourselves exhausted and depleted, sometimes to the point of depression or despair. Yet many sages and spiritual traditions have pointed to the month of December, and the beginning of Winter, as the most powerfully transformative and spiritual season of the year. Not only is it the time when we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th, but it is also the time of the Winter Solstice, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. Besides these holidays, Buddhist' around the world remember Bodhi Day on Dec. 8; the celebrating of the Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
According to the Taoist Masters, this month also marks the time when the deepest and most powerful Yin (feminine) energy is flowing from Mother Earth, bringing forth the qualities of Stillness, silence, and rejuvenation for all who are open to receiving these gifts. As the earth begins its long winter rest to regenerate and get ready for the new growth of spring, we too are called to slow down, listen deeply and allow ourselves to rest and heal our bodies, minds and spirits. We see this played out in the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, when the sun has moved the furthest away from the earth. The promise - and miracle - of the Solstice is that, at the moment of the deepest darkness, the light of the sun is already returning to us, and the days then become progressively longer as we make our return to the new growth of spring.
This time of year also calls to us to let go of our habitual 'doing'; and instead to relax, breathe and 'Be'. If we actually allow ourselves to slow down and listen to the call of our own hearts during this powerful time, we might feel the pull to nourish our bodies with warming foods, take a walk in nature, get more sleep, or meditate and feel the Stillness within, and around us. This can lead to the deep healing and rejuvenation that our bodies, minds and spirits are yearning for. As you honor the Sacred Season this year, I encourage you to take advantage of this powerfully transformative time by turning your focus to the 'Kingdom within', and opening yourself to the true gifts that are available to you there; the deepest Stillness within your own body, the Silence within your own Being, and the All-encompassing Love within your own heart. What better 'gifts' can you possibly give to yourself, to others and to the world around you during this Sacred time?