The Christmas season is celebrated in many different ways around the world, varying by country, religion, and culture - while new traditions are being created each year. Every culture and family has their own unique Christmas traditions that they follow, but one thing that we all share is that Christmas brings people together.
So it's that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
Every year as the Christmas season comes around, we hear a great deal about the real meaning of Christmas. But it is not always clear just what that real meaning is.
For some people, the true meaning of Christmas is the warmth and love of our families, a celebration of the home. For others, the real meaning of Christmas is love for other people – “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” And of course, many Christians think the true meaning of Christmas is that it is the birthday of Jesus.
All these things, and especially the celebration of Jesus’ birth, have something to do with Christmas. But the full meaning of Christmas is something bigger – bigger than the love of our families or good will toward men, even bigger than remembering the birthday of Jesus. Christmas is the time to truly honor Jesus’s life message to love God with all our heart, all our mind, and our entire being.
Now for little us that have a hard time loving anyone unconditionally, that's a pretty big request. So let's start where we are at. This Christmas and every day, lets honor Jesus’s life by taking the time to pray and meditate, giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives. I suggest setting aside at least 10 - 15 minutes every day to sit quietly and not to focus on stopping your thoughts, but to use your mind to contemplate who you are, why you exist, and what your purpose is. This is considered the first step in anyone’s spiritual advancement. You can also add a yoga mantra meditation such as Kirtan, Japa Yoga, or Gauranga Breathing - which will greatly assist you in actually uncovering the answers to these questions.
The path of yoga is timeless. Its wisdom is just as relevant today as it was for the very first aspiring yogis. Different practices are recommended for each era, but the essence stays the same - and the essence of yoga is non-different from the essence of Jesus's teachings. Through yoga - and specifically the practice of yoga mantra meditation - we can come to know our true nature as eternal spiritual beings. Inseparable from this nature, is our loving relationship with the Supreme. So the more we awaken to our true nature, the more awake we are to our eternal relationship of love with God. Through the process of yoga, we can realize the teachings of Jesus. We can come to actually love God with all our heart, all our mind, our entire being - this is the true meaning of Christmas. Through sincere self-inquiry and practicing yoga mantra meditation daily, we can live the essence of Christmas every day.
The path of yoga is such a valuable tool for life and happiness. I hope you use it. If you would like to learn more about mantra meditations such as Kirtan, Japa Yoga, and Gauranga Breathing, please contact us and come to a Sunday kirtan meditation gathering!
For our friends old and new on the Hawaiian islands, we invite you to join us this holiday season in celebrating Christmas. 'Tis the season to sing, share and celebrate!!! Soak in the good vibes while we celebrate the magic of Christmas by sharing treats, kirtan song, Christmas dinner, Christmas carols, and laughter. Share a Vegan Pot-Luck Dinner and a delicious banquet of your favorite Christmas dishes. You can bring a vegan dish to share or give a donation. What is Kirtan Song? Just like there are Yoga postures for the body to relax and open, there are mantras (special spiritual sound vibrations found in the ancient yoga texts) that act as a revitalization tonic for the mind. Using these mantras for meditation brings the mind to rest in a space free from stress and anxiety. The word "mantra' literally means to "free the mind". No musical experience required! You don't even have to sing....just soak in the good vibes!
Invite your friends because family should be friends and friends should be family.
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Article by Radha Kauai