Jan. 4, 2012
Aloha e Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! Kia Hari te Tau Hou! Es Guets Nöis! Frohes Neues Jahr! Bonne Année! An Nou Fericit! Sanah Jadidah! Sal-e-No Mobarak! Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal! Sawatdii Pimaï! Stastny Novy Rok! Feliz Ano~Nuevo! Manigong Bagong Taon! Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana! Felice Anno Nuovo! S Novym Godom! Losar Tashi Delek!
Happy New Year, Everyone!
And what a New Year it already is! The wait is over. Undoubtedly, the single most prophesied-about year in human history has arrived. 2012 is now.
For me, it began with a most magnificent Indian summer morning in Mount Shasta, where the past eight winters have dumped several feet of snow starting the day after Christmas. Yet, as soon as I was out and about town, I overheard talk of our glorious weather being the result of global warming and how much our ski-related businesses will suffer. For each person who welcomes 2012 with hopes for the miraculous, there is another who quakes with visions of doomsday. And, the Pacific salmon always die in giving life to their progeny. Such is the nature of diversity - and the diversity of nature.
Each time I've died and then returned, I've come to celebrate life even more. Not the limited life of being born and dying, but, rather the eternal life of the spirit, the life that we all truly live. It is the life that runs smooth and "steady as she goes" through the ever-changing tides of earthly living. One of the perks of having been dead three times is that I can enjoy the almost toasty winter's day, while tending to the suffering of another, caused, in part, by the same life-renewing weather. In the same way, I find no conflicts in addressing the death of a loved one amidst a joyous Christmas celebration.
When I was taken to the mountain top, I was shown what was to come and I am glad to be here with you now. Regardless of what anyone may say about cataclysmic earth changes, about intergalactic rescue operations, or about rapture or ascension, 2012 will require each and every one of us to re-examine the way we relate to one another and everything else in the universe. There is a loving power that is healing the fundamental schism throughout the universe and when faced with this unconditional love, all that has isolated itself and is afraid will emerge from its hiding place. This is the real reason that there is so much fear arising in our society today. It is an essential part of our healing.
As you examine the way you relate to another, whoever or whatever that might be, remember that each of us is actually a package deal. You may favor the hue and brilliance refracting from a particular facet of a diamond, yet, you can't take just that facet with you. If you'd like to have that diamond, you must accept the whole diamond with all of its facets. A man can fall in love with a single mother with three children, but if hopes to marry her, he can't decide he loves only her and not her children. They are a package deal. We each have a diversity of talents, qualities, personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, idiosyncrasies, habits, and so forth that make up our uniqueness. We are each not only a package, but also a unique culture unto ourselves. No two of us are exactly alike. If we aspire to develop a deeper relationship, we need to learn to understand each others distinctive language and customs.
When we "fall in love" with someone, we are often looking at the few sparkling facets of the diamond and not necessarily each of the individual facets or its complete make-up. If we should continue to deepen our relationship with that person, we begin to discover some facets that don't seem to glitter as much. Then, as we continue, we may even find a few flaws in the diamond we once saw as perfect. Do we throw out our diamond when we realize that we can't take just the sparkling facets and leave the rest? Of course, not. I may love your face, but maybe not your nose at first. Then, the lesson life would offer me would be to realize that the nose belongs to the same person as the rest of the face and stop trying to cut your nose off. Over time, I may gain the wisdom to see that every part of you is exactly as it should be as you travel the path of discovering the whole of who you are. And, living through that extraordinary adventure with you, I will come to realize that I am your nose in the center of your lovely face.
Now, on this first day of 2012, I leave you with the beautiful prayer of the Lakota-Sioux:
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin....All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer....
To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.
To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.
To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.
To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.
To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.
To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages, I thank you.
To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.
You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.
Thank you for this Life.
May God's ceaseless Love carry you forward on each step of your magnificent adventure!
With gratitude and love and in joyous celebration of all life,