Listening to Christmas Music and Feeling Deep Joy!

O Magnum Mysterium!

The music this time of year is some of the best. Of all time. It can be transforming! Really and truly. Oh great mystery. We sing of the mystery of the Lord born to a young woman.

Walking through the streets of Nazareth, seeing the well where Mary was approached by the Archangel Gabriel. Realizing that this young woman would ultimately shoulder this huge and wonderful responsibility. Lose her youth, her choice, to bring this child into the world. For all of us.

O little town of Bethlehem.

Seeing the grotto where the manger would have lain, with the baby Jesus and His family, to rest. The music sings of joy, light and deepening my awe.

How the shepherds came from miles, flocking to the babe. Called to Him by the light. following the star, star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright. O nata lux de lumine. O light born of light.

During Christmas time we sing of glory! We sing of angels on high and the wonder. We sing of Christ’s birth and beginning. Gloria in excelsis Deo! We sing of God. We sing to God.

What joy it is to hear in such beauty, the depth and breadth of our true natures. The love of God for His children. Of such love and light. Resmiranda. Wonderful circumstance. Gaudeamus. Let us rejoice.

Listen to the glory. Allow the notes, the melodies, the harmonies, to wash over you. Filling your heart with joy and light. Hear the deepening love. Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth.

What Child Is This?

This Is Christ the King!

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
(Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1865. Music: “Greensleeves” 16th Century English melody Arranged by Sir John Stainer)

Christmas music comes in all flavors. There is joyful. Majestic. Peaceful. Blissful. Elevating. There is something for everyone.

It is a time when praising God, Jesus, the birth of the Christ, is all part of the norm. I wonder what this world would be like if we did this as part of our daily life.

Imagine a world were everyday was Christmas. Where we opened our hearts to the miracle of Jesus’s birth. We acknowledged each other with thoughtfulness and kindness. We offered our services, like Magi bringing the gifts to the Christ child.

Everyday could be surrounded with peace. Bliss. Joy.

This time of year all your buttons are guaranteed to be pushed. Amazing right! Waiting in traffic. Long lines. Last one in stock. Wrong color. Too big. Too small. Wrong style. Weird hours.

We are given choices during times like these to react or not to (control the reactive process–Nayaswami Maria Warner).

To see the beauty all around us in smiling faces, twinkle lights and beautiful, thoughtful decorations. Feel the peace by sitting in meditative stillness, while gazing at the creche. Have a laugh by wearing that Santa or Elf hat and hand out cookies at work, or hand cut stars.

I wanted to share the link the our Ananda Portland YouTube channel of the Ananda Choir Christmas Concert. Enjoy!

Kissing the Face of God

Blessings of the Christ-Consciousness this Holiday Season

This image by artist Morgan Weistling is titled, “Kissing the Face of God”. I first saw it on a boxed set of Christmas cards my husband brought home, and we were both captured by the tangible sense of human and divine love the artist conveyed.

The artist has said that the thought of Mary loving and cuddling Jesus as a little baby was so inspiring that he was “propelled” into the painting, which took only three days to complete.

In India it is common to see images of Krishna as a baby and as a young child; stories of his childhood are favorites with people of all ages. The childhood of Jesus was “lost” in antiquity, so in the West we have only Christ’s birth, the nativity story, in which we see God as a newborn baby, needing care and comfort as all babies do.

A child can awaken the human heart and propel us into compassion, joyful willingness, and boundless, loving concern-all in an instant. Our hearts are so often closed; the human experience can be so painful and impossibly hard.

Yogananda said that God is sitting right there in our heart!

But he can’t do anything for us until we open to his presence.

Envision God as a child you can love and cuddle in your arms and devotion will bubble to the surface and soften the hardest, coldest places you didn’t even realize were there, keeping God away.

My daughter has a realistic baby doll named Benjamin, who has had the honor of playing the role of baby Jesus in the Ananda nativity service for about 10 years now. We hope he will be asked to perform again this Christmas Eve. His face is sweet and his eyes are clear and bright.

Every young lady who has played the role of Mary in the service has said it was a surprisingly powerful experience to look into those eyes and pretend they held the real Christ child.

Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved, God: that is the way we say our prayers at Ananda. These are roles that God can play in our life, ways we can relate to an infinite consciousness in a personal way.

Who can be more beloved than a baby? Try playing a part in the nativity story this Christmas, in the privacy of your thoughts and meditation. Hold God in your arms and look into the eyes of love. Give yourself to God as you would a child–with joyful willingness. Celebrate Christmas with the Christ Child and kiss the face of God.

Have a Merry, Blessed Christmas.