A New Year’s mantra

A meditation to de-stress for the post-2012 era

— January in northern California is usually a time of rain, cold, and a psychic hangover from the double-barreled Christmas and New Year holidays, which can tend to be anything but Holy days. After getting swept up in the maelstrom, let’s step back a bit a get some perspective. Thanksgiving is a good place to begin as both a word and place in time.

Being grateful for what we have, for what we experience — even for who we are — has a major effect on our daily life.

Gratitude comes from an awareness that this is not all just an accident. This morning, as I left for work, at about 5:30am . . . I was greeted by a clear night sky pocked with stars. Recently I read that we are “recycled stardust,” that the elements that make up our bodies had their origins in the ancient unfolding of the universe.

1,000 points of meditative light

Looking up at those stars I could feel a sense of belonging, that all that, out there, produced “me.” And you!

And probably other life forms that we don’t have the cognitive capacity to comprehend. This isn’t an accident. Scientists are discovering evidence of a directionality, a purpose that you and I participate in. Part of this purpose is consciousness.

We are here to experience this amazing universe. And what a gift that ability is!

An awareness of our emerging out of this 15-plus-billion-year evolutionary process can make us grateful for all that has gone on before our being here. And it can be the source of celebration of all that has emerged with us and supports our journey: the food we eat, the specially-blended air that we breathe, the exact temperatures and seasonal balances that support life here on Earth. It can also be the foundation of a sense that this is not so much about us, but that we are part of a process that is still unfolding, evolving now through our choices and actions.

Seeing light waves as the carrier of the cosmos’ intelligence

Christmas then becomes a celebration of the light that is the source of our life, and our wisdom.

When we speak of the “Light that shines in the darkness” we can recognize that Light is the essence of everything, the currency that transmits all intelligence and information, if you will.

The divinity that we participate in is now expressed in human form. The wisdom has incarnated. We may see this in Jesus, or in other great sages, but it is our truth as well. It is available to each of us if we will only quiet our chattering thoughts and tune into the greater wisdom that is our essence and has brought us here, and that urges us forward in responsible growth and expansion of capabilities.

The cyclical aspect of life, that gives expression in each New Year, shows us that there is forgiveness and the chance to “try anew.”

We too are evolving, and hopefully learning as we go. With gratitude for what brought us here, with a celebration and honoring of the wisdom that is available to us, and with the acceptance of both our failings and the possibilities of doing better and learning from our mistakes, we have all that we need to contribute to the future, to be an active part of the evolution of consciousness, of creating new and better life.

In this way, these holidays can indeed be Holy Days, days where we touch again the sacred truth of who we are and why we are here. This holiday can become a template for each day, living in gratitude, with wisdom, forgiveness and new resolve.

David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder, and counselor in San Francisco who holds a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Read David’s previous articles for Soul’s Code: Church for the 21st century: an oral and aural buffet we can all savor, and Mosques and the masks of God. Follow David on Twitter.

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One Response to “A New Year’s mantra”

  1. I love columns that are essentially meditations, and this one has a circular rhythm that hypnotically builds.

    As much as it takes me out of “mind,” it also calls to mind that sublime observation of Carl Jung’s:

    “The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the “sine qua non” of the world as an object. It is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few – and ever fewer – exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact.

    “Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.”