Advent, in growing circles, is not about an event that happened 2000 years ago. It about making space now for the Universal Light, the Christ both within us and in the world around us. As we enter this season of darkness and light, this season of moving through the darkness towards the light, I know that many of you, like me, find ourselves moving so fast that the season seems to pass by in a blur, like we're watching it pass through the windows of a speeding train. Not many years ago, this season for me was filled with hurry. There were presents to not only purchase, but to figure out. What should I get my parents, my kids, my partner... is there room in the budget for friends? Which ones? When do I get the tree - not too soon or the needles start to fall, not too late or we don't have enough time to enjoy it... Who will host the holiday meal? Should we eat in or out? And what should we eat this year? And inevitably, I would buy a box of holiday cards, only to re-discover them, unopened, weeks after the holidays had passed. I think this is why I am falling in love with Advent. Advent is slowing me down. Mirroring nature, slow down, Advent says. Experience the gathering of the dark around you. Snuggle up. Cozy in. Breathe. Notice what you are feeling. Make space for yourself, make time for yourself. When we make time to just sit in the gathering dark, we learn to say "Yes!" to slowing down, to letting the darkness have its way with us. As the houses in my neighborhood become aglow with their little twinkling lights, I see that the soft darkness holds those tiny lights so gently. When I slow down, I see that we are like those lights, fiercely brilliant beyond anything that we can imagine. Sometimes thoughts or beliefs get in the way of our knowing that, in the same way that clouds passing in front of the sun seem to hide its brilliance for a moment. But like the sun, our brilliance is always there. As the days get shorter, l invite you to join me in being willing to come to know ourselves as Light while also knowing that the darkness is where we ripen for rebirth. As the days get shorter, l invite you to join me in being willing to know ourselves as emanations of the One and that the gathering darkness is our cocoon, our womb where we can slow down and embody an expanded version of ourselves. In the gathering darkness, l invite you to join me in being willing to know that when we reach that pinnacle where day and night are the same length, our time in the darkness will yield a blossoming of unconditional love. This year, in whatever way you celebrate the season, when you look at the lights that adorn rooftops and light posts and holiday trees, may they remind you of the Light that is intrinsic in everything in the manifest world. Let them remind us to see the brilliance in each other, to see the brilliance in ourselves. And let those twinkling lights remind us of that safe and gentle darkness that holds us as we yet again return to the womb to rediscover the Light that we are. Blessings of the season to each one of you.
Sip and Chill for Christmas