Posted December 24, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let’s hope and pray that men and women around the world will experience good spiritual events with their family, friends, all people, as well as personally. Perhaps humanity will receive the greatest present of all time – lasting world peace and brotherhood between all races, nations, creeds, and backgrounds.
Maybe a sufficient number of people have asked the Creator for some types of supernatural, universal interventions that make a marked difference in the way life on Earth evolves moving into 2014. A sufficient number of men and women around the world have joined their power of positive thoughts around peace and joy to the world, resulting in enough power to bring these ideals into reality.
Considering the ideals brought to light by the man called Jesus – whose birth the world’s people celebrate every year at this time – these days are the perfect time for people to focus on his message of loving God and loving one another “as I have loved you”. One wonders how many around the world are having thoughts now of a world with much more love expressed and lived on Earth, resulting in voluntary laying down of guns and bombs – the end of wars and intentional harming of other human beings.
One wonders how many people on Earth have the idea that matters having to do with spirituality – such as advocating for peaceful resolution of differences, proclamation of the notion that the golden rule is truly what it is all about, that doing no harm is the highest principle for humanity, and forgiveness and reconciliation are the best possible option to prevent added negative actions from being taken – are either signs of weakness or strength.
What is the possibility that the phrase “violence begets violence” is absolute truth, and that awareness of this truth will become universal – leading to spiritual wisdom becoming inserted into discussions concerning war and peace on Earth? Moving forward will there be more dialogue of a higher spiritual nature becoming inserted into the back and forth talks between men and women from all regions and nations?
And who can predict the percentage of people around the world who come to an understanding and a knowing of what has become termed “Christ consciousness”, “Buddha-mind”, and “enlightenment”? And what will any debate consist of – moving forward – regarding the highest possible human wisdom? Will the various major world spiritual traditions end any differences of opinion and wake up to the fact that, in essence, there is no difference – that all paths of genuine devotion lead to Creator/God?
It is interesting to consider the parallels between Jesus and Buddha regarding material possessions and wealth. Jesus expressed anger – or perhaps righteous indignation is a better term – in the scene where he overturned the tables of the “money changers”, forcefully conveying the bankers’ error of “turning my house into a den of thieves”.
Buddha was born into wealth and luxury, yet turned away from his fortune to seek knowledge and enlightenment, coming to realize that selfish desires such as pleasure and lust, luxury, and other cravings of human beings leads to suffering and unhappiness.
There have been theories proposed about the so-called “lost years of Jesus” that point to his travels East for study and instruction with yogis and mystics of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945 contain passages where Jesus may have spoken of reincarnation, a central part of the belief systems of Hindu and Buddhist spiritual texts. Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness mirrors the intense, lengthy periods of meditation and seeking in remote caves, guided by gurus and teachers, of yogis of the East.
Native Americans have practiced youth-to-manhood “vision quests” for centuries, where the men and women aspirants spend four days or longer without food or water on mountaintops – alone with nature – guided by a respected spiritual leader or medicine person, in search of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment.
Francis of Assisi was born into a wealthy merchant family and walked away like Buddha to search for spiritual truth. Many point out the present Pope Francis, Time Magazine’s 2013 person of the year, speaking on the world’s economic situation in a manner similar to Francis of Assisi.
So, spirituality seemed like the most proper subject for Christmas Eve. Because I hold that all traditions are each facets of the diamond of spiritual truth, the following documentary is about Khyentse Rinpoche, the principal teacher of the Dalai Lama. Its title is “The Spirit of Tibet”and includes a very interesting biographical study of Khyentse Rinpoche. The Dalai Lama is quick to say that his teacher was very helpful in his spiritual practice – the film shows that he taught others all the way to the end of his life.
Khyentse Rinpoche spent fifteen years in meditative and spiritual exercise, an intense time where the aspirant forgoes comfort, luxury, or wealth in the search for enlightenment. Perhaps it would not be a stretch to compare long periods of meditation by Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, and others to the 27 years in prison spent by Nelson Mandela. There seems to exist a commonality where the person becomes actively engaged to self-conquer or control one’s thoughts and mind.
Khyentse Rinpoche spent the morning hours from 4 am to 9 am in meditation and prayer – a practice the Dalai Lama has inserted into his daily routine. One could relate meditation to prayer, as both are periods of silence and contemplation. So, quiet time is common to every tradition on Earth. Wisdom received through meditation and prayer burns away ignorance and self-centered emotions, resulting in more positive thoughts and actions of compassion and concern for the end of suffering – the happiness – of others.
In the film the Dalai Lama speaks about the Buddha‘s instruction to students to consider him a teacher, and that he was pointing out each person’s innate ability to train their mind positively. This may be seen as related to Jesus’ pointing out that “greater things than these shall you do”, illustrating his role as teacher similar to Buddha. Native American medicine people are sure to point out that any healings come from the Creator, the Great Spirit, and that healing power comes from God through the medicine person like a “hollow bone” – from the Creator/God to the patient.
Whether you consider yourself an adherent of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Judaism or one of the folk religions – may you experience a Silent Earth, Holy Earth.