For many of us this has been a challenging year. Yet while many of the external problems and issues facing may not be all resolved in the foreseeable future, there is always an opportunity at the end of a year to turn to one’s inner life taking time to reflect on any wisdom that might have arisen from riding the waves of the last months. For some too it is time for a conscious pause to regain some sense of clarity and being centred so as to move into the new beginnings the season always offers us. This is a time to feel the tensions between holding off the storms of the world and listening to the deeper music of life. In spite of everything, the fragile, resilient gift of life is unrepeatable, and all too often we tend to forget or fall asleep to the beautiful fact of being alive.
For those who honour the true spirit of Christmas there pulses in the silent baby in Bethlehem more potential and power and wisdom and grace and aliveness than we can imagine. Our politicians will continue to compete for the highest offices while business tycoons scramble for a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. Armies will go on marching, labourers sweating. Scientists will go offering opinions, philosophers philosophising, and preachers preaching. But forever those who gaze with openness at the manger will once again see the little infant who is radiant with so much promise for a better world. For those of you who seek the deeper meaning of this festive season, may your hearts glow with the light that was in him. Your heart and mine can become the little town, the stable, the manger… even now. Let a new day, a new creation, a new you and me, begin, and let there be light.
2022 will mark the twentieth year of the candlelit spiral at Temenos. Many of you who have been at Temenos at the end of a year will know of the experience of taking time to silently reflect in the Well. This is an opportunity to listen deeply to oneself and to consider releasing any inner baggage one may be carrying. At the centre of the spiral is a huge fire where any outworn thoughts one may have written down may be cast into the flames of transformation. Hopefully feeling lighter one is invited to walk a candlelit way into a new year.
For me personally this will be a particularly poignant old years night with much to reflect upon. On a very positive note however I would like to share with you a few thoughts from my own mother. After she died, I discovered she had left me a letter expressing her love and her prayers for me. Included in the contents of her letter were nine pearls of wisdom she had come to embrace and which she wanted to share with me as gift. As gift to you my friends, I would like, at this time of new beginnings, to share with you.
The best place to find God is in a garden. One can dig for Him there (Bernard Shaw)
One does not need to have to change for God to love us.
You are the sacred space you are looking for.
We are poems in search of a voice.
You will awake from the dream rather now or later. Why not now?
Life is a gift and it is ours to learn how to receive not to earn
The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.
If winter comes can spring be far behind? (Shelley)
Life is for Love (St. Benedict)
May your eyes ever soften and may you become eternally more gentle with yourself.