A book that I consult occasionally is 365 TAO ~ Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao. The entry on page 362 is called "Emptiness" and is followed by the phrase: "Dust cannot gather If there is no mirror there. It is impossible to live in this world and not be sullied by it. The red dust will settle on you no matter how often you clean. It is good to strive for purity but if you conceive of purity as a fight against the filth and the dust of the world, you doom yourself to obsession and futility. The only way to achieve actual purity is to realize your essential oneness with all things. If you are one with everything, then even filth is pure. ...you must transcend all distinctions in yourself, resolve all contradictions. With this erasure, the mirror-bright soul and the dust are all dissolved in a single purity."
Friends are coming for egg nog and hors d'oeuvres tomorrow afternoon and I've been tidying up the house. We live in the high desert where wind blows dust around all day. It's impossible to keep surfaces dust-free for even a few minutes. After years of "obsession and futility," I gave up and now find it's easier to ignore the dust in favor of embracing family and friends. We will all return to dust eventually.
Honoring special days through traditional activities is something that most of us do without thinking. This year I've decided to examine my Christmas traditions and take with me into the New Year only the ones that benefit me and those around me. Christmas cards, for example. Every year I'm thankful to receive lovely cards from friends and family around the world, but since I'm nearly always late getting any sent out, I've traditionally criticized myself for being lazy, inconsiderate, selfish, etc. This tradition of blame is one I'm choosing to leave behind. My new Christmas tradition is to love myself even though I am sometimes lazy, inconsiderate, and selfish.
On page 45 of Science of Mind by Dr. Ernest Holmes: "We are surrounded by an Infinite Possibility. It is Goodness, Life, Law and Reason." On Christmas Eve, I am reminded how it feels to be on the eve of a new possibility, a new beginning. The day before any big day. I choose to believe that life is generally good and that there are laws at work behind the scenes. Sounds reasonable to me.
Here's an entry in the Science of Mind magazine, attributed to Rob Brenzy:
The Russian word for God is "Bog."
The Basques call the Supreme Being "Jingo."
To purge your psychic dockets of built-up fixations about Deity,
you might try singing improvisational prayers to "Jingo Bog."
Whatever you call it, Bog is Jingo in my songbook.
The dictionary defines Solstice as the time when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point at noon, resulting in the shortest and longest days of the year. It seems to me that each life could have at least two personal solstices; that is, at least twice in a lifetime we could experience a highest and a lowest point. Perhaps this occurs more often? High points and low points could happen daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly? There are so many ways to consider whether an event marks a high point or a low one ... or somewhere in between the extremes of high and low. Life sometimes resembles the path of a roller coaster. I don't have to mark the high and low points to enjoy the ride.