December is a month of many celebrations, such as Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa. I’m reflecting on our fabulous diversity, our challenges to get along with one another across divides, and the invitation for Peace on Earth.
This month Buddhists commemorate Siddhartha experiencing enlightenment and becoming Buddha; if he can become enlightened so can we, but in our own way. I like this wonderful Hindu teaching:
“There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn’t matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone else that their path is wrong.”
We are all on a path. It’s a matter of becoming conscious of what that path is and then choosing wisely.
An ancient symbol of a purposeful path is a labyrinth. They have been created for thousands of years all over the world. I just walked a labyrinth made up of 700 candles for winter solstice.
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. A circuitous path takes you to the centre and back out again. On the way to the centre, there is an invitation to release whatever you would like, such as thoughts, worries, distractions.
What are you ready to let go of that no longer serves you or is a limitation? What could we collectively release that would bring greater consciousness on our planet? Racism? Homophobia? Sexism? Torture?
When you reach the centre of the labyrinth, you can pause to receive whatever is there for you. It can be a place for mediation or prayer. The centre is a metaphor for your deepest self.
What are you willing to receive? What are you unwilling to receive that if you were now to receive it, would change your reality? What would it take for you to receive who you truly be?
Walking back out of the labyrinth is a time of union and return. You may journey back to the world with new awareness or a deeper understanding of who you are.
What are you willing to be aware of? What would you like to contribute – to yourself, to others, to the world?
In a way, life is like a labyrinth – meandering yet purposeful, something to be experienced holistically, having a beginning, middle and ending, with your authentic self in the centre; the ending is the beginning.
We’ve just had the darkest night, now the light begins to shine more each day. Now really is the time for an awakening, for us to choose a more conscious and peaceful way to be together on our beautiful planet earth.
Happy holidays, however you celebrate them, and peace to you, your family, and your community.