Showing posts from December, 2016

A New Year! Now What?

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Once our sacred celebrations are over? What happens when the stable is empty, the candles are burned down, or the fire is gone cold? Do we simply return to our lives as before?  Or, do we take something from whatever practice we follow to begin anew in the new year?  Do we release the pain and sorrow of the past so that we might travel lightly and with strength into the future, believing that we ARE the change we have been waiting for all this time?  
The following was written by Rev. Howard Thurman.  I first posted this back in 2012, but I think it bears repeating. The message in this poem is universal and we need to consider it more today than ever before.

Work of Christmas Begins by Rev. Howard Thurman
"When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to r…

Light, Love and Peace

Sam Mugraby, CC via Wikimedia Commons
This week, both Jews and Christians celebrate their Holy Days of Light, Love and Peace. Candles will be lit, gifts exchanged and traditional foods shared. There will be prayers and readings from scriptures, as well as the observance of ancient rituals. Followers of both religions will hope for peace.
Peace seems such a distant concept these days, however. Those that strive to create it find pockets of peace in their lives and the lives of those they love, but their dreams, their hopes of peace world-wide face the gales of hate and greed. Still, they burn their candles, lighting the path they travel for themselves and those close by; they shield their candles from the treacherous winds that attempt to blow out their light. 
This image of candles and light, of love and peace being share is an ancient one.  Many legends, myths and stories use the imagery of a candle to interpret these qualities. One of my favorite quotes comes from T. H. Whi…

Light Work

By Scott Kelly Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
According to Doreen Virtue, Lightworkers are "those who volunteered, before birth, to help the planet and its population heal from the effects of fear." Doreen is best known for her books on angels and their role in our lives. I found her thoughts on Lightworkers interesting.

I was brought to thinking of her writings when I woke this morning thinking that now the Light will return. This was my waking thought, but I think it had more to do with the work we humans have to do now, than the length of sunlight per day. So, I looked up Light Work, which brought me to Doreen's website.

When the Dark is most obvious, it is easy to feel that there is no Light. However, there is always Light. Right now, in the world, there is a heavy, overpowering sense of Darkness. Many people feel full of despair. Hope appears to be waning, but the truth is that there are even more people sharing the Light at this moment in time than ever before. W…

In Anticipation of Our Hopes Fulfilled

New Grange, Ireland - were the sun lights up the tomb during the winter solstice. Photo Credit: R. J. Welch (late 1800's)
For Christians around the world, this Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Advent.  Advent, a season of anticipation...of hope.  

In many other cultures and spiritual paths, this time of year is also a season of anticipation, of hope and of new or rebirth.  Humans from the earliest of times anticipated the return of the sun in the northern hemisphere, thereby creating the connection to Light at this time of year.  They hoped that their harvest would last throughout the long, dark winter days. They awaited the new birth of life to the fields, with their animals and even within their communities.

As our longest day - the Winter Solstice - is celebrated this week , along with the other Holy days of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, let us ponder what we are anticipating, what we are hoping for and how we can become part of the birthing of Peace, Love and Light in this New Yea…

Sorrow and Grief

By Bestbudbrian (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons
This holiday season is a difficult one for my loved ones and I, as it is for many people this year.  In my circle of family and friends, there have been numerous deaths - loved ones who are no longer here to share our joy or celebrate along side us.
We must be gentle with ourselves and each other. In other words, we need to give ourselves permission to be happy as well as sad.  We need to allow ourselves the ability to laugh and cry.  Being gentle means it is OK to want to be with others, but also wish to be alone.  When our hearts are filled with sorrow, grief becomes part of our life.  
Grief is our response to sorrow.  Each person grieves differently.  The catch is that in order to move forward, to do the things we need to do in this life, we must not let sorrow consume us.  When we are consumed by sorrow, our lives become dark, empty places. Grief enable us to witness our sorrow.
Grieving takes many forms. Some of us write…

Jazz and God

Photo Credit:
I knew little about jazz when I met my husband, other than I enjoyed listening to it.  Jazz made me feel calm. The extent of the jazz artists I knew and enjoyed were Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.  Their music spoke to me of rising above the turmoil, of being connected no matter your color, belief, or any of the isms.  Jazz united people and sang to their souls.
When Roger introduced me to John Coltrane, I was in awe.  The manner by which he played the saxophone wrapped around me, opening my mind and spirit to possibilities hidden deep within.  The first time he played, Coltrane's Love Supremefor me, the emotions ebbed and flowed through me.  This was divine music!
As an interfaith minister, I was taught that we meet people on their path and assist them in whatever way we can with whatever tools we have.  For me, music is a great tool for healing, forgiveness and spreading the Love of the Source of all love - Love Supreme…