December 18, 2008 by  


The Word was made flesh and came and dwelt among men.
Star of Bethlehem art by Sabine Kleftogiannis.



It was dark. I stood at the door of the American Vishwa Dharma Zen Temple (Soul Sword Zendo) and my attention was immediately attracted by a single bright star shining close to the earth. The star was so bright above the house across the street that I knew that it could be no ordinary occurence. I walked out to the street so that I could get a clear view through the trees. There it was, unnaturally brillant, radiating through the night. It was an electric star mounted on the chimney of  the neighbor's house.

Many of the neighbors had elaborate decorations. Their houses were illuminated by hundreds of lights. This man, a person I knew to be a Christian, chose to raise a single shining star into the heavens above an otherwise darkened house...  In that one glance I was transported 2000 years to the star that shone above a Bethlehem stable. I have always felt a spirit of peace come upon me when I gazed upon the starry  sky. A single, star, however evoked a different feeling, something deeply personal...a feeling that connected me to the vastness.

The Baby Jesus was born under such a star, and that star cast light around  the world and through the centuries but mankind, most of mankind, still fails to understand the significance of Jesus or the signle star. We are still too victimized by our worship of the intellect and by the curse of a divided mind. We are too busy trying to figure everything out with the ego-centric consciouness which makes us the prime operative of the universe. We don't know how to yield and receive , like a baby, like the Baby Jesus, and so we miss it.

On Christmas, the name we give that  awe-inspiring day when The Christ-Child was born, mankind was also born anew. It is not something we can get with our mind. It takes faith to leap beyond knowing to the unknown. It takes faith to believe that we are one despite our obvious differences. It takes faith to believe that one living being can send soul freeing power all the way down the line to the present day, just as it takes faith to believe in One Mind

This season, as always, we will celebrate with things. We will shop until the stores close to bring home stuff, not  necessarily to give out of love but out of a sense of obligation. We believe in stuff. We believe in what we can see, touch and prove with out senses. So Christmas becomes about stuff using the flimsy reason that the Wisemen gave gifts to the Christ Child. It is true, they gave gifts of precious things of the world but what they received in return was not tangible. They travelled by camel from another country to give...they got NO-THING back.

It is this what we cannot see, what we cannot measure in terms of our five-senses that is the mysterious gift The Christ Child brings.  "Peace on earth."  You can have not the whole world, you can have peace on earth when you reach out to receive the intangible gift.  Each of us were born receving instruments but we had no power to discriminate what we were receiving. We took in delusion upon delusion. How can we know The Way when our receiving instrument is tainted. Help is needed. Help is needed in so many ways. The Christ Child would grow up to say "I am The Way, The Truth and The Life, no man comes unto The Father (The Supreme) except by me."

If you think, how can a man born 2000 years ago help me now? My answer is electricity. The Bible poses the question, "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the Son of  Man that thou visiteth him? The quest of Zen is to discover what you really are directly, not in ideas or concepts but by direct perception. So we say Man is one. In essense  you are that one. If you are disconnected from your true self, a little jumpstart, living current shot from the empowered to you clears up what ails you in a flash of light. Your response could be anything from ahhh sooky sooky to thank you Jesus.

This Christmas give yourself the gift of humility. Recognize that you do now know the answer to the essential question. It is highly likely you have no clue as to what you really are. Become a seeker of  The Star in your heart and help will manifest some place in time and space. The person you meet will not be the new born Christ Child in a Bethlehem stable but under that ever-shining star you will discover that The Mind and Spirit of Master continues and can speak through any vessel God chooses. It is not what you see in the miror that is crying out for guidance. It is not who you see with your eyes who will reach out to help.

Christmas, The Very Spiritual path, itself, is never about stuff. After all, we are not the bodies we use temporarily. Without using a word...what are you then?

Only the source of the Star of Bethlehem can reveal that. Be humble. Be still. The greatest gift of all is already present. The star is only a reminder of  The Light within you.


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