Seasonal Blessings

The reading from Paramahansa Yogananda this morning is lovely and appropriate:

"Christ is born in the cradle of tenderness.
Love is a greater power than hate.
Whatever you say, say it with love.
Harm no one. Judge not others.
Hate none, love all;
behold Christ in all.
Think of everything in terms of universality."

Many do not know that Yogananda spent his life showing to his followers and the world through his writings and teachings, how the wisdom of both the East and the West merge in Christ Consciousness. To someone like me, a theologian with a strong background in the spirituality of various traditions, I have often found Yogananda's words uplifting and inspiring, and simply truth spoken and imparted with purity, and received gratefully, in the cave of my heart and the depths of my soul. For decades I was drawn to his writings and teachings - but mostly - to his haunting smile, inviting me to follow and delve more deeply in my meditation practice...

We never know when we will experience love or compassion - or where we may encounter tenderness. I thought of this later today, after doing a private class with a student who came to me recently and unexpectedly after a major accident that totally changed the direction of her life. She shared that she never knew what it meant to be mindful - and had never reflected on the meaning of life and its mysteries before her tragic experience.

We worked with restoratives and yin poses held for several minutes, and found ourselves sharing some of the lessons we had learned in the past year, as our lives had been profoundly altered through different circumstances. I shared that I was approaching a significant anniversary with some trepidation. Yet she encouraged me to celebrate the occasion with strength and honor - and joy - at all the new experiences and changes I had been gifted with...

I left wondering - who had truly been the student today - and who had been the one actually ministered to? I could see a parallel to the mystery of the Visitation in the scriptures, where Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth - who in turn was the first to recognize the child that Mary was carrying inside. These two women celebrated the good things that God was doing in each of their lives...Here, in this quiet morning class, the realization came to me - that my student and I - were both teacher and student to each other!

Messages and opportunities to experience the Divine abound everywhere...I ended the lesson and the practice with the same blessing I had extended to all of my classes this week, grateful in the gift of this time together with this precious soul:

Seasonal Blessing

May the Season's Gifts--
of joy and peace,
waiting and preparation,
love and hope,
serenity and stillness,
silence and solitude,
take seed and blossom
in your awaiting heart."

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