After a lovely Thanksgiving, I dragged the boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic, cranked up the holiday music, and began decorating my Christmas tree. Upon finishing this age-old tradition, I settled down into my comfy chair with a mug of eggnog and began to reflect on holiday traditions —
and soon my mind wandered to a most special memory.
The year was 2008, and I was at Sevenoaks Retreat Center for the December weekend of my first year of the Pathwork Transformation Program. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the commercial holiday season, I had spent the day with my group in a deep process of uncovering unconscious thoughts, emotions, and negativities that were creating havoc in my life.
The evening, however, was to be a community Holiday ritual with the other Pathwork Transformation group sharing the weekend.
We began in the dining hall, then put our coats on and walked single file down the stairs and outside into the darkness in silence, slowly and consciously taking a meditative walk to the Lighthouse Sanctuary.
Breathing in the crisp, chilly air, tuning into the sacred stillness and taking in the brilliant stars of the Milky Way above me, I was in awe of the beauty of the night.
Silent Night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.
We entered Lighthouse, shedding our hats and coasts which were symbolic of the masks and defenses we wear in our everyday lives that obstruct our Real Self. Without the weight of these added layers, we were each given a candle, and after lighting it we ascended the stairs one at a time to the Sanctuary.
We gathered around the altar in a circle as the Pathwork Helpers honored each of the holiday traditions that celebrate the birth of the Light at this time of year.
Looking around that candlelit room, the soft glow of each individual light illuminated the face of everyone in the community.
And in that moment, as we offered prayers for our loved ones and for the world, I experienced the deeper meaning of Christmas possibly for the first time:
“The Christ lives within everyone and within everything that breathes and has consciousness… What greater gift could you give to yourself than making an effort to create a channel to that in you which is Christ?” ~ Pathwork Lecture 239
When the ritual was complete we headed back to the dining hall. Someone played Christmas carols on the old piano and we all gathered around and sang. We enjoyed coffee and cookies and the love and warmth between us was palpable.
Even without the candles, our Soul Lights filled the room.
Over the years, I have participated in and led similar Holiday celebrations at Sevenoaks. It is always the highlight of my Christmas, because it taps so deeply into the spiritual meaning of the season. Everything else is just wrapping on the gift.
What does it mean to you to give birth to the Christ that is your deepest nature?
How has studying the Pathwork teachings opened up a channel to that in you which is the Christ?
In Pathwork Lecture 239, the Guide reminds us:
“The Christ has been given birth by your work, my beloved friends. At each step of your path where you find a misconception, a negativity, a block, a destructiveness, a problem, an ignorance, you find a direct obstruction to the Christ within…
Every new realization, every spurt of consciousness, every breath of love, every change of attitude gives birth to the Christ, until all these many little lights that you light up in your own souls, spreading into others’ souls, converge and emerge into one huge sea of light, into a sea of love, into a sea of intense joyous awareness.”
Whatever religion or spiritual path you follow, may your soul light up in a sea of love this Holiday season!
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