“God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart.”

– Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Christmas time.

For majority of people it is just about the shopping, presents and tons of food. In our “civilised” world most of us have forgotten about the true meaning of Christmas: celebration of the Divinity within us.

Since 2007 I have spent almost every Christmas in the ashram of my spiritual master, Paramahamsa Vishwananda, where Christmas celebration looks a lot different than anywhere else in today’s world. Christmas spent in the ashram was for me always a time of contemplation, prayer, meditation, and diving deep, deep within myself to connect with the true Christ within me: my own soul.

There is a beautiful icon of Theotokos, Mother Mary in the ashram, painted by Paramahamsa Vishwananda. It’s one of the most beautiful icons of Mother Mary I have ever seen. It’s really alive, if you know what I mean. Just by being close to it, you would immediately feel an aura of peace emanating from it, and soon a special warmness would appear in your heart.

Each time, I look at this icon, I see the potential of all humanity in Her. She carried God in Her womb, and needed to overcome many obstacles for God to be manifested in the world. Similarly, each one of us carries Him in our hearts, no matter, whether we feel it or not. After all, true Christ is the hidden light in our hearts. It’s our soul, waiting to be awakened.

How often do we remind ourselves about the Divine light within us?

When a mother is pregnant, she would start to take care of herself more. Not for her own sake, but for the sake of the new soul embodied within her womb. She would change many of her habits. She would not be interested anymore in eating the things, which she likes. She would crave for the food, that is beneficial for her baby. She would take a better care of her body, and better care of her mind as well, as she wouldn’t like her baby to be affected by her negative emotions, stress or anger. She would also consciously avoid places that may cause her any danger, fatigue or lower her vibrations in any other way. This is also why so many women during their pregnancy suddenly decide to do yoga or practice meditation. Their priorities change.

How would it be, if we start to care for ourselves and the Divinity within our hearts, just like the mother does?

After all, the heart of each of us is “pregnant” with the Spirit. There is a Higher Consciousness dwelling in the very core of our souls, just waiting for us to hear its silent whisper and awaken to its song.

Just for a moment, just as an experiment, think of yourself as a mother, and of your Higher Consciousness as a baby, which you carry within your heart and need to take care of. How would your perception change? Would you react differently in certain situations? Would you try to be more calm, loving, forgiving and kind? Would listen more to your intuition? Would you make different choices? Would you be more disciplined in choosing the right way, not the easiest one?

What if we would start to care about our Higher Consciousness which so much concern, like a pregnant woman takes care of a baby hidden within her womb?

Meditate about it for a moment.

Do you feel what I mean?

This is what I love the most about the mantra practice and Atma Kriya Yoga – this feeling of being connected to something greater within you. This intimate connection with your soul. This feeling that I am something more than just my limited mind or my limited body. The feeling of being connected to the Divinity within me. And when you truly feel it, everything changes: the choices that you make, the emotions that you allow to manifest, the reactions that you chose.

For me, that’s the real Christmas. Celebration of something more within us and a reminder, that every day is a good day to train ourselves in being more kind, loving, forgiving and compassionate. Because…

Just like the sun has its light, through which it illumines the whole world, similarly the soul has its own light of consciousness – that’s Love.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

At the end of this post I would like to share with you a beautiful insight about Christmas, shared by Marianne Williamson just about an hour ago. It touched my heart – perhaps it will touch yours:

“I believe in Christmas. I believe in it because I believe that the story is true: there is a light in every one… This is the day to consider the possibility of infinite possibility, for yourself and for all the world. Christmas means the birth of an otherworldly love into the world. If we’re willing to express more love, then we can shift the planet. Let’s all of us give birth to more love in the world today. And then tomorrow too. And then the day after that.

In all of our psyches there is the darkened sky as well as the Star of Bethlehem. With every thought, we choose to see one or the other. Mary is the part of us that receives God’s love and says “Yes, may it be born through me.” She is the divine feminine. Joseph is the part of us that navigates the material world and says, “Yes, I will ground heaven on earth.” He is the divine masculine. The Christ is mothered by our humanity and fathered by God. It is the face of who we really are.”

I am just a traveller in the journey of life. A soul like you with few experiences to share, that may resonate with you as well. And, if we believe that nothing happens without a reason, even our meeting in this virtual space is for a purpose!