The troubled young man knelt amidst the crumbling ruins of the chapel and prayed. A few years earlier he had been a carefree youth who enjoyed partying with his friends. Then a war came, and he joined the army looking for adventure. Captured in one of the battles, he was held prisoner for a year and suffered from recurring high fevers.
The New Year will soon make its entrance onto the stage of our life, bringing with it the inescapable gains and losses, happiness and suffering. But no matter what adversities may lie ahead, they needn’t cause us suffering if we choose to live each day in greater awareness of God’s presence. Where God’s light is, no shadow can dwell.
No matter how challenging our life has been, each of us has some reason to thank God: for the air we breathe from our first breath, for the sun that gives us warmth and light, for the people that gave us food and comfort.
Recently at a satsang someone asked us, “How much free will do we have, and how much is predetermined by our past karma?” This question has troubled people down through the ages. Now in Dwapara Yuga our line of gurus have given us new understanding of how to find freedom from karmic bondage.
We heard an inspiring story about a revered Tibetan lama whom the Chinese Communists had held in prison for many years. Eventually the lama was released and later met with the Dalai Lama, who asked him, “It must have been difficult to be a prisoner for all those years. Were you ever afraid?”
My first Kriya Initiation was on December 22, 1967. It was a Friday evening, and Swami Kriyananda felt that those of us who would be attending the all-day Christmas meditation the next day could benefit from having this sacred technique. The ceremony took place in Swamiji’s small San Francisco apartment and was attended by about a dozen people.
This is something I wrote some years ago but perhaps you have never had a chance to read it. I hope it helps fill your Christmas season with God’s light.
Prayer helps us to open our consciousness to the flow of God’s grace. By praying, we make a conscious connection with God that otherwise wouldn’t be there, and thereby attune ourselves more fully to Him.