An Invitation to Celebrate
Richard acknowledges that while there is much we can weep for, there is far more to celebrate and he discusses his daily practice for opening into an expansive space of wonderment and gratitude.
And this holiday season, as every year at Christmas time, is about the birth of that divine child within us. The beginning of the birth of the man of light, a person of light. So it belongs to all religions, it’s not specifically just Christian. And certainly that is what I want you to know as I speak.
We need to be able to look through the world that a part of our mind shows us. It’s almost incredible, the idea that we are alive in these bodies. Right now there’s a new telescope that has just shown us that there are actually 2 trillion more galaxies in this universe than we thought. And each of those galaxies has hundreds of billions of stars. And then if we come home here, I mean, it’s astronomically vast. How did we come to be born into bodies that are made of a hundred trillion cells that are filled with bacteria. We’re a community. We’re a collaboration of life forms here. And we’re constantly, constantly inseparable from this amazing planet.
And when we get too near-sighted, when we look out at the world that our minds have created, the man made, mind made world of structures and architecture and buildings and cities, these collective places of gathering of human beings that we drive our identity from. And then other collectives of human beings that we see as other than ourselves. If we could look through it, if we can look through the atoms, in a sense, and see the majesty of the creation, the constant majesty of creation, moment by moment.
I understand. My body hurts at times. Friends of mine are suffering deeply. And you have friends that are suffering deeply. And some of you are. We are inflicting pain. There are refugees who have lost their homes, children that have lost their parents. All of that is mind. It’s human mind. It’s small mind. Even the degree to which we take our quest for knowledge and apply it technologically, sometimes for incredible benefit, medical benefit and other things. Still it’s small compared to trying to feel the blessing and the miracle of being embodied, of having a life, of being able to feel and hold and laugh and know heartache and know rejoicing and smell and taste.
And it’s just extraordinary to be part of this life. And to look through, to look past, to look beyond that very personalized way we see of our world and to rejoice at the birth within us of this limitless consciousness and our inseparability from the divine mother, this manifested universe, this beautiful planet of lakes and rivers and oceans and sky and air and trees and creatures of every kind.
I walk through the street and I realize that if I’m unhappy, I’m taking the world around me into unhappiness. I’m hurting it. If I’m happy, I’m taking the world around me into the happiness and I’m rejoicing with it.
So I feel responsible– I feel responsible when I go for a walk to the trees and the sky and the earth that my feet are on. And I just want to say thank you.
Every morning I get up and I have a practice. I sing. I let my own voice find its own chants, put words to it, and I rejoice. Again and again and again. And always. Because music is the original language. Because music comes before thinking, comes before words. Music and the musicality of voice and letting yourself sing from your heart, this is actually a practice that will take you to an intuitive and deep sense of being connected, of wholeness. And you’ll find yourself creating words you never dreamed you’d even think out loud.
And so my practice in the morning of just letting that chanting happen. Sometimes it’s a chants that I’ve come from other traditions, but mostly these are things I generate out of myself. Because it feels more immediate and true to me. And of course, that’s how all chants got started. Someone started to sing their praise of the moment, their celebration of being, their wonderment at mystery.
I don’t know if you have time to do that. I don’t know if you have space to do that. But I want you to look deeper, look through what the mind says is terrible and horrible and realize to even be here, to be breathing, to hold someone’s hand, to listen, to hear words, to speak to people, to open our hearts, I mean, there’s nothing more magical, wonderment. Just– it’s beyond understanding.
We think we know what we’re doing here. We don’t do anything. We’re just the tip of the iceberg of some part of this amazing universe that’s growing conscious of itself.
So try to look bigger on these holiday days. Let that Christ child be born in to you. Let that man of light, person of light be born in you. And don’t believe what your mind tells you, especially the darkness.
Yes there is darkness. Oh absolutely there is darkness. Yes we have to stand up against injustice. Yes we have to make a statement. But not a statement of ideology, not a statement of opposition. We need to be walking statements of gratitude. Walking statements of thank you, walking statements of wonderment every moment.
There’s no reason not to feel more wonderment. Just look, just look, just look at your body, it’s incomprehendably amazing. Just look at nature, look at this planet it’s incomprehendably amazing.
So celebrate and rejoice. And when there are tears, and when there is grief and weeping, know that that too is made of the same substance of consciousness as all the rest of the beauty and glory and wonderment that is our lives.
We don’t know that we’ll ever come again. We don’t know how we got here. We have belief systems about rebirth and reincarnation. But the truth is this is our time to be walking exponents of celebration, of gratitude, even though there is pain. Look through what the small mind of man has created and its conflict. But also its beauty. Its gorgeous architecture, its wonderful art, its incredible music, its healing medicines. But look through that. There’s something deeper, more magnificent, more majestic, more wonderful.
And start the new year letting yourself be somehow a celebration of that mystery that we’ll never reach the end of. Not even in– as far as we can project into the future, as we human beings seek to know. Will we ever be able to reach true understanding of the glory of the what is of this moment? Holy, holy now. Holy, holy this. Holy, holy love. Holy, holy being. Holy, holy touch. Holding and caring and seeing and feeling. Holy, holy now.
I wish you truly wonderful holidays, blessed new-year.
This is really what I feel in myself. I don’t know how much time I have left. But this is what I think we’re here to do. We’re that aspect of nature, not only becoming conscious of itself, we’re that aspect of nature celebrating the miracle of being. So I hope this brings light into your hearts because that’s what my heart feels like. It feels aglow. And every morning I cultivate that glow, that light, that gratitude, that wonderment.
There is a lot to weep for. There’s a lot to be uncertain about. But you absolutely never have to be uncertain about the pure wonderment of being born onto this planet and having this life.
Blessings, blessings, wonderful holidays, happy new year. Thank you.