Ananda Family News

Monday, December 21, 2009

Inner and Outer Christmas Celebrations

This weekend contained two Christmas events that were utterly delightful in completely different ways.

On Saturday we had the all-day Christmas meditation. The eight hours spent at the sangha were well balanced, with enough breaks to keep everyone comfortable and energized, and enough meditation to stay focused and internalized. One special treat was the showing of a 15-minute clip from the documentary of Swami Kriyananda that's being made in Italy, which looks like it's just going to be a gem. But, of course, the real joy of the day was meditating that intensely with so many great souls. From the minute I sat down, I felt like I was simply joining a flow of energy that was there waiting for me, and that carried us all along with Jesus' and Yogananda's blessings. It was a true celebration of what Master called "Spiritual Christmas."

Then on Sunday night we directed our energy outward, when 20 or so people launched from Chela Bhavan to spread Christmas caroling cheer all around the Monroe Drive loop. Asha had her bike, and would dash on ahead to figure out where we'd sing next, and then come back to direct us there. Then a crowd of singers and guitarists would pile onto and around the appropriate porch and unleash a joyful noise at the residents. Along with the usual Christmas favorites, we also had such extra bonuses as a verse of "The First Noel" naming Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri, and Babaji as the three wise men, and Matthew's rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful" in Italian. Four or five households passed around cookies after we sang (including some excellent Swedish ginger snaps), and we left a little trail of happy smiles and cookie crumbs in our wake as we went.

We came home to the community with two of Swamiji's songs. At the nativity scene by the driveway entrance we sang "The Christ Child's Asleep" to Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Then we moved on to Yogananda's gazebo to sing "The Christmas Mystery." That was a beautiful way to pull the joy back inside, before reconvening at Chela Bhavan for potlucking and satsang. Quite a lovely weekend, all around.

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