When a great avatar like Jesus Christ comes to earth he brings with him a “special dispensation” as Paramhansa Yogananda called it, which is God’s grace in a more condensed form and available to all who are open to receive it. This grace is especially strong when large numbers of people tune into the avatar, as they do during birthdays or other special occasions associated with a great soul. Times like Christmas season, when hundreds of millions are tuned in to Jesus, are powerful spiritual opportunities. Meditate more, pray more and serve others, and you will draw the special grace that flows during this holy time.
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Yogananda started the practice of holding an all-day meditation on the day before Christmas to help us tune into the Christ consciousness. Yogananda explained that the Christ consciousness is the spiritual essence hidden at the core of each individual, in fact at the core of every atom of creation. It is much easier to be aware of our divinity during times when our thoughts are more naturally turned toward God, as they are during the “holy season.” The long meditation during the holidays helps us go beyond the holiday frenzy of shopping and parties, to still our hearts and minds, and invite the Christ consciousness to be born within us.
The Christ consciousness has the power to transform our lives just as the birth of Jesus transformed the world. In order to receive it we must expand our sense of self. The Christmas season, when we are already thinking about others, is a natural time to do this. Perhaps it is only “What present should I buy them?” but even that is expansive. Yet how much better it would be to remember that you are buying presents for the Christ manifested in the form of your family and friends. To consciously see God hiding in the faces of our loved ones is a high spiritual state.
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The trick is to stay aware, to think of God in the midst of all the busyness. Here are some ways to help you keep the holidays holy. Use small reminders to bring your thoughts back to God. For instance, every time you see a picture of Santa Claus or someone dressed like him, remind yourself that you are seeing God in the form of Saint Nicholas. Each time you buy a gift or send a card, stop for a moment and offer a silent prayer of blessing for the spiritual benefit of the recipient. Smile more and give the gift of joy and friendship to others. Kindness is contagious. Energize your family, the people at work, and even the clerks in the stores with your smiles and appreciation.
Finally, spend more time than usual meditating and praying. This is a time when the world especially needs our prayers and blessings. Act as a channel for the Christ consciousness and carry a light of radiance wherever you go. Let the spiritual power of Christmas flow through you.