Saturday, December 2, 2017



+ The season of Advent is a precious holy season when we expect something wonderful to happen but must wait.  But it might happen at any moment.  Better yet, it IS happening now.  So, it is a good time to work on Being Present.  And, of course, Spirituality & Practice comes through with a multitude of resources and great memes for the essential contemplative, meditative and prayerful practice of Being Present.
Advent is a time when we look back and look forward.  But most of all, we embrace the here-and-now and strive to make the here-and-now come alive in a heavenly and eternal way.

There is perhaps too much of an emphasis in Christian circles on looking back. Advent can become a time of sentimentality rather than a penitential time of seeking to be transformed and renewed in the likeness of our ideal teachers and guides.  When Christians look forward, we look for the Second Coming and that's what is emphasized on the First Sunday of Advent. Looking back and looking forward are important aspects of Advent and, for that matter, always important.  We can even say that it is always Advent because we are always looking back, looking forward and, most of all hopefully, being present, coming alive in the here-and-now.  Here is where we can learn so much from other wisdom traditions, particularly Buddhism with its emphasis on mindfulness.       

Some of us have found it useful to have an advent wreath in the home, lighting the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent and then the next 3 on the second, third and fourth Sundays of Advent. On the First Sunday in Advent the tradition calls for us to be aware of the Coming of the Day of the Lord which will be a surprise and may come at any time. So, we might call this candle the Surprise Candle or the Mystery Candle or the Be Prepared Candle.  For many years it has been called by many the  Candle of Hope.  A song for the occasion is Be Here Now by George Harrison.

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