22 December 2014

Christmas - a miracle and some reflection

One good definition for a miracle is an event for which there is no logical explanation. So this week, recounting a rather remarkable Christmas miracle, and then a short reflection on meaning, and the highs and lows of Christmas, but first


     Thought for the day

            What a lover’s heart knows 
            Let no man’s brain dispute


For many years I have always had a live Christmas tree. When my children were growing up, we had a new one each year and then planted it out. So on our old farm there is the Christmas tree avenue, made up of all the different pine trees, cedars and like minded trees.

In more recent times, we have grown the Christmas tree in a pot until it really is large enough to demand planting. So where Ruth and I live currently, there are only two ex-Christmas trees in the ground.

A couple of years ago our oldest grandchild was getting to the age of questioning Santa. Fancy that! Anyway, it was a hot year and a good deal of tree watering was required. Having checked the trees on Christmas Eve, I went out to water them on Boxing Day.

Imagine this.

Under one of the ex-Christmas tree were two deer horns!

Each about 4 – 5” long, or 10 – 15 cms in the new money.

They looked for all the world like baby reindeer horns and here they are:

Now you may think I am dreaming, but never having seen such things in our area, or even heard of anyone else finding them, what are the chances? They turned up Christmas Eve or night, under the Christmas tree and they are real deer horns.

Moral of the story? The grandchild believed in Santa for a couple more years!

Then there is Christmas itself. If we take the birth of Christ metaphorically, the principle of Christ represents pure love, so the birth of Christ represents the birth of pure love.

One way of regarding Christmas therefore, is to remind ourselves of our own aspirations to be more loving. Now there is something worth celebrating! Of course pure love is the same as unconditional love and that is quite an achievement – to say the least.

For most of us mere mortals, love is more likely to have some element of a deal involved. I will love you if you love me back. I will not love you unless you are nice to me. I will love you if you look after me, pay the bills, help me bring up the children, make me feel good, share sex with me ….. and on and on.

Unconditional love says I will love you. Full stop. No deals. No qualifications.

I will love you.

Full stop.

Aspiring to unconditional love is helped by being aware of the two aspects of the mind - the active, thinking mind and the deeper stillness of mind. The thinking mind has many wonderful attributes, but also the capacity to scheme, to be highly conditional and to bring overt and covert deals into ostensibly loving relationships.

The still mind is beyond all that. Intrinsically pure; of its very nature it is unconditional. So the more we connect with the stillness of our mind, (made possible through meditation of course), the more we have the capacity to be unconditional.

Now unconditional does not mean being a doormat or being taken advantage of. And this is where for many the challenges of Christmas arise. The fact is that for many, Christmas raises conflicting emotions. Loneliness. Too many people gathering. Old family wounds can be rekindled. Real joy being experienced. The full range of emotions and experiences.

So Christmas…..

A good time to be kind to our self and to those around us. Maybe it is a good time to take some time quietly for our self, to reflect on the nature of love, what it means to us, how we have experienced it in our own life, and even how it may be possible to be more unconditional in our own way of loving.

Maybe something of all this could form part of an aspiration for a bright new year.

From Ruth and myself then - Happy Christmas, enjoy some regenerative time amidst the spirit of Christmas, and may 2015 be filled with good health, happiness and peace.

Meditation in the Forest        March 27th to April 2nd  2015

During this, our first meditation retreat for 2015, we will be focusing upon the deeper stillness of meditation. We will explore the theory, but moreso, the actual practices that help us to go beyond the activity of the thinking mind into a more direct and profound experience of the still mind.

Deep, natural peace. A calm and clear mind. So many possibilities follow…..

FULL DETAILS Click here 


  1. How many sets of hoof tracks were there in the snow around the tree?
    Betsy xxx

  2. Thank you Ian for sharing the love. xx

  3. May you enjoy your Christmas with those you love.

  4. I won't put my theory on the horns....or it would spoil an absolutely delightful story!!
    Ian, you always show us how SIMPLE life can be!....always fabulous reminders to us all plus put so succinctly & easily passed onto others...who are willing to listen!
    Thank you for sharing your love & wisdom.
    Merry xmas & love, health & happiness back to Ruth & yourself.
    Kind regards
    Sue from SW of WA

  5. The Right-Mind - the split mind and the two conflicting thought systems is very evident. Compare the two sides to know what you are choosing in any given moment. a course in miracles podcast