Kriya Yoga and decorating of the tree of Life

Kriya and decorating of the tree of Life

The great Turning.
and the ritual of the tree of Life.

Here is the northern hemisphere we are well into the holy day season. A series of days and weeks that offer us a moment of reflection, of pause, a time of contemplation and self-enquiry ultimately leading to the rededication of what it is we choose to do with our precious birth in the next cycle of life. Holy days are like days outside of time, inns along the way of life’s journey. They are moments along the wheel of the year where we take respite from the typical day-by-day activities. Along this wheel of time, no holiday more aptly represents this pause than the 3 days of the Christmas holiday starting with the solstice ending on the 25th of December.

These 3 days express a near factual representation of a pause in time of the normal day by day expanse and retraction of the Light of Life’s influence upon our planet and all of its living inhabitants.

To most cultures of the northern hemisphere the times leading up to and shortly after the winter solstice are festooned with opportunities to reassess what went right and what we feel went we would choose to do differently with our previous years activities.

In the practice of Kriya yoga we recognize the potency of working with these planetary larger patterns to consciously yoke our own actions with these fortuitous moments to accomplish our goals.

It is wisdom to take into account these “magic moments” in time. Just as it is wise to plant in the spring and to harvest before autumns end, it is also wise to recognize when to begin again anew.

It is at this time in the yearly cycle that the wise seek to tie their own actions to this time of turning; of the suns return. In this way we can move forward with the force of nature and not against the current of life.

The solstice itself sits at the center of these rituals and ceremonies, as the daylight minuets are overtaken by the increase in shadow as what has been seen and known is dissolved into the mystery.

So what actions do we embark upon, what inner rituals and outer ceremonies do we participate in to best align ourselves with this great moment of the Suns return?

While there are many nuances and traditions all aligned with the same mystical ambition one of the most beloved in our western culture is the trimming of the Christmas tree. Make no mistake; this seemingly mundane activity like most traditions that endure is deeply seated in the tradition of mysticism and the internal ritual of dedication and coming renewal.

The ceremonies origins appear to be with the Saturnalia cult of the pre Roman times. Today we carry forth the ceremony as the trimming and decorating of the tree of life known as the Christmas tree.

The tree itself is a symbol of life eternal, of the sustaining power of life even in the cold, dark times of the winter months. In this ceremony the evergreen tree is brought into a place of honor and recognition, decorated and glorified with light and symbols of what we hold sacred. This ceremony mirrors the inner ritual of remembering what we are grateful for. What we are dedicated to preserving. What it is that we value.

The Tree of life itself is our own spinal axis and chakric energy centers. We are that tree of life that pulls forth from our hidden past (where we are planted) to blossom forth-glorious expression of Life itself! To bring balance and harmony lighting the light of each chakra is what the ceremony of the decorating of the tree of life seeks to vivify. To decorate our own living expression with that which we hold sacred into a form of balance and beauty is the inner ritual that brings transformative rebirth into our lives.

What are you choosing to hold and illumine in your soul that will shine forth in this coming year?

The Suns Return.

By aligning our intention, our will, our wisdom with the wheel of the year we come into a powerful synergy with the movement of time itself. In Kriya Yoga we utilize an equation borrowed from electrical engineering that: Intensity times duration is equal to force; ID=F.

Force in the case refers our karma or our Kriya. To change either the intensity of our focus or the duration of our work affects the manifestation of our creation. In this time of the solstice the durational factor is esoterically increased due to the compression of time that occurs with the stillness of the movement in time making that which we set forth at this time particularly potent. Due to the north south tilt of our earth upon her axis our seasons swing. At the solstice we come to the transitional tipping point, where further movement comes to a stop and our planet begins again her southward journey making the return of the next season of renewal.

Like most events in actual time, this event does not happen in a single days time but occurs over an essential three days of inaction or timelessness.

Starting on the 21-22 of the month of December, as the Sun symbolically moves into the sign of Capricorn (a symbol of dedication), the tilting of our planet slows to a stand still and then; she after a pause in time reverses her direction. To look at this more closely we can explore an astronomical declination ephemeris and as we do we re-discover the ancient reason why the celebration of the rebirth of the Light of Life is not celebrated on the solstice moment directly but instead finds its moment of exuberance to be upon the 25th of the month 3 days after the shortest period of daylight.

A careful examination of the declination of the sun at the time of the solstice shows the time of the turning as it actually unfolds.

I am including a couple of days prior to a few after the astronomical event in order to show what is occurring in context. Starting with Dec 19 we find the sun in its more or less steady movement of about 1 degree per day of movement along it declination axis as the sun moves further southward casting ever less lumens upon the northern lands

Dec 19 -23 24 23.0 Here we see what the essential pattern of shift as it occurs through out the year

Dec 20 -23 25 24.8
As gravitational forces pull powerfully upon our planet the rate in the change of declination slows to a crawl.

Dec 21 -23 25 58.5
In the center of the solstice the movement in time has nearly stalled. (Will the light of life return? Is all hope lost ?) Common ceremonies include the full burning of bon fires and candles, the mystic, feeling the tug of darkness often takes time inside to enjoy and utilize the still point and its potency knowing that the re-birthing that emerges from the darkness has once again begun

Dec 22 -23 26 03.9
Here at last the still point is at is most extreme, the decrease in the amount of light shinning upon us has reached is nadir.

Dec 23 -23 25 41.1
The sun declinational shift has occurred, but the amount of actual change in the amount of light shinning upon us has hardly changed. The moment of celebration while anticipated is not yet realized

Dec 24 -23 24 50.0
Dec 25 -23 23 30.7
Between the eve of Christmas and it’s the 25th we at last see the return of the pattern, the moment of uncertainty, of the possibility of death overcoming life, of darkness prevailing over the light has clearly and absolutely past.

The time of celebration is upon us as the Light of Life Eternal has once again been reborn with the promise of another cycle in which to work and to manifest our dreams. The mystical emergence is complete, what has been dissolved into darkness and been reordered in beauty and gathered its force through stillness can now emerge with power and potential capable of life’s renewal.

May you all have a wonderful celebration of the suns return, as you bring balance to your inner and your outer world through the cultivation of compassion and wisdom, empathy and kindness, forgiveness and love. As you preform the ceremonies with your families and communities, gift giving and of illumining, of bringing beauty and laughter, sweetness and adding your own light into this time of darkness may you bring balance to your own body mind complex.

Through the practices of stillness, self enquiry, purity and unification within the heart of your heart, the soul of your soul may you give birth to the Cristos, (the Anointed one) who is born anew into our world to bring forth the promise of life eternal and the conquest of joy over sorrow, wisdom over ignorance and bliss. With great respect and gratitude.

May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy and fruitful holidays during this most potent time of renewal.

Swami Maitreyanada.