Easter weekend is one of the few times each year when we are invited to step out of our routines to contemplate the larger themes of life.
Although Easter, as it is known throughout the world today, grows from events in the Christian religion; the springtime festival is a fixture of most religions world wide. The dates fluctuate. Some commemorate the spring equinox, and others, like the Jewish Passover, are fixed by the phases of the moon.
The theme is joy, celebration; and resurrection and renewal of life from what appeared to be dead. We celebrate the realization that life is eternal.
The Easter eggs and bunnies are symbols of fertility: another aspect of new life. Humans have marked their spring time festival with flowers, pastries, eggs, and rabbits for thousands of years. There is a language of symbols which transcends our narrow categories of culture and tradition to speak to the larger truths of life.
When I was a child we celebrated Easter with new clothing and shoes, Easter baskets, fragrant lilies, family meals, and lots of church services.
No longer a child, there are no new Easter outfits hanging in my closet. I’m not buying chocolate bunnies or dying eggs.
I believe the newness must move from outside to inside to properly celebrate this season. And in that spirit, I would like to offer three quotations from a fellow traveler on the path.
Richard Alpert, a Harvard Professor at one time, set out on a path of growth and transformation. His path has been a very long and twisted one, and he has quite a story to share with those who will pull up a chair to listen to him share his journey. Along the way he was given a new name: “Ram Dass,” which means, “servant of God.”
In the spirit of springtime, new life and new beginnings; here are three quotations from Ram Dass, which you might wish to contemplate during this special time.
“You and I are the force for transformation in the world.
We are the consciousness that will define
the nature of the reality we are moving into.”
“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment,
whether we mean to or not.
Our actions and states of mind matter,
because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another.
Working on our own consciousness
is the most important thing
that we are doing at any moment,
and being love is the supreme creative act.”
“The quieter you become,
the more you are able to hear…”
All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014