Since I was very young, I always had this close affinity with Jesus. I wasn’t sure why. I just felt very close to Him and thus when I was 14, I accepted Christ in the form of prayer as my piano teacher converted me. It didn’t occur to me what I was really doing, except that I felt that what I had done was only natural. Besides, I thought that being a Christian was the only way that I could ever be close to Jesus. Very quickly, my piano teacher baptised me (not officially) and I could speak in tongues almost immediately. I don’t know, it just didn’t seem difficult and seemed natural. I did not question much about it and I do not mean to put any special meaning to it but it seemed like a big deal to Christians then though I didn’t and still don’t understand why. I was a good Christian by those days’ standard for a teenager who kept this from her parents and was not able to attend church. I studied the bible and shared about Jesus as much as I could to my friends whenever I had the chance to. I remember my most memorable times of such occasion was during the heavy thunderstorms during swimming trainings where we were asked to get out from the pool for our safety and all of us would meet at the a common area between the female and male toilets. All the swimmers would gather and I would be preaching. Well, preach is really a strong word to use, but that was exactly what I felt like I was doing then. Preaching Jesus’ word.
When I was able to drive, I was very excited. Not because I could drive to college, but because I could finally attend church service, which was my secret wish ever since I accepted Christ in my life. My college friend was the one who brought me to her Catholic church (though I was a Methodist by definition). I really enjoyed the services and was so happy. I was even ready to be officially baptised the Catholic way. I had asked my friend’s parents to be my godparents, picked a baptism name and was only waiting for whatever necessary introductions that I needed to get me officially baptised. Come to think about it, I must have been really really excited but again, why did I need to be baptised to be validated? So silly then.
I had several mystical experiences relevant to Jesus which I had put meaning to. For instance, my friend and I would visit this church in Rawang, called the St. Jude’s Church. I’d spend time talking to Father Mitchell. During one of those days where my friend and I went into prayer, I remember vividly seeing the Jesus’ statue blink at me! I remember my friend was really upset that she didn’t experience the same. It was quite funny. But today, that experience exists only as a memory, a thought which I can’t even sure by now if it really did happen, or was simply just a figment of my imagination arising from my deep affections for Jesus.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, my friend and I fell out of favour. Somehow my perception towards the religion changed due to my friend’s behaviour which I now know was merely my judgment towards her. And I never got baptised or ever went back to church. At that point in time, I felt that my relationship with Jesus ended.
Since I had the perception that I must have a religion in order to have some direction in life, I became a ‘Buddhist’ again. Believe me, as I am typing this entry, I find it somewhat funny too. But this story is necessary, albeit just a story. It is my journey.
Back to being a Buddhist. I followed my mom to the temple regularly or at least, whenever she invited. When she wanted me to pray, I prayed; when she wanted me to attend Dharma classes, I did. There was nothing extraordinary about it. I was a mediocre Buddhist; one who neither attempted meditation nor follow the five precepts diligently let alone take time or effort to ponder on the Dharma. Definitely a sure case of specialness.
Little did I know Jesus would be back into my life again when I finally met my teacher again after 5 years of being absent from each other’s life. But this time, something was different. It was no longer about the religion. Because I still somehow felt a deep connection with Jesus, which I now refer to J after taking on Gary Renard’s reference since the name ‘Jesus’ is commonly associated with a religious meaning when J himself is far from being religious; it would be J’s teachings that I am most drawn to which I would later realise was consistent with all other teachings of Great Masters. I remember receiving a message on Christmas in year 2008 from the very same teacher I mentioned earlier citing the true meaning of Christmas – Christ Mastery. It is indeed J’s teaching, His true teaching that serves as one of the pathway towards the Mastery of the Christ Mind.
Of course, having progress thus far in the journey, I did pondered if J really did exist, if He is just a story, my imagination, or just a thought. Though I am unsure if it is His Presence I truly feel, or if it’s His Voice that I truly hear, what is asked of me is to merely trust; and thus far, whether Presence or Voice, each has served as inner guidance to me in my journey. I have definitely pondered on the possibility of past lives, if I was the leper He had healed, or perhaps even one of His disciples. Although it would have been a nice story, but that would exactly demean what He would have us learn.
While many in the world celebrates this day, 25th December as a remembrance or celebration of His birth, I choose to remember Him as a symbol of the Christ Mind of which He is and I am also apart. Although still part of a story, I am most grateful and appreciative of the path of light that He has left for the rest of us. While each journey is of our own, and the way only appears as we travel, His teaching has graciously provided insights and support for our journey.
So this Christmas, I wish you not a merry one, but an awakened one of the Christ Mind – the Mastery of the Christ Mind – where our true treasure lies.
With heartfelt gratitude, I give thanks to the One who brought forward many mirrors and teachers into my fold without which I may not have found myself.
Love is the way I walk in gratitude – A Course in Miracles