I love Christmas; absolutely love it, although I now call it Holiday season because I no longer practice Christianity. It reminds me of my childhood in England, we had a tree, and it was the only time of the year my parents were happy, for some reason, the ‘season’ made them both change. This year we have a small tree as our large tree was given away in our moving, but it looks nice in the lounge room, as do the stockings hanging on the fireplace. My only sadness is that we do not get snow where we live in San Francisco. I just love snow and if I could I personally would live where there is snow all year round.

This year after our visit to India, we all realized how lucky we were to have what we have; in material goods, and the country we live in. We all looked at what we had and made the decision we did not need presents this year, so we have ‘presents’ wrapped under the tree but no presents in them. We will be donating a sum of money to a shelter or food bank so that some people can have a nice dinner on Christmas Day, and hopefully, some children will get some toys.

For me, our time in India changed me forever; I have never been a materialistic person, but living there made me aware of the haves and the have not’s, and as I stated earlier made me personally aware of how fortunate I was, not to mention the others. Watching a family cooking a meal out in the open, sitting on a pile of dirt, cooking on a small fire, their meal for the day, was one of the things I will never forget, the family consisting of two parents and two children, almost in rags, and yet with huge smiles on their faces, how they could smile through their poverty I never understood, but they did.

India changed me, and I am not the same person I was before I went. On the other hand at the opposite end of the family cooking their meal in the pile of dirt, were people who had so much gold jewelry, so much money in the bank, but who would argue over the price of something they wanted to buy and they never realized I do not think that poor people existed. India is a dirty country, there is trash everywhere, along with the trash are pigs, dogs, and cows, picking through it looking for food. It is as if people are blind to this, it never changed, and the trash never taken away a lot of the time. Men often stand against a wall and urinate openly, and the places where water is, like ponds and rivers are filthy.

Maitreya taught me to let go of the emotional body, the emotional part of me and I have done this to 80% of my being, I understand India, why it is the way it is and why it is so dirty; but I cannot let go of the vision of the family cooking their meal on a pile of dirt. Of course it may be their karma to experience and go through that experience, unless I were so see their birth chart I would never know, but even so, I have compassion for them, and I send positive thoughts to them wherever they are now. I was not blind the day I saw them, and I will never forget it.

So this year, we will have a Holiday meal, a quiet celebration just on our own, we will not have to cook with one small flame on a pile of dirt, neither will we have to eat outside in ragged clothes. Our gift money we would have spent on ourselves will be given to charity, and we will enjoy looking at the empty boxes wrapped in festive holiday paper under the tree. We need nothing in the material world; we have everything we need including our health and roof over our head and food on the table.

Hopefully one day in the next world, the creator will allow me to meet the people cooking their meal on the dirt pile, and then I will be able to find out why they did it. It is a sight I will never lose sight of in my memory.