Yesterday was Christmas (OK, if you looked at the header for the message you know that) and I had the best Christmas I have had in years.

I have always been aware of the fact that we tend to see “outside” us better than inside ourselves. I can look around and see a million people around who are miserable and obviously so very sad without realizing how sad and/or depressed I may be since it has become such a habitual state of mind and being.

It’s like the man who has something terrible happen to him and he gets angry. In time, he has been angry for so long that he doesn’t even realize that he is always angry and that those around him are quite aware of this. Eventually, most will leave him since who wants to be around an angry person all the time. They may realize why, but many will not, but he will just know this is who and what he “is”.

Since leaving the limo company and going to work for myself has been a somewhat stressful and unnerving experience, I have written here before about how disconcerting getting outside my personal comfort zones has been. It has had an interesting effect on my life that I am SOOOO very thankful for.

Yesterday, I went to a party of friends and have to say that I probably had the most enjoyable time that I have ever had, or at least in many years.

Having been so attached to my job for so many years, I had not even realized how much of “life” I was missing out on since it just “was” what I did. May I never get to that place again of bypassing life while trying to survive.

This group of friends and acquaintances are mainly people that I have only known for a few months and they have accepted me and made me feel welcome in ways that you don’t find in Los Angeles very often. After the party, I was driving home and became aware of just how full of joy I was and how long it had been since I had been there outside of meditation and teaching.

As much as I loved all the gifts I received for Christmas from my friends and adopted families (K: the “Magic 8-Ball” said that my wish for happiness today was likely, right so far… :-) ) the one that I will cherish forever is the joy and happiness you all have brought into my life and the refuge that you have offered from the difficulties in the day-to-day existences of my life and calling.

May everyone be blessed to have that one person or group of people that let them just relax and enjoy, if not, why would life be worth living?

ॐ शान्ति
Om, shanti (Peace)

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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