Tag Archive: New Years


So what does Christmas mean in “Western Culture” to a non practicing Christian? or perhaps a Buddhist or Atheist? Hmmm… maybe I should rephrase that: What does Christmas mean to me; a guy raised in a Christian household but his suffering and wisdom understood with more clarity and insight through eastern philosophy.  A person who is more spiritual than religious? I meditate daily, watch my Karma and really have no internal or external connection to western based religious dogma. I am not a proponent of organized faith but Buddhism does speak to me…

From an American perspective, what is this thing we call Christmas? It is a beast bigger than all of us and the religion that once defined it. We see advertising for it in October.  Some want the Christ back in Christmas! I guess I don’t blame them… Though I have seen a lot of hypocrisy lately with this notion. Something about Syrian refugees; the religious and political right and the fact Baby Jesus and Mother Mary were middle eastern refugees taken in from the cold on a clear night with the North Star sparkling above – or some sort of contradiction like that… It seems Christmas is more commercial than Christian or Catholic. Most of the big retail corporations only want your money in their coffers playing on our emotions and credit cards with heartwarming commercials and subliminal advertising… In the aftermath of Christmas you have reports of holiday heart and reports about whether Christmas was successful from a financial bottom line and not spiritual bottom line. You have got Santa competing against Jesus and Target competing against Walmart. It’s like Holiday Thunderdome out there in the streets! It is a stressful time of year and I think a lot of us caught in the cross fire are thankful when it is all over.

…still, you know what? I love Christmas! uh.. from the commercial side that is.. well, let me rephrase that: I think I am into Christmas for 50% pretty lights and presents and 50% for the holiday idea that it is good to give… .001% for it actually being Jesus’ birthday. My birthday is the day after and it is actually common historical knowledge that Emperor Constantine changed Jesus’ birthday to December 25th at the 300 AD Council of Nicaea – Historically he may be an autumn baby but who knows. What I do know is my birthday is the 26th and it is probably the worst time in the world to have a birthday. I am still damaged from my childhood. There is a lawsuit pending…. But I digress…..

So what do I love about Christmas? I do love the twinkling little lights, the decorations and yes, the food! I love how everyone is in a good mood and people give like no other season. The energy is alive and flowing during Christmas and there is something special about that moment when the dawn illuminates freshly fallen snow and the unmistakable glisten of excitement we see in the eyes of our children. For a moment it seems like everything is perfect in the world. I even like Christmas songs.. even the religious ones like “Silent Night”

Do I thank Jesus for that good Christmas feeling or Amazon.com?

Yes, my family celebrates Christmas. We strings lights, hang holly and buy our friends and family gifts. Still, Christmas for me is not about religious dogma. It is about winter solstice, light, energy and love. More pagan in nature I suppose… Winter is part of the celebration of the Mandala of life. In autumn we see the trees turn as fall takes the hand of summer. Then it is winter that casts its cold gaze over our world. Yet, there is faith that spring will come yet again. Yes, for me, Christmas and New Years is a time to celebrate our lives, be reverent,  to give and center ourselves in the energy of illumination, love and wisdom. A celebration of the past, present and yes… the future!

My Birthday is the day after so do not get mad if I say Happy Holidays to you all!

Ah, hell with it…. Merry Christmas!

image credit: playbuzz.com

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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121014Happy New Year to any of you reading this blog now… and a Happy New Year to anyone who stumbles across this post; say in July…. I guess that is the point… Every word written here is valid today, tomorrow and in six to nine months…

Everyday can be a new day… a new start…. Sure, New Years is about “out with the old and in with the new”. Still, I am not fond of New Year’s resolutions.  I like to have the option of failing. Yeah, that’s right, failure is good! How many resolutions are still being religiously followed by Summer? Spring? It is sort of a “set yourself up to fail and then feel guilty about it” scenario…. Nothing new and wholesome about that…. Resolutions seem to set us up for disappointment. They certainly have never worked for me.

Still, there is a silver lining in the concept of failure and blown resolutions. Let us not forget it is the failures and shortcomings that teach us the important lessons in life. Much of our wisdom is forged from learning about what works and what does not work. Life can be one big experiment. Life has taught me that with the right mindfulness, every negative can be turned into a positive and from pain is born space and awareness. So with that said, I am slow to say goodbye to 2014 or any previous year without remembering the high points and yes, the low points. It is the latest chapter of who we are.

Still, it is an unfinished story…

That is where the New Year becomes useful: 365 new chances to do better and get things right. It does not have to be a perfect process – it won’t…  and that is okay… We tend to be hard on ourselves for our actions, thoughts and reactions. This thing called living is not easy. Still, we can have the confidence that our story is not yet finished. We are the authors of the next chapter – why not write a good one!

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter


So here we are… on the event horizon of a new year. So, I have to be honest; there was much to dread and loathe January 1st 2011. There were financial woes, concerns about wellness and a host of other uncertainties that made the outlook for 2011 not so exciting. I had just turned 40 and still had unanswered questions. There were mistakes made and regrets actualized.


So what recourse was there? What kind of resolutions would bring happiness? It was all so confusing and overwhelming. My ego and false self wanted to simply chug along like business as usual. Yet, deep down there was another voice. It was feeble and meek at first but once I took notice and connected to this quality of True Nature within, I discovered a new energy and empowerment: Not from Jesus or church. Not from self-help books or antidepressants; but from a powerful and healing dynamism inside: A place somewhere between heart and mind where space and clarity resides. Through energy and self-discovery I began connecting to this vast and amazing Responsive Universe.


I did away with credit cards and began severing my attachments to money and material devices. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making money and being successful. But when we attach our well-being and confidence to something so fleeting as currency, we are bound to suffer. With plummeting stocks, soaring credit card debt and foreclosures becoming a daily occurrence, walking away from material and financial attachments was the best decisions ever.


I began bike riding on average 20 miles a week. Bike riding in our local natural preserves was meditative and therapeutic. I have never been in better shape. I also changed my diet: I have cut my meat intake by 50% and dairy by 75%. I have been juicing daily since last summer – kale, spinach, beets; all vegetables I would never eat – yuck! ….Guess what, now I crave veggies!


I have been meditating religiously: Daily sessions of mindfulness from deep meditation to daily affirmations. My meditation regiment has been an amazing facet to my evolution. By letting go of ego and false perceptions, I have allowed the Responsive Universe to take over – to nudge me in directions and areas never imagined. For example, I did not find Reiki and self-healing – Reiki and self-healing found me. By taking heed to the synchronicities and signs that surround me – by finding clarity and awareness for the moment, my entire life over the course of 2011 has transformed into something sublime.


Now, when challenges arise, I no longer get stressed out. There is space and energy for everything that drifts my way. I have fresh perspectives and blossoming creativity that flows from the well of self-evolution. So, as 2012 nears, I have incredible anticipation and excitement for the new year. I see a world of possibilities in 2012 and beyond.


This quality of self-evolution is something we all have within. There is no need to journey to Mecca or worship deities in the form of man. Everything we need is found within. It requires us to open up and settle into the spacious vision of life and love. To be aware of our surroundings with our minds rooted in the present. Believe and love yourself and soon new doors will open. Listen to your heart wish and inner voice. Take power away from ego and false perceptions and take control of your own destiny. Once you understand that the Universe is responsive and what we give will eventually return to the source, there is an unmistakable empowerment actualized. Enlightenment will slowly filter its white light upon you. Just give it a chance…


Be kind to yourself…


Hug your love ones…


Have compassion for your enemies…


Be open to new possibilities…


… and have a Happy New Year!


John C. Bader


About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter


My office in Kauai

New Years is just around the corner and it is never too late to begin planning for a more positive

existence in 2012. Please check out my latest article at MindBodyGreen.com titled

10 steps to living a Positive Existence in 2012


John C. Bader

Website: responsiveuniverse.com

Twitter: @JohnCBader

Facebook: The ResponsiveUniverse

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