The holiday season is associated with gift-giving, however, no physical or material gift would ever suffice to give you what is most in my heart and soul, and would be of most value to you at this time and always. The best gift that I can offer you is the gift of awareness — spiritual awareness and awareness about Universal Truths.

And so I wish to share with you at this time, the following from Matthieu Ricard: The Ultimate Truth According to Buddhism. I hope the word “Buddhism” does not turn you off in any way, as this is not about any kind of religion or dogma, but about accessing Universal Truth about the nature of our consciousness and this reality.

The article is full of wisdom, and every line can be used for meditation and contemplation, but here are a few I specifically wanted to bring to your attention, as they are powerful signposts for our human experience within this reality. Below each one, I have included some of my own commentaries to help you better understand the significance of each one.

If we limit ourselves to only conventional or relative truth, our understanding will remain narrow.

Matthieu Ricard

This is why humans quarrel so much and co-exist in all kinds of states of hostility towards each other, as we argue and divide ourselves over human-made, relative truths, and are unable to see the Universal truths that unite us. When we attach to conventional or relative truth we are quick to get offended, quick to anger, quick to judge, highly reactive, and in turn create for ourselves some of the greatest mental and emotional suffering.

It is said that the broader and higher our understanding of absolute truth is, the more we should pay careful attention to the laws of cause and effect.

Matthieu Ricard

Energy is always in a state of balancing itself out for all actions rooted in duality. One of the most common examples of this is seen in victim-villain interactions. Until we start to “wake up” and live mindfully, we live in states that Buddhism often refers to as “ignorance”; not in a negative, judgmental sense, but simply a lack of knowing sense that we may apply to little children. We have no idea how or why our health fails, our relationships fail, our businesses or work endeavors fail, etc. It is only when we start paying attention to how we think, speak, and act that we begin to connect the dots between cause and effect and begin to understand the results we have in our lives, and how to create different outcomes.

Beings, who are under the sway of ignorance, desire happiness while turning their backs on it, and fear suffering while rushing towards it.

Matthieu Ricard

This is the condition of the human race as we know it. Awakening through awareness is the only solution to transcending it.

It is not a question of all or nothing. Each step is liberating and leads us towards wisdom.

Matthieu Ricard

This is a reminder to be gentle and compassionate with yourself and others. Each of us has our own journey and we are all at different stages of awakening and enlightenment. Focus on your own journey without comparing yourself to others or judging.

As our obscurations become increasingly transparent, as we become less and less conditioned by our habitual tendencies, the causes of suffering will diminish and our wisdom will deepen.

Matthieu Ricard

This is what mindful, liberated, and awakened living is all about. It is about living in alignment with yourself (your heart and soul), living intentionally, and living beyond the fears, insecurities, and attachments of the Ego. It is about living from your highest and the most whole state of being.

Wishing you a heart full of love and compassion and a mind full of peace and awareness.