As we are fast approaching the celebration of Christmas (the birth of the Christ Consciousness) and Hanukkah (the re-dedication of the temple), the perennial question always surfaces: What gifts should we give to our family, friends and co-workers this year? We also are reminded of those who are less fortunate than us, and want to reach out to those who are in need.

What I would like to share with you is this: first cultivate a positive, befriending mind. It is a gift we can give to our family, one we can give to our friends, one we can give to our co-workers. We can give our positive, befriending mind to the entire universe. There is no greater gift.

In my book Making Your Mind Your Best Friend I discuss how, when your mind is anchored in the Divine within you, in the Positive within you, it becomes your most powerful friend to take you through any turmoil of life. But if you allow any negativity to haunt you, your mind only becomes your worst enemy.

Befriending your mind starts with love of God or the Unseen Force that seems to guide the destiny and course of all beings and trillions of solar systems. The mind has to find a higher goal in life, and learn to be anchored in the very root of its own existence. It has to slow down, allowing space for peace. It has to allow its emotions to be bridled and offered to the One whose Grace can uplift the emotions into a state of Divine Love that is unconditional. It is no problem if you do not have much faith in God, but be sure you don't lack faith in yourself. Have you ever pondered who this Self in you is?

The Holiday season is a wonderful time to pause, to look within and begin to rediscover the Self, to rediscover that the flow of life is not from outside to outside but from inside to outside. The more you are meditative and calm, the more your inner strengths will surface and be available to you in days to come.

Give your restless mind to God. Don't hold on to all those panicky thoughts of whom to give what gift to and thoughts of holidays in the past where someone has rejected your gift. The more you bring the painful past, the more you miss the present moments of Infinite Grace that make the miracle of life possible for you. Lift your mind with your own befriending mind, for your mind is your only true, unwavering friend.

First, stop being harsh to yourself and belittling yourself. That is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Start looking for the good qualities in you, journal all the gifts that you have received from the Divine hands all through your life. Always learn to be filled with Gratitude to the Divine for all the infinite gifts of love and forgiveness.

What I am trying to teach you is Self-love first. First learn to see good in you. First learn to recognize the innate positive light that is in you. Let that glow first. That is the beginning which will open up the gates for what you are trying to attain in your life.

Once you start doing it, your energy pattern will change. When your energy glows with positive light, you will be attracting all that is good in life. You will attract good friends in your life for you have first and foremost befriended yourself.

When you embark upon the journey of befriending the God in yourself, then the God in others starts to befriend you! You can have an expanding world of friends and well wishers from all over the world for the simple reason that you begin to train the mind to see only its beauty and divinity. Your mind has always deprived itself of true freedom and bliss.

Peace is the essence of the Spirit within. Happiness is the state of your befriended mind. If you cultivate the practice of contemplating only the powerful, positive, happy thoughts and trust that the Universe mirrors back to you what your deepest thoughts are, then you will see that gradually you are finding the ground of your own mind is no longer negative and unhappy. The unhappy thoughts and memories are like old clutter that you need to clean off first. Bring all thoughts of the good things and memories of your life and rejoice that the Universe has been so kind to you to have blessed you with so much when compared to millions in this world.

The purpose of life is to realize that all obstacles and blocks are the creations of mind in a state of unmindfulness and unconsciousness. As you become more and more mindful and conscious, the incidence of obstacles and blocks, stresses and strains of life start to disappear. That is practical spirituality. To be where you are, to be doing what you're doing, changing nothing that is external, but only going through an inner process of gradual self transformation. That is the gift of true spirituality.

Talk one on one with your own mind! First let the mind be taken into confidence with no strife, no conflict, no sermonizing, no pressure or stressfulness, just a relaxed state of being with the mind to let the understanding dawn like the morning sun, in its own naturalness. Once the understanding happens in a deeper way, then the awakening comes, or rather you are ready to listen to the call from the Divine.

If you start to give time to your mind--that is, your thoughts--you will be able to first understand the quality of your mind or the mental patterns that you have created for you out of your own thoughts and emotions. What are needed are not your efforts to control the uncontrollable, but your efforts to befriend it. Just your efforts to give quality time to it. By quality time, I mean time to just observe the thoughts of your mind. It is because you are trying to control that you are frustrated about the results as the mind goes out of your grip. The more you condemn yourself for your inability to control, the more you fall in the negative channels.

Just rise up to this understanding that you don't have to control but just have to observe it. This will do the miracle that you are longing to see. The mind will calm down the moment you start to just observe it. The observer element is very powerful, for it is engineered by the power of Consciousness. The light of consciousness will do the miracle of calming the mind. Once you feel that light for a second that will give a quantum leap into the world of consciousness, the Witness within you. You will find that the mind is becoming calmer and calmer and blessing you with the benediction of life.

You don't have to be a warrior in your life to fight the battle of life; then you will be tired and sick in no time. You need to become a good farmer who can plow the field of your own mind and bring a harvest of prosperity and happiness. Never give up.

Take care of your mind, read any books that can feed you with positive light and trust in yourself and boost up your self-esteem. Shun all negative thoughts of your mind and replace them with powerful thoughts and powerful intentions to be happy in life.

Contemplate on these thoughts, chew and digest them, and try to make them your own. If you can follow them you will see the magic yourself. And you will be able to give the most precious gift to your family, friends, co-workers and the whole universe. There is no greater gift to give than your positive, befriending mind.

This is the Perfect Gift.

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