Mountaineers learn how to ascend as well as how to descend.
The humility school teaches you methods of spiritual ascent while firmly telling you can never make it to the top.
The guru camps warn that you will fall if you let go of your guru after making it to the top.
Few people make their whole lives on the tops of mountains. Even RSIs and AcAryAs have interacted with humans after reaching heights. gautama buddha did not have a guru and was not heavily trained in sAmpradAya at least not to brahminical proportions.
rAma and kRSNa were avatArs or ‘descents’ of viSNu. avataraNa means descent.
We have to learn how to descend without falling.
nArada devarSi said that we must continue our pUja and satkarma even after reaching the highest state to avoid falling.
kRSNa gave us several methods of working and interacting with society without falling, while staying in the guNAtIta state.
If you are not a spiritual mountain goat, then you must learn how to descend without falling.
You must learn how to interact socially without losing you inner state.
Take heart. We all fell off cycles to stop at least once as children. This is the same thing.
Sometimes we are so caught up in who did what to us and why that we can’t see what it is that we are feeling.
Set aside the incident for a moment and recognise what you feel. Is it anger? Love? Rejection? Etc. etc.
Then deal with the feeling. Generally supressing feelings is a very bad idea. It is better to recognise them and allow them.
When you talk to others, they will often focus on the incident and solving the problem. They rarely help you in recognising how you feel. Psychiatrists seem to make a lot of money just helping you identify your feelings. Then they give you feeling-altering-chemicals that you might get dependent on.
It may be better to sit in a quiet and beautiful place and recognise your own feelings.
It is not what that person did or why. It is how you feel and why. Generally just sittling quietly watching birds, waves, clouds, leaves etc should make you feel better and help you understand yourself. Music and art are helpful also. But you may find your own activity – walking, swimming etc.
Talking might not be a good idea. Your listener may judge or criticise you.
After resolving your feelings you can take people’s advice to solve your problem, if you actually believe they have the expertise to help you.
The winter solstice is our coldest day in the northern hemisphere. The sun who has progressively been rising towards the south (right or dakshina for east facing cultures) stops and starts rising progressively to the north (uttarAyaNam) and the days start getting warmer.
In the western tradition, christmas and new year are the time-shifted winter solstice festivals.
Because of the precession of equinoxes and solstices, the number of days between the real solstice and the celebrations increase with time.
Dec 25th is now two days after the winter solstice and jan 1st is about a week after.
Our own makara sankrAnti is more than three weeks after the solstice making it a very old new year celebration.
Older still is mahAs’ivarAtri which is the night before the darkest new moon in the luni-solar calendar.
Around 3000 B.C. or so this was very close to the winter solstice but now it generally occurs in February.
In telugu it is said that on mahAs’ivarAtri day the cold says s’iva s’iva and leaves!
It is a night for staying up all night.
So., people who want to observe the “real” mahAs’ivarAtri may celebrate it on Dec 31st this year. Those who want to celebrate “real” uttarAyaNam on December 21 2013 17:11 GMT.
Of course you will be alone and it won’t be much fun. Festivals have a social angle to them so it’s better to do your spiritual stuff on the “real” days and the celebrations when everyone else is doing them.