COLLEGE OF METAPHYSICS, Christmastime

Christmas time at COM

The time between Thanksgiving and New Years moves very quickly here at the College of Metaphysics. We often host students and families for Thanksgiving dinner and our Celebrate the Christ student weekend is always the second in December. After the class time for nonresidents the third weekend, we begin our annual Christmas traditions. Here are some of our thoughts about this year's experiences......
Spending Christmas at the College of Metaphysics was wonderful. Leading up to Christmas day, it was one of the most memorable weeks that I can remember experiencing during the holiday season. The week was filled with very rewarding activities: personally singing several hundred Christmas cards, making fresh, homemade rolls to deliver to our neighbors and trade partners, delivering the bread, carolling to various businesses and city offices in Buffalo, creating a Christmas song at Pizza Hut, and spending Christmas day with my amazing spiritual family. All of these activities fulfilled the essence of giving and receiving on many levels. It is the true meaning of Christmas. I felt an expansion in my heart as the week progressed experiencing higher levels of connectedness, love, and compassion. We are blessed, and for that I am most grateful.
----Shawn Smith
The Christmas Bread

Each year students bake over 1000 dinner rolls for the express purpose of giving to our friends and neighbors. 2005 was our twenty-fourth year of spreading the light and love that is Christmas.

The smell of bread was everywhere. Beginning at 6 am Dr. Barbara Condron provided the guidance for making over 1200 rolls, many of which were given as gifts to friends and neighbors. It was amazing to watch the transformation from a blob of wet flour/yeast mixture into an alive and vibrant dough that was easily worked and molded into bread. I enjoyed being attentive to the stages of raising and bringing people together to make the rolls which were later lovingly wrapped for delivery.
----Dr. Terry Martin

This was my first year for Christmas without my children. They have both moved out east; Kim to go to college and Drew for a job. Christmas has always been an important time for me with family and friends. Christmas here at the college was wonderful. It started 7:00 am the Tuesday before Christmas with the making of over 1200 rolls that we would delivered to people in the community and to our neighbors.

I learned a lot with the kneading of the dough. Dr. Barbara Condron explained that we were taking the individual ingredients of flour, yeast and milk through the process of kneading, causing the ingredients to work together to form a group consciousness. This causes the gluten to break down and form a nice elastic dough that would become our bread rolls. I thought about how this was so applicable in all teaching situation where people come together for a project or for work and how important it is for them to form a group consciousness. Entrainment of heart and head occurs with everyone and the connectedness is powerful.

It was wonderful with all of us around the table kneading the dough with Christmas music playing in the background. There was an air of anticipation and excitement among everyone. People teased me a lot about the way I was kneading. Jen Childers, a college student, said that she could tell a lot about people from the way they work the dough. She said I made it look like work. I realized then how I was exerting a lot of energy but not accomplishing much. She showed me how to relax and breath into the process instead of fighting with the dough.

The kitchen was dedicated solely to the bread making process. We had twelve huge bowls with bread all rising at once. It was great. At 10:00 am we started making the rolls. This is an art in itself requiring specific music to help with the process. Imagine 8 people standing around the counter all rolling small balls of dough to the music of the “Nutcracker.” The smell of the rolls baking pervaded the whole school. You could smell them as soon as you walked into the building. This of course raised everyone’s anticipation of tasting one of these delectable rolls later in the day.

I loved the delivering of the bread to the neighbors. Since I am a new college student I didn’t know them very well. This really allowed me to talk with people and get to know them. Everyone really enjoyed getting the rolls and stated that they looked forward to us giving them every year. I also got to see the beautiful country side around the college and to really appreciate where I am living.
---Karen Mosby

FAMILIES

This was Alexandra’s third Christmas at the College of Metaphysics. She celebrated her first Christmas here when she was ten days old! Paul and I are raising her here and this is home. Having just turned two it was wonderful to see her engaged in all the activities. We arrived early in the morning to help bake bread - she was soon covered in flour and dough as Dr. Barbara and Paul taught her how to knead. She danced to the Nutcracker Suite, our traditional bread rolling music when we make the individual rolls. I went with her for a rehearsal of the ‘Christmas in the Peace Dome’ performance and she was thrilled. She is very musical and loved seeing all of her friends singing. Her delight took wing as she moved all around the second floor of the Dome during the performance. Christmas Day was filled with gifts and this was her first year of being coordinated enough to open packages. So, she opened mine, her dad’s and her own! I marvel at how her conscious mind is forming. Her family consists of all the people who come and go here at the College of Metaphysics. She is comfortable with so many and easily adjusts to big celebrations and gatherings. When I was growing up I imagined Christmas celebrations with lots of family, fun and singing. Each year at the College I live it! – Dr. Christine Madar
CAROLLING in town

One couple that we sang for was so appreciative. The women said with tears in her eyes that it is just what she needed to hear.

The most magical part of my Christmas 2005 experience here was caroling in town while giving out our bread rolls. I love to sing, and walking into all those businesses, seeing the people’s faces light up and receive us was heart warming. I especially loved the group comraderie that we had. Our singing was in sync, we listened to each other, we were aware of when to cease singing when everyone was out the door, and we even had the rise and fall of crescendos and decrescendos with our expression. I felt so connected and entrained with my own head and my heart as well as that of my fellow singers and the friends we were giving to. Singing for the Sheriff’s office was good because we had never sung there before. It brought a lot of light to a place that often only sees that side of society in need of discipline. Singing for the detainees at the detention center was an unexpected surprise. That was when we were the most inward and sensitive with what we were giving. It was received with tears. I wonder how it changed those ladies’ days and their attitudes toward one another? It was so wonderful to give and receive with the Buffalo community in this special way.
----Jesse Kern


I was really excited about Christmas caroling. I hadn’t done this for several years since my children got older. I love doing it because the messages contained in the songs like ‘Hark the Herald Angels’, or ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ have a powerful effect on the consciousness of people. I could see attitudes become more relaxed and people became more present minded with the singing. Everywhere we went people would sing along with us. One couple that we sang for was so appreciative. The women said with tears in her eyes that it is just what she needed to hear. She and her husband had just put his sister into a care facility because she had a stroke. We asked if she had any requests for a song. She requested Silent Night because it was a song that her mother was listening to when she died. It was beautiful and she sang with us. There were tears in everyone’s eyes after that song. I realized in that moment how powerful our influence is on the people around us and how simple it is to bring joy. We would never know all the people that we touched or helped in someway. This woman was a wonderful reminder to me of my influence on people even if I can’t immediately see it. I realized how important it is to be careful with my thoughts, to discipline them to be what I want to give to others because they are so powerful.
--Karen Mosby

The most memorable part of the Christmas Weekend was Christmas carolling in Buffalo. It was the first time that Hezekiah Condron went with us. He was really joyful, and I watched as he connected and cared for all the people we sang to. The Madar family joined us at the neighborhood center with their daughter Alexandra. I remember seeing her in Paul, her father’s, arms. She had just woken up and there were all her friends in this strange place. She was very happy and her red hair glittered in the sun light. It didn’t matter where she was as long as she was with mommy and daddy and her friends.

Later, when we went through some of the old folks nursing homes, I watched in awe again as Hezekiah smiled and sent healing to the many souls that we sang to. There is no stranger in Hezekiah’s heart. There is no stranger in mine. This is the joy of the Christmas spirit that I experienced this year.
----Love, Tad

Christmas Eve

The day before Christmas was the last day for the delivery of bread. We had our ‘Christmas in the Peace Dome’ performance that was attended by people from the community and all the students that had come into the College for the holidays. This was followed by the reading of the ‘Cajun Night Before Christmas’ read by Paul Madar, a graduate student, and the showing of the movie ‘The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus’ by Hezekiah Condron, the 10 year old son of Drs. Barbara and Daniel Condron, teacher and chancellor of the college. Hezekiah came to me after the movie and said that we had to make cookies for Santa. So we proceeded to make his famous chocolate chip cookies just in time to put out for Santa’s visit.

The idea of presents here at the college is that they are handcrafted by the students, or things they own that they wish to give as presents, or services that they can provide.


Hezekiah was the one responsible for checking in the Christmas presents and arranging them under the tree. It was fun to see his excitement and joy in the putting up the Christmas stockings and filling them with his own stocking stuffers. Everyone was eager for the next day to see what present they would receive. The idea of presents here at the college is that they are handcrafted by the students, or things they own that they wish to give as presents, or services that they can provide. There was lots of creativity going on and lots of whispering as the anticipation of Christmas continued to build. I know I was eager for everyone to see what I had made for them.
--Karen Mosby

Christmas Day

This year was perfect because I kept to the meaning of Christmas.

I enjoy spending Christmas at the College of Metaphysics. This year Christmas at the COM was peaceful even though we had plenty of activity preparing for Christmas dinner. One of my favorite things about being here is that many of us give gifts of services or possessions that we want to pass on or things we have crafted ourselves. This is important to me because it gives me a chance to send a material item that I cherish on to another incarnation with someone else. I learn freedom from attachment and have the joy of seeing someone else receive so much happiness from those things which have brought much to me. I also get to use my discernment and my intuition to choose gifts that will fit specific people. This was fun because several people were amazed at the relativity of what they received from each other. It was so wonderful. Nicholas Sajak from Maplewood school gave Talina Wood, director of the Lexington SOM, a guitar that he had thought of keeping for himself. Jay McCormick received a book he had been wanting to read for years, and I gave away two of my most prized possessions. I was so joyful, so grateful to give, free of attachments, completely openly. We come to realize the temporal nature of desire, possession, and ultimately physical life. It is a full life to give abundantly. It is a meaningful life to allow possessions to flow through us like energy and water. I thank everyone for their presents, and most importantly for their presence. I love you all. Have a merry Christmas.
----Damian Nordmann


Christmas day started with the opening of the presents and the eating of wonderful cinnamon rolls that Dr. Barbara made from the bread dough. Mmmmm! This was followed by everyone helping to make the Christmas dinner. We were still able to get greens for a salad from the garden along with leeks and turnips, so those went on the table as well. The best part was the singing of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ to everyone who called into the college. We could spread Christmas cheer to everyone over the phone this way and stay connected with family and friends.

Christmas was wonderful here. I felt right at home and I was glad that I had stayed here this year. Somewhere along the line I had gotten caught up in the Christmas whirlwind of activity and commercialism. This year was perfect because I kept to the meaning of Christmas. I see it as giving of myself through service, it has never been about the presents but it seemed easier to just buy a gift. This year I was giving a part of myself to others through the bread or through the singing or through the presents I handcrafted. It was the best Christmas that I have had recently. I know that I will be here next year to do it all over again and this time I am inviting my family to join me here.
----Karen Mosby

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