The Way of a Buddhist at Christmas

Photo: © snap713 on flickr

Photo: © snap713 on flickr


Whatever festivities we have planned for Christmas, there will always be moments that will be trying for us. Whether it is navigating through the crowds at the shops, or hearing the same unpleasant speech or criticism from one of our relatives.

Christmas is definitely a time of giving – a time that gives us ample opportunity to put the Buddha’s teachings of tolerance, understanding and generosity into practice. For instance, when dealing with the crowds, why not try letting others go ahead, even give our parking space to the next person. We really don’t need to rush. Unlike our deadlines at work, the time pressures we have during the holidays are self-imposed. So be willing to relax a little, soak up the festive atmosphere, appreciate the Christmas decorations and the fact that so many people are motivated by a common goal at one time during the year – the spirit of giving. Of course, Christmas is overly commercialized, yet it doesn’t take away from the fact that it brings people together, encourages generosity, as well as the practice of gratitude.

And when it comes to challenges with your loved ones, if your Mum or Aunty Dot are nagging you over ___ [fill in the blanks], remember to touch that part inside of you that is peaceful, stable and firm. As the Buddha said, “Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.” Have the wisdom to understand that their words have no substance to them at all. Experience them as echoes of the love and concern that underlies each one. If we can also understand that unkind words or judgments are a reflection of another’s projections, there is no need for us to be affected by them. In fact, you can imagine that their words are nothing more than the light touch of a feather. Don’t solidify them. Don’t allow thoughts of anger to continue to echo within. Instead, connect with the spaciousness of the moment. Imagine yourself like a rainbow; unable to be touched, becoming even more beautiful as the rays of mindfulness shines upon it. Who knows how many more gatherings we will have to spend with your loved ones? So cherish every moment and spend your Christmas cultivating peace and love for all.

Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you all a safe, happy and peaceful holiday period.

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