Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to be a *good* Buddhist during Christmas

via John Pappas on Dec 19, 2010 for Elephant Journal:

There is a complex love/hate relationship with Buddhists during the Christmas season. On one hand many of us grew up in Christian families and attach many emotions and memories to the Holiday season (both positive and negative). On the other hand, some practitioners just want to fit in culturally during the holiday season so they either meld traditions or superficially celebrate.

Many, as children, waited anxiously to open presents under the tree or traveled to visit rarely seen relatives that lived a distance away. Some loved (and still do) the opportunity to find gifts for others that helped express their joy and thankfulness for those in their lives, sometimes but all too briefly. Others just see the time as a moment to celebrate and reflect or to celebrate and reflect the following morning.

Then, of course, there is the rampant consumerism, the thinly-veiled capitalism and blaring commercialism of the holidays. There is a deep and crusty strata of greed, envy and ignorance that builds a fairly strong wall against the usual Buddhist foci of metta (good will), karuna (compassion), mudita (joy for others) and upekkha (equanimity). The Buddha expressed the importance of these elements (the four immeasurables) in the Kalama Sutta....

Continue reading at Elephant Journal here.

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