Thursday, December 23, 2010

holiday and new year greeting

Freedom and happiness are available in any moment whatever our circumstances. It often may not feel like this is possible, but it is the season's message, a message that is articulated in both Buddhist and Christian traditions.

The story of the birth of Jesus is a story in which God, understood as ultimate power, chooses surrender and vulnerability, being born into the world as a precious and powerless baby. We celebrate the season by accepting our own vulnerability, our need for others, our desire for peace and harmony. We surrender to things as they are.

Are we ready now, as human beings, capable of living this truth? Can we each in our own lives choose to face each moment as it unfolds, however it unfolds? Can  we choose non-violence, kindness, and good will toward all living beings? And to our planet?

In a recent article in the Inquiring Mind Jack Kornfield paraphrased some Buddhist descriptions of freedom and enlightenment. Perhaps we can take one or more of these to make our holiday practice and New Year intention live up to the season's message.

Ajahn Cha
If you let go a little, you'll be a little happy. If you let go a lot you'll be a lot happy. If you let go completely, you'll be completely happy.

Ajahn Cha
Just let go, and become the awareness, be the one who knows.

Mahasi Sayadaw
To find emptiness, note every single moment until what you think to be the world dissolves, and you will come to know freedom.

Dipa Ma
Love no matter what.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Rest in mindfulness, this moment, the eternal present.

Ajahn Jumnien
Be happy for no cause.

Suzuki Roshi
Just be exactly where you are. Instead of waiting for the bus, realize you are on the bus.

What are your own words of wisdom? Let us share them both verbally and through our living them!

Wishing us all peaceful and happy holy days now and through the new year,