Buddhist Christmas 2014

Merry Buddhist Christmas and a happy New Year 2015! 

Dear readers,

another year has passed. Christmas is just around the corner. Isn't our calender a wonderful tool that reminds us of impermanence. Time goes by so quickly. Without noticing, New Year 2015 is suddenly approaching. We have again become a year older. Of course, it shouldn't have come as a surprise, because the clock has been constantly ticking. Without noticing it, our life-span has  decreased with each moment that passed.

Christmas decoration - a branch of a Christmas tree and a star

Therefore, we can also relate to big and joyful events like birthdays, New Year and Christmas as reminders of impermanence. So many extra-ordinary people have passed the last year. The loss of the great Tibetan Buddhist master Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche is still present in the minds of Tibetan Buddhists. Also numerous celebrities like Robin Williams, Shirley Temple, Peaches Geldof, Philipp Seymour Hoffman, Maximilian Schell, Eusébio, Mickey Rooney, James Garner and Lauren Bacall have left us forever this year. We may have had to mourn the demise of close ones, friends  and dharma brothers and sisters around us.  

Buddhist teachings tell us, that every being which has been born will surely die one day. If even the greatest among us are subjected to death, the Lord of Death will certainly not spare us either. For a practitioner, it is actually important to become aware of death. In the Parting from the Four Attachments, which have been the subject of the last post, it is said that "if one clings to this life, one isn’t a dharma practitioner". In  the context of these instructions, it is therefore explained that one should make an effort to develop an understanding of death and impermanence. This acts as a remedy for being too much involved with this life. 

Also in his final teaching on mind training or Lojong, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche spoke about impermanence and stated that one never knows when death will come. No doubt, sooner or later, it may be as well our turn to go. Until then, we may have still a little bit of time, but maybe not. Who knows? 

Why not use whatever time there is left to do something meaningful with it. We may have dozens of reasons and excuses, but there is actually no real reason why we should wait any longer. Let us all engage in as many virtuous activities as possible! Let us practice the dharma here and now, and share the good that arises with everyone!

This also sounds like an excellent New Year's resolution to me!

Wishing you all a

Merry Christmas

and a 

Happy New Year 2015!

After the adaption of "Christmas tree" in last years' Christmas-post, I would like to provide those of you who also like to sing with a further Buddhist "Christmas Song". 

Now the time is right
Do it while you're young
Leave the house tonight
And sing this joyful song
Sit down beneath the tree
And reach the goal with speed
A Buddha's born to help us all
Just go and take the lead

Oh, bodhi tree, bodhi tree
We are on our way
Oh, what joy to meditate
Under your canopy
Oh, Bodhi tree, bodhi tree
We are on our way
Oh, what joy to meditate
Under your canopy

 (Tune of Jingle Bells)

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