Sat 31st Dec – Death of the Old Year, Birth of the New


New Years Eve Celebrations!

A time to ring the changes, isn’t it. This article’s a post about Amitabha’s new years timetable, and a few things to think on.
Gotta say, I prefer new years to Christmas. This probably isn’t a good thing to admit on a new blog, but I’m just not such a fan of Christmas. Drearily pessimistic about the whole thing really. It just seems totally mashed up with consumerism and false expectations that everybody’s gotta have fun (generally in excess), coz it’s Christmas! If we let this selfish attitude take over, it really makes us miserable. Luna Kadampa‘s new article examines this further.

Gen Chonden made a good point in class the other day ~ Christmas is really a time for cherishing others. That’s what really makes us happy, not all this glitz and excess. Like that old song says “the christmas you get you deserve.” Just giving others as much unconditional love as we can, in whatever way is most appropriate; this is what makes Christmas truly a joyful festival worth celebrating.
And .•*¨New Years?*•.¸¸.•*¨Full of sparkly potential 😀

Let go of what no longer serves you

New Years at Amitabha Centre

The new year is a chance to say goodbye to the old stuff you don’t need anymore. Stuff that’s become heavy baggage. As the Kadampa Life article Clearing out the clutter from our mind states “we have to decide whether we want to lug all our mental stuff around with us forever,” or let it go.
Same goes for our material possessions. We have to keep on asking ourselves. ‘Do we really need this stuff?!’ We tend to be attached to the old, familiar ways of thinking and being. They aren’t always that helpful, and lead us down the same unhelpful paths.

Negative, outdated thoughts and behaviours do us more harm than good. But our grasping mind tells us different. The new year’s resolutions we make ~ even the ones we really mean ~ often get broken as we get on with life. “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” (Mark Twain) Sad but true. Attachment often means that even stuff we recognise as junk is hard to get rid of. This is because deep down, we just don’t want to. This deluded attitude does us no favours, and wastes our precious human life.

But there’s hope!

We always have choice

I like it when Geshe la says that.”We always have choice.”
For many of us, the new year is an opportunity to bring on the changes we really want to make. Our human life can be just so very precious if we want it to be!

As Vide Kadampa says, “recognise the special opportunity we all have, and make the most of it while it lasts! What we can do with this window of opportunity is amazing. We can free our minds from the usual nonsense and the superficial trivialities we normally immerse ourselves in. We can lift ourselves up and rise up above the clouds of mental clutter to the clear blue sky above.

Minds and environments become clear, pure and free. An unobstructed ability to completely be there for others.
We can have this for anything from a few moments, to years in meditation. In fact we’re there for as long as we remember the amazing potential that our precious human existence has.

Dharma links:
Vide Kadampa
, on recognising the precious nature of our human life and using it wisely, in the context of death and impermanence.
Geshe la’s free ebook Modern Buddhism is a good read too (link down on the right)

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