1 Week until Christmas? DON’T PANIC!

If you’re enjoying the run-up to Christmas, go for it! 
Here’s wishing you and yours have a very merry time 🙂

But if the glittering excess of Christmas brings on a colder chill than the frost on Santa Clause’s sleigh…

end. pink bunny swing

Don’t Panic!

Fretting about next week now only brings it into the present.
Why ruin today by summoning the ghosts of Christmas past and future.
Live today while it’s here!

Enjoy your Christmas when it comes,
don’t worry about the expectations of others,
and forget it once it’s over.

Breathe the sigh of relief that only mindfulness of now can give.

Focus as well on a mind of love ~
hidden in all that tinsel and gift wrap there is genuine love.
But we can only touch this and share it with others if we’re true to ourselves.

 

• ˚ •˛•˚ * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
• ˚Happy★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Holidays!★ 。* • ˚。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚田田 |門| ˚

Image via Marci Robin, Pinterest
ASCII via FSymbols

Priceless Art ~ a Christmas Present

Priceless Art ~

 

A Christmas Present

Grieving lost ones at Christmas

A touching and poignant piece by Julia.
I’m dedicating it here to all those who have lost loved ones, and still feel that empty space in their lives at Christmas.

I don’t think time heals so much as helps us cope. If they left our lives awhile ago, we can think fondly of those who have passed on; they will still benefit from our positive energy directed towards them. We can offer their memory a smile.

Grief has no time limit

It’s more normal than commonly accepted to still miss loved ones years after their passing. It’s OK do this; just hold ourselves and them with a mind of loving kindness.
Grief takes as long as it does.” (Namaste Consulting Inc)

If their passing was more recent and the pain is still raw, sending them our love in the form of prayers and lights will be of mutual benefit to them and us.
When someone has just died, they are still very present in our minds. The loving energies we send to them become guiding lights on the next stage of their journey.

Be mindful of the love we have in us and all around us this holiday

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 16.15.08

To remember the dead is to acknowledge the coexistence of pain and love.
(Tim Muldoon)

By remembering those who have gone onto pastures new with loving kindness, we are honouring their memory. As long as we feel comfortable doing this, it’s a beautiful thing to do.

Be kind to ourselves, as well. When we are in pain we are like injured children, who need to be treated gently and tenderly. Being patient with our own suffering helps it to heal. And we’ll never forget our loved ones, “Something in our minds will aways stay.” (Sting)

✿ڿڰۣ(̆̃̃ღ

Cherish those who are still in our lives now. Really be with them. Part of honouring those who have gone from our lives is treasuring the people who are still here.

The greatest gift you can offer loved ones is your true presence.” (Thich Nhat Hanh) Celebrating Christmas as you normally would, giving genuine smiles of joy – this is a real Christmas present to our loved ones.

ღ(̆̃̃ڿڰۣ✿ 

* Related links (underlined) are given as offerings to go with this post.
Further thoughts on this:  Death & Love, My Very Old Friends

Dr.Suess image via deep-in-the-woods on Tumblr
(Click on images to make biG)

Journey with Julia

Another day, another loss . . . all great love has a cost.

Please remember just to breathe, as you take this time to grieve.

*

Life is our gift from God above, and He blesses it with love.

Some folks say these gifts don’t last, but God won’t rob us of our past.

These blessings that we receive come with no special guarantees.

One day here, gone tomorrow . . . one day joy, the next, great sorrow.

*

You won’t see that face again?

Just close your eyes, my troubled friend.

God’s gifts will never leave your heart

your memories are your priceless art.

 

One of the few pics I have of all the Kovach kids. It’s hard to believe that Teri, Chris, and Steve have all passed on. These memories are my priceless art.

 (Pic: Teri w/arms around Joe and Brenda; Chris next to her, holding…

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Alone isn’t so Lonely

Being by yourself isn’t a bad thing

– even at Christmas.
Despite popular belief,
alone-ness isn’t akin to loneliness.
Rather than the sadness and desolation of unwished for isolation; being alone allows us the freedom and space to really be ourselves.

There’s just something about this time of year that brings the ‘alone’ thing into sharp focus. It seems unnatural, somehow, to be quiet at a time of festivity. The well-meant concern of others, and their sympathy for our perceived loss, makes it feel like we should really be out there, having fun.

As one of my mate’s mum said this morning, “Christmas is such a weird time. People think that everybody’s partying, and they’re not! It’s certainly nothing to get unhappy about if you’re not. It’s such a palava about nothing! Our Tricia’s gone to Gibralta just to escape it all!”
Can’t say i fancy that, but away from the fuss n’bother, there’s another, quite different side of life, that finds happiness from another source.
-_-

to live alone is to live in mindfulness

As Tich Nhat Hanh says, “to live alone is to live in mindfulness, free from worries about the past and future. We enjoy life as we live it right now.

Whether we’re alone at Christmas (or just generally) by choice or chance; it’s our choice whether that’s a good or bad thing. Gotta admit, I’m comfortable with it.
If we can feel content in our own company, our body and mind can find their own balance. We find our thinking becomes clearer, and things start to make more sense. In this spacious environment, our minds become peaceful and free.

Yes, being faced with our own mind can get a little unnerving at times. That’s why so many people hate silence, and being alone. We’re all haunted by negative minds; but the trick is to apply loving kindness, both to ourself and others. The demons often dissolve into a peaceful, loving mind. If they persist (and bad minds do tend to be persistent little buggers) don’t give into them! That’s the joy of silence – a chance to sort our own mind out. * more on that later * Just be patient, and relax into it best you can.

And spending time alone doesn’t mean we’re anti-social, or are rejecting folk.
It just gives us space to unwind, relax, and settle back into the love for others we can find in our hearts. The space we have created allows us to cultivate that love. “When they listen to the song of their heart they find more love and compassion enter their dealings with others. This allows listening and real communication.” (top7business.com) This means that when we’re with others again, we are truly happy to be in their company; and we have just so much love to give 🙂 This good energy comes right back at us, as well.
: )

Shantideva’s forest retreat

See also:

Make Friends with Loneliness pt 2 of this lonely vs. alone series
How to be Alone ace video on you tube
Tich Nhat Hanh the space of alone
(I’m never that sure about the monks letting a suicidal farmer walk away – but the story makes a good point. Tich says that many of people’s toxic excesses – things like food, intoxicants and sex – are abused just to escape from the loneliness they feel. But it so doesn’t have to be like that.
As Jill Bolte (neuro-scientist) says “in this moment, we are perfect, we are whole, and we are beautiful.
-_-
Buddhist meditation:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
nb. if you know someone who’s on their own this Christmas, even if they’re not online, please share this with them. No-one should feel bad being on their own at Christmas.

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

Janus

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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