Happy Solstice! Although this is not officially a Buddhist holiday, many Buddhist traditions mark the Solstices with increased meditation practice and retreat, as this is a day of renewal and welcoming back the light. I wish you all a beautiful Solstice and Happy New Year!
To close out each year, I always do a gratitude giveaway of 3 favorite books from the year at my blog. All you have to do to enter is submit a comment with a wish for 2014 (personal or worldly):
I also have 2 new articles for you at BellaOnline:
Reciew - Feminine Faces of Compassion Meditation CD
The Feminine Faces of Compassion is a beautiful guided meditation CD by physician and mindfulness teacher Kaveri Patel. It invites us deeper into ourselves in a gentle, soulful manner that anyone will connect with.
With Christmas upon us, many people may be interested in exploring the connections between Jesus and Buddha in this article:
Buddha and Jesus
As Buddhism's popularity in the West has grown, many scholars and religious leaders have drawn parallels between the lives and teachings of Buddha and Jesus. This article covers a few, including similar sayings.
In closing, here's a beautiful poem about Solstice from poet Susan Cooper:
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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