buddhism Newsletter


December 23 2014 Buddhism Newsletter

Hi all,

Happy Winter Solstice, New Year, and any holiday you may celebrate at this time of year. Although we don't necessarily associate this time with Buddhism, the Solstice and New Year actually are honored as times of contemplation and meditation within Buddhist traditions around the world. However you are honoring this time, may you discover peace and insight within yourself.

I have a new and 'old' article for you. The first is a new book review:

That Bird Has My Wings
This memoir by Jarvis Jay Masters, a death row inmate who now practices Tibetan Buddhism, is a searing account of his abusive childhood in foster care homes and institutions, followed by descriptions of his current attempts to practice compassion and meditation within the prison system.


The second featured article is an older one on metta meditation, because this time of year is an especially auspicious time to practice metta, or lovingkindness, meditation:

Metta or Lovingkindness Meditation
Metta, or 'lovingkindness', meditation is a beautiful spiritual practice common to many Buddhist schools that anyone can practice and benefit from, Buddhist or not. It begins by helping us cultivate feelings of self-love, and concludes with feelings of metta towards all beings.


Please note that I am also giving away a copy of Buddha's Daughters, which I reviewed here earlier this year, along with 2 other books, on my blog as part of my annual New Year Year's Book Giveaway. Enter a comment to be eligible to win here:


And don't forget to visit the Bellaonline Buddhism forum:


In closing, I share this quote from Sharon Salzberg, which I think perfectly captures the spirit of a fresh start represented by this week's Winter Solstice, new moon, and the upcoming New Year:

"It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn't depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn't depend on how long you've held on to the old view.

When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn't matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.

The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn't see before.

Its never too late to take a moment to look."
― Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

In Peace,
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor

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