December 4 2014 Buddhism Newsletter
It's hard to believe it's already December! This season brings holidays in every spiritual tradition, including Buddhism - in Japan, the Buddha's birthday is celebrated on December 8th, and the Winter Solstice is honored as an auspicious time for meditation and retreat in many branches. However, not all of us feel good at this time, and if you or someone you know struggles with holiday stress or Seasonal Affect Disorder, meditation may help:
Meditations for Managing Holiday Stress and SAD:
If you are interested in connecting with the Solstice on an energetic spiritual level, I am offering a donation-based Winter Solstice meditation on December 21st, at the time of the exact Solstice. You can find more information about this meditation here:
I always love to revisit the theme of similarities between Jesus' and Buddha's teachings at this time of year as well. If that interests you, here is an older article you may enjoy:
In closing, since the Winter Solstice is when we welcome the return of the light, here is a lovely sutra quote in which the Buddha compares the dharma to the light of a torch:
The Buddha said, "Those who rejoice in seeing others observe the Way will obtain great blessing." A Sramana asked the Buddha, "Would this blessing be destroyed?" The Buddha replied, "It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way."
- from a Chinese called 'Sutra of 42 Sections'
Wishing you many blessings this season!
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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