Presented by Jhampa Shaneman
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity. These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
Nanaimo Dec 22 1992
Lama Yeshe had a nice meditation for Christmas called Silent Mind, Holy Mind. I couldn't find a text so I cannot read it to you. I thought I"d tell you what you were missing. So we will do something else.
So put yourself in a reflective mood because we will do a light meditation. The Christmas season, irrespective of the theme of Christ's birth in the world, is also the winter solstice and the birth of the new year. It is a moment when the whole of world is in it's coldest or darkest phase and there will be a slow awakening or birthing taking place. And of course, we get the glory of that, spring!
Yet at this time it is important to touch base with the connection between ourselves and all others and to try to be as warm as we can with others because it is a special irrespective of the commercialism of Christmas. There is still a strong current of warmth that goes with the Christmas season. For someone who develops awareness or meditates, one of the most important is that of our relationships with others. Personal endeavor, personal need is that which we must deal with daily. But if we think of the fulfillment as what it means to be in this world, fulfillment of experience in regards to any emotion we start to generate, it comes with relationship. And in relationship, that has to involve others, or at least the environment. To have the peace and serenity of a beautiful environment, and it to be that you put yourself in that environment and visit that place. And certainly in regards to the human expression of love and compassion, it is a place that is in relationship.
In the Dharma center in Duncan there is a little plaque that says, Love is not love until it is given, and is a beautiful statement. Love does not come into it's full expression until it is shared.
So with that in mind, it is important to reflect on relationship with others and just how much we really are nurtured by it. For example, regarding ourselves in relationship with others, in our immediate family, that all of the happiness and joy, and I think joy is the deepest with your own family, because the bond is so strong, although there are disagreements, in contrast the highs or feelings of love expressed are the strongest. So when we meditate it is important to think as we breath, my body is in relationship to the world around me. So also, is my whole being in relationship to the people around me. In doing that, your mind softens it's normal insensitivity and selfishness that we normally live in and we become more sensitive and warm, and do things for others which are kind hearted.
Isn't it so much that when we give the gift of love, that the recipient of that is automatically imbued with a great smile of happiness and joy. And that is the whole process of what Christmas should be the focus of, that we make happiness for other people for enjoying their lives, for maybe just a moment to make something nice happen for them. So whether it is regarding just our relationship with our family, or to expand a little further and think of those in our neighborhood or work environment, those people also are supportive of us and have a fairly comfortable situation. They want to be happy and such. Just as we do. So in relating with those we work with, we can add a little flavor of happiness by just doing nice things, bringing lots of cookies or something!
In that way trying to expand our appreciation of kindness and expression of caring. And then going further, to help those in difficulty. There are many people doing things supportive of our happiness and well being. In that way, trying to make the mind expand out into the world and have a sense of appreciation.
The meditation this is drawn from is remembering the kindness of my mother. One can focus in on this if one really wants to generate a heart warming feeling, if one's mother was an important aspect of one's life. There are certainly people of that caliber. Those with great love and affection. So we can reflect on someone who has been very dear to us in our meditation and in that way expand into our expression of love and kindness in our own family, with our relatives, and put some real spirit into Christmas season.
We will do that in two ways, one with mantra, and also with your own meditations. If you would like to, after the mantras spend some time meditating on someone who at some point in your life nurtured and cared for you. And try to touch base with the times that they really offered some caring and affection for you. In doing that, you will generate a sense of warmth. Then move it into your expression for love for your family and appreciating the people around you who care and support you. And from there, try to expand into to the community.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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