Christmas time, suffering and wine

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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anthbrown84
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Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by anthbrown84 »

first of all...my apologies for the cheesy title...

secondly, my point:-

I have been out christmas shopping with my partner today, i over time and practise have lost nearly all materialistic desires on this world, it simply doesnt bring me happiness anymore but i noticed walking around that the siffering seems to be highlighted most at this time of year, its so sad to see how people think they need to spend because its "black friday" or because thats "what you have to do"

do people in relationships with none buddhists have trouble with this as much as me? on one hand i dont want to take the fun out of christmas for my fiance, but on the other hand i struggle to see the nice side of what is basically just a such a needy short term fix to a big problem as suffering .. its hard to watch without it becoming depressing... anyone handle it a certain way which works for them?
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate
Alexander____
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Alexander____ »

Sounds like you're getting a bit stressed out by this, understandably. Living in a part of the world where the material aspect of it is so much in our face can be a trial.

Alternatively we could turn that to our advantage. Perhaps we could use this experience as a useful method for investigating our own Dukkha or as a means to develop compassion towards others lost in Samsara.

But do not worry, if you missed the opportunity of Black Friday there's still Cyber Monday to have a go on!


And so it goes on...
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anthbrown84
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by anthbrown84 »

is cyber monday a real thing? oh dear!

thats a good point, i need to learn to be more conpassionate when in these situations, i just want to be a bit hapoier for my fiance instead of seeing siffering and becoming introverted with my thoughts thats all... ohnthe life of a Buddhist eh!
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate
Spiny Norman
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Spiny Norman »

Alexander____ wrote:But do not worry, if you missed the opportunity of Black Friday there's still Cyber Monday to have a go on!
..
I avoided the shops and practised bah-humbuggery. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!
Digity
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Digity »

Practice charity. Buy toys for needy kids or make a donation. That should lift your spirits.
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Ben
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Ben »

I think I'm in the minority here but I think Christmas is cool. For ne it's all about spending time with family, generosity, gratitude and humility.
Like so many other things - it is what you make it.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
Spiny Norman
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ben wrote:I think I'm in the minority here but I think Christmas is cool. For ne it's all about spending time with family, generosity, gratitude and humility.
Like so many other things - it is what you make it.
Kind regards,
Ben
I treat it as a pagan festival, which of course it originally was.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Kim OHara
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Kim OHara »

Digity wrote:Practice charity. Buy toys for needy kids or make a donation. That should lift your spirits.
And ...
Give Twice for Christmas:
Giving is always a good thing (receiving can be nice, too!) and Christmas can be a good excuse to acknowledge your friendships in this way. And choosing not to give presents offends and upsets those who believe in tradition, while refusing to accept gifts offends them even more. But what can we do to opt out of Consumas and back in to Christmas?
1. Give according to the recipient’s values. Of course you already try to do that but think outside the conventional range of gifts. If ‘everyone buys their Dad a gadget’, your Dad has probably got a shed-full already. Remember that he is not just a generic older male consumer but has his own particular interests.
2. Give according to your own values. If you care about native birds, giving your friend a kitten may make you feel guilty for years, so find something which you have no doubts about instead – a bird-bath, maybe.
3. Give twice with every gift by finding gifts which benefit as many people as possible, and especially those in need.
▪ Buy from charity shops which handle third-world craft products (e.g. World Vision). Some of the money goes back to the maker, and the rest supports the charity’s other projects.
▪ Buy Fairtrade goods if you can, rather than the standard commercial equivalents.
▪ Make a donation in the recipient’s name to a charity whose aims they support. (If you give them the receipt, they can claim it as tax deduction – nice bonus). Kiva, which provides micro loans in poor countries with Western help, is worth considering here alongside Red Cross, the Wilderness Society and the rest.
▪ Remember that Unicef, CARE and Oxfam sell a range of gift certificates where the purchaser buys school books or a goat or a well for a third-world family. Buy one in the name of the recipient, who will receive a card with details of the donation and what it’s going to be used for.
▪ Make or grow something yourself, if you have the skills: a cake, herb sachets, a framed photo, or a pot-plant in flower.
▪ Buy gifts from local art galleries to support struggling artists (and believe me, nearly all artists are struggling).
▪ Buy cards, calendars, t-shirts, Christmas cakes, etc, from the Heart Foundation, Australian Youth Climate Coalition or similar organisations. The goods may be mass produced but at least the profits are doing some good.
4. Ask, suggest or hint that others do the same. Use this article as a starting point if you like, and put it on Facebook or email it to lots of people you know. You don’t have to say, “If you were thinking of giving me something, I would prefer…,” which could be kind of awkward; just say, “I think this is a good way of thinking about Christmas.” You could bring a lot more happiness into the world by doing so – and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
That's a list I put together a while ago. I'm sure you can all find local equivalents of the Aussie charities I mentioned.

:namaste:
Kim
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Ben
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Ben »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Ben wrote:I think I'm in the minority here but I think Christmas is cool. For ne it's all about spending time with family, generosity, gratitude and humility.
Like so many other things - it is what you make it.
Kind regards,
Ben
I treat it as a pagan festival, which of course it originally was.
Yes, indeed. But I think it has now become something more than the sum of its cultural past/parts. Certainly, in this country it is for most people a secular celebration of kinship and friendship. Five years back when I was in Myanmar I was surprised that in a devout Buddhist country, Christmas decorations were up in some places. Likewise, Christmas is celebrated in China. There is something that is universally appealing about the celebration that it can transcend cultural and religious barriers.
And yes, I acknowledge that there are some awful aspects to the holiday but I chose to focus on the positive.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
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anthbrown84
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by anthbrown84 »

Ben you have a very valid point here, i have chose to take a lead out of your book and embrace it...

my new technique to not become over ran by the bombardment of christmas music, is when i hear a xmas song, it is my invitation to become aware of the silence the music is coming out of... si every xmas song becomes a meditation! good technique ey?
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate
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anthbrown84
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by anthbrown84 »

Kim OHara wrote:
Digity wrote: That's a list I put together a while ago. I'm sure you can all find local equivalents of the Aussie charities I mentioned.

:namaste:
Kim
Sorry for the double post hsre guys, but kim that list os amazing, good work :) thankyou for your kind efforts there!
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate
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Pasada
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Pasada »

Ben wrote:There is something that is universally appealing about the celebration that it can transcend cultural and religious barriers.
This makes sense when you consider how Christmas is situated in the cycle of nature - on a very fundamental level, beyond cultural and religious trappings, it is about the emergence of light in the dead of winter. To me, this explains its powerful transnational appeal - as living beings on the planet earth, we respond to this message on a phenomenological level, and then adorn it with various systems of meaning.
peterve
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by peterve »

anthbrown84 wrote:first of all...my apologies for the cheesy title...

secondly, my point:-

I have been out christmas shopping with my partner today, i over time and practise have lost nearly all materialistic desires on this world, it simply doesnt bring me happiness anymore but i noticed walking around that the siffering seems to be highlighted most at this time of year, its so sad to see how people think they need to spend because its "black friday" or because thats "what you have to do"
As you mentioned, all these materialistic shopping won't bring true happiness and joy within yourself.
But bring attachment and attachment is quite big in every religions especially Buddhism.
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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Ron-The-Elder »

Did "three" system restores on the sick computer. For some reason it keeps getting corrupted, which makes me suspect a computer pathogen lurking somewhere within.

Experienced a problem with Norton Anti-Virus, Also with IOLO System Mechanic's version 15, which makes me suspect that their software may have caused the original problem.

After spending some time with HP and Symantec online and finding out that they cannot yet support Windows 10, decided to stay with existing Windows 7 software. The only drawback that I can see to this approach at this point is that there are over 210 updates which now have to be downloaded.

Any suggestions or experience to share.

Santa may still be bringing us a new computer. We'll see. :shrug:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Christmas time, suffering and wine

Post by Spiny Norman »

Children will soon be writing their letters to Satan, er, I mean Santa... :tongue:

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-sh ... ters-satan" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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