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The Spirit of the Season

Last post 12-27-2006, 1:09 PM by pattye. 41 replies.
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  •  12-08-2006, 6:40 PM 16159

    The Spirit of the Season

    I want to dedicate this thread to the spirit of the season -- to sharing images, stories, poems, or prayers that represent, for you, the sense of sacredness and holy generosity, of abundance and giving and winter's promise of new birth ...


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-08-2006, 6:41 PM 16160 in reply to 16159

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Here is a Christmas reflection I wrote for my family many years ago ...

    Pine and Straw

     

    The stillest moments are spent under trees: 

    Under the Bodhi tree by the morning star;

    under the hanging tree, in a pause like lightning

         through ankle and wrist;

    under the pepper tree;

    under these humble trees on Christmas Eve, where

    for a moment, we have torn down the walls

    we have raised against the world,

    and we go to sleep in the scent

    of pine bark and forest floors.

     

    These were my stillest moments: 

    Sitting with my family in the dark, warm room,

    nestled in the scents of pine and cinnamon;

    squinting my eyes at the blinking stars

    on the tree, till their fire was thrown

    across the room like Roman spears;

    and turning in the pregnant silence

    of that holy night

    to ask my mother if GOD

    is the same as UNIVERSE….

     

    And here, in the dim room by the star-hung tree,

    I squint my eyes again to see how light is hurled,

    as it must have been hurled from an unusual star

    in the ancient night, over a mother lifting her sweaty head

    from the straw, to see how the light from the thatched roof

    shines also from the slick child at her feet,

     

    in the shuffling animal dark.

     

    I can almost smell them behind the lines of lights,

    secret in the shadows of the tree,

    and there is blessing in this vision, and renewal –

    that I from my usual course might be hurled to dirt,

    to lift my head from straw,

    to look into the face of glory

     

    (born past my knowing)

     

    Shining at my feet.

     


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-08-2006, 6:48 PM 16161 in reply to 16160

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    The Buddha said:

    In this world there are three things of value for one who gives:

    Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy.

    While giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful.

    And having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted. (A 6:37)


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-08-2006, 9:43 PM 16163 in reply to 16161

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 12-02-2007, 1:05 AM maryw
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    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Smile [:)]

    It's quite fitting that you started this thread today (Dec. 8), Balder, as it is both Bodhi Day, celebrating the enlightenment of the Buddha, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrating the day that Mary, mother of Jesus, was conceived ...

    Peace,

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
  •  12-09-2006, 2:50 PM 16213 in reply to 16163

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Thank you, Mary, for making that connection!  Bad Buddhist that I am, I wasn't even aware that it was Bodhi Day.

    I plan to write more on this thread soon, hopefully to give it more coherence.  A number of my recent threads of been duds, and it may be because I haven't brought the right focus to them.  But I have been feeling something, this deep, powerful, but tender current, that moved me to start this discussion, and I hope to go into that more -- to make it more manifest.

    For now, today, I wanted to pass on an interesting, fun idea I came across:

    The Generosity Game

    I'm going to give it a try.  If anyone else tries it too, please use this thread to report back on what happens (if you care to), or maybe we can start a new one dedicated just to this.

    Best wishes,

    Balder


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-09-2006, 3:06 PM 16215 in reply to 16213

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Here Bruce,

    I was thinking this last night for this thread but it came out in the conversation on the newest Brother David thread, so I'll just put it here for the Spirit of the Season too:

     . . . And what is so appropriate to me, or what makes my Heart still light up, is that it was just last year about this time that Brother David was one of the first dialogs I even listened to on IN. And he just melted me, right there in the room with the Christmas Tree and I just thought . . . this is Christ-mas! Light those lights on that tree and all over outsides the houses up and down the block! Celebrate, this IS what Christmas is! Gratitude, Great-fullness . . . and that Timeless moment will stay with me for all time now . . . Brother David, A Christmas Tree and Greatfullness.

    Peace, Tim


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  12-09-2006, 3:23 PM 16216 in reply to 16215

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Thank you, Tim.  Yes.  This is what this season is all about.  I feel this spirit lighting this forum right now.

    And the Generosity Game seems like a good way, to me, to help spread fertile soil for gratefulness to grow more widely in the world.

    In traditional Buddhist teachings, generosity is usually the first practice that is taught.  It is the foundation for grasping the deeper truths of interdependence and selflessness, openness and wisdom.  This same root feeds Christian praxis as well.  It is part of essential spirituality, found the world over -- but so often under-appreciated in daily life.

    Let's celebrate it!


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-09-2006, 4:50 PM 16219 in reply to 16216

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    And a note about generosity (I still have to check out the thread.)

    Do we see how it is realted to Greatfullness? What I am getting at is that gratitude is also the ability to receive. No one has the ability to be generous if there is no one to receive. I'm crossing threads here, but Charles mentioned the story of the angel of gratitude being the forgotten angel in the back. I really think on of the reasons for this is that -for whatever reason -we can be terrible at allowing others to give to us. There is just as much of a self contraction is saying "no, no, I don't need that that you are trying to give to me" as there is in never giving or being generous. Once again, always nonduality.

    Doesn't the story go that the Buddha dies becasue he accepted a gift he knew was poison but did not want to refuse the giver the chance to be generous? I find that very profound.

    Essential spirituality is right.

    Peace, Tim


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  12-09-2006, 5:44 PM 16221 in reply to 16219

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Oh, whoops. I now see that that is exactly what you were saying. I swear I read your post! But for some odd reason missed the word 'greatfullness.' Oh well, at least we're on the same page!

    (But I will take this as a lesson to READ and LISTEN better Sad [:(]. . . and I guess the worst we can call this is "agressive enthusiasm" on my part for the Spirit of Greatfullness! Not so bad . . .Smile [:)])


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  12-11-2006, 11:25 PM 16366 in reply to 16221

    • perera is not online. Last active: 11-03-2007, 6:59 PM perera
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    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Attachment: Publication4.jpg
    This is Buddy the Beagle that I help look after Smile [:)] He LOVES the snow!

    Nomali


    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate.

  •  12-11-2006, 11:30 PM 16367 in reply to 16366

    • perera is not online. Last active: 11-03-2007, 6:59 PM perera
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    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    Attachment: P1010228.jpg

    One week ago - Boulder, CO

     



    Nomali


    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate.

  •  12-12-2006, 6:53 AM 16376 in reply to 16213

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    When I stay in hotel, I leave a piece of paper which says "you are loved" with a tip for the housekeeper.  I really should invest in some cardsSmile [:)], more elegant and practical.  Peace to all.

    Chris


    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it
  •  12-12-2006, 9:44 PM 16416 in reply to 16376

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    One winter there was an old woman who was left behind. She was so old that she couldn’t even chew kamik leather anymore. Her family left her with only a few insects to eat. The woman said: “I’m not going to eat these poor creatures. I am old and perhaps they are young. Perhaps even a few are children. I’d rather die first…”

    Just after her people went away, there entered a fox into her hut. It leaped up and started to bite her. The old woman thought: Well, I’m truly a dead person now…But the fox was behaving in a very strange manner. It was biting her over her whole body, just like it was taking off her clothing. Soon all her skin fell away. And lo! There was a new skin beneath which belonged to an attractive young woman. For the grateful insects had instructed their friend the fox to rid her of her old skin.

    Next summer her family returned to the camp. But they found neither the woman or her bones. She had gone to live with the insects. It is said that she married a little blow-fly of whom she had grown quite fond.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-12-2006, 10:00 PM 16417 in reply to 16416

    Re: The Spirit of the Season

    No one ever told me that Inuit tale when I was young, or ever associated it with Christmas to my knowledge, but my parents did occasionally read to me from A Child's Christmas in Wales:

    "There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths; zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-shanters like patchwork tea cozies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were mustached and rasping vests that made you wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and once I had a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now, alas, no longer whinnying with us. And pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not to, would skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp, except why."

     


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  12-12-2006, 10:24 PM 16420 in reply to 16417

    Re: The Spirit of the Season


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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