A Buddhist Christmas

christmas
Wikipedia defines Christmas as a worldwide holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Popular aspects of the holiday include decorations, emphasis on family togetherness, and gift giving. Designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870.
But as a student of the Buddha’s teachings (dhamma), I have come to view this Holiday as much more encompassing and relevant.
Now one could be offended, thinking that nothing could be more relevant than the birth of Jesus. But if one is not of the Christian faith, then any non-Christian is instantly excluded.
And from what I know of the teachings of Jesus, he was an “includer”, not an “excluder”. Regardless of your background, rich or poor, sick or healthy, even if you were a prostitute, his love and compassion were equally shared with all. And this too was the teaching of the Buddha. Inclusivity, not exclusivity or superiority.

But what of others who are not Christian or Buddhist? What about Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, and Atheist etc.?
I see this holiday to be as much about each of them as anyone. My love, compassion, acceptance and generosity is intended for all beings. I see no higher value in any being above another. We all breathe, feel, suffer and experience joy. We all share impermanence, and I am so grateful that we are Brothers and Sisters in this life.

Perhaps Christmas is more about being reminded of our connection to one another. We are not as different as many of us seem to think. We are loving and caring human beings that have a compassionate nature within us. Call it Buddha nature, the Holy Spirit, or just a nature of goodness. We all possess this quality and only need to see that Christmas reminds us to love one another.

May this Holiday season be filled with love, laughter and joy for you and your loved ones. May you open your heart to your enemies, may you help those in need, may you be fully aware of the World around you and see the powerful connection we all share with one another.

Joy to the World.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.

8 comments for “A Buddhist Christmas

  1. jms_kail
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I think you captured the true meaning of Christmas Dave.

  2. jgshobie18
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks Dave. Yes, a reminder about our connectedness, and love for others – human and non human.

  3. jared.a.edwards
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    This is great. It’s so easy to get “wrapped up” in our own agendas during Christmas and forget what it’s all about. Even looking at the story told in the Christian Bible, the scene known as “The Nativity” brings together a kindness and unity of people from varying regions and castes. That in and of itself is certainly worth celebrating.

  4. LauLau81
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Yes Christmas is for everybody to give love… I am a Roman Catholic and this season is one of the great holidays for me, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, sharing love and sharing the blessings. Merry Christmas to everybody!

    • WHPDave
      Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

      @LauLau81 Bless you, thank you, and Merry Christmas to you!

  5. Lily-Rose
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Thank you for summing up beautifully the spirit of this time of year when people do seem to be a bit kinder towards one another. I’m not sure if its because of the birth of Jesus or because the days grow longer..I just know that there is a kind of magic in the air- it reflects as the light in peoples eyes, the enchantment on a child’s face its a certain kind of love that radiates at this time of year. May all people be happy,may all people be well and may all people be free.

  6. Jennifer Whiteley-Anderson
    Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I think this statement is so imperative and applicable to the current mood of our society, at this time. There exists a need for acceptance and understanding of all religions, beliefs and opinions. It’s not about whose system is most superior or accurate, it’s about tolerance and non-judgmental acceptance, and for this, Thank you and appreciate your statement. Merry Christmas.

    • Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Merry Christmas to you Jennifer!

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