Neutral Holiday Greetings to You!

We don’t celebrate Halloween.

If I eat a Thanksgiving meal on the 4th Thursday in November, it’s only because I’m willing to fork over $20 (in local Guatemalan currency) in exchange for carbs, gravy and the company of my compatriots.

Someone asked me recently if my child is excited for Christmas. My daughter doesn’t even know who Santa is. She doesn’t know what Christmas is.

She doesn’t know who Jesus is. She is almost four years old, and we have consciously chosen not to indoctrinate her with religion, except of course dharma yoga. Which isn’t a religion. (Or is it?)

It’s not really been a conscious choice, this non-celebration of Christmas. It’s more of a choice to celebrate everyday life. I find I do not miss the holiday pop music in the least.

The life I live now is drastically different than the life I lived growing up, or even the life I was living ten years ago in Austin, Texas.

Not better or worse, just different.

The trees are my Christmas trees. The stars at night provide enough twinkle and the moon enough light for evening strolls. The present moment with my family is the real gift, and we feel no compulsion to buy things and wrap them in pretty paper and give them to each other on December 25. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

So, in conclusion:

Merry Today! And a happy new Now!

There is a lot of bad news out there. And then there’s the constant stream of information, useless and useful knowledge, the barrage of noise with the occasional bursts of beautiful music. May we choose carefully that which we are feeding our bodies, our minds and our spirit. May we give and receive love freely. May all beings be happy, safe, healthy and at ease.

Holiday mindfulness in a nutshell

Read it on Elephant Journal.

For many of us, this season of festive gatherings are accompanied by mounds of cheese, cookies and cocktails, gift exchanges, hope and disappointment. December is the most challenging (and therefore most perfect) month to start or recommit to the practice of mindfulness. Here are a few gentle suggestions.

Love your relatives. InĀ A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes, “The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship that sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be. Otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.”

Continue reading