Giving Practice. . .
The Buddhist monk Ajahn Chah said, “Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice.”
Christmas is an excellent example of this. At first glance, it may appear to be non-Buddhist, but on closer examination we see that it provides an opportunity to practice several aspects of the Buddhist path: generosity, consideration, kindness, and mutual regard.
This time of year the practice of gift giving is a physical enactment of the principle of compassion. This is especially relevant when we recall that our actions arise directly from our mind states: the perfection of compassion as a mind state naturally manifests as physical acts of kindness and generosity. If we find that we do not readily act for the well-being of others, that indicates there is a need for further development of inner compassion. That can be developed by giving gifts to others.
Peace and Love, Jim