For many the holidays are an easy time to be grateful, we are in peace, we have family and friends, the list truly goes on. These are important to remember. For many, counting your blessings is easiest at a time like Christmas.
For others, Christmas can be a time to practice patience and tolerance. Very fundamental skills on our path regardless of the season. We must be present to our negative thoughts about this potentially joyous time. Annoyed at the large lines and traffic jam? Practice patience. Annoyed by the crowds and traffic? Practice tolerance. Tired of the long travels to visit in laws? Gratitude. Fed up with consumerism? Tolerance. Intoxicated uncle’s and aunty’s, little children screaming with noisy toys? Patience and tolerance.
If nothing else, there is no lack of causes for tolerance over this holiday period. Just like a heavier weight will build muscles quicker, more chance to practice patience and tolerance will make your skilfulness with difficult situations increase, Buddhist or not.
Peace and Love, Jim