Lama Yeshe used to give teachings on Christmas Eve, and this was a good thing to do, considering that many of his students were western and came from a Christian background. Even though I’m Buddhist, I’m still surrounded by Christmas and am finding ways to celebrate it, while trying not to get lost in the materialistic aspects.
I found this interesting copy of a talk he gave, where he tries to help people in creating a good Christmas intention. And for those that have come from a Christian background, but over time started to rebel against some of the traditions and beliefs, I think this talk also helps reconcile some of those feelings and clears things up while moving forward.
Below is a snippet from the teaching, and the full talk can be found here. Merry Christmas everyone!
For a Christmas celebration to be a good one, it must be of a truly religious nature. Jesus came to this Earth and presented his teachings, but worldly beings completely disregard this fact. For them, Christmas means – first and foremost – spending money, buying presents, and creating confusion. Such confusion is entirely of our own making. We have the power to make Christmas meaningful, peaceful, and truly religious, but instead of using this power we succumb to worldly negative energy. We go shopping to buy presents, but this is not done with anything even resembling a loving attitude. We think, “I really must buy something for my sister, because if I don’t give her anything, maybe she won’t like me anymore. Maybe she won’t give me anything either.” Or, “I better not get my friend a cheap present, or I might not get anything valuable back from him next year.” Such thoughts are extremely negative, leading to nothing but dissatisfaction. They are totally involved with egotistic and immature notions about what true happiness is. They have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
True religion brings peace and satisfaction to the mind.