Zen for the Holidays — 10 Tips

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
Nothing ups the ante for family drama better than ‘going Home for the Holidays.’ (You really need to see the movie…)
Typically, past dramas are minimized as people play the ‘this year it will be different’ game. People expect Normal Rockwell gatherings, when “those gathered ’round” more closely resemble the Bunkers.
There are ways to change the game, but only if you decide to end the old game, AND replace it with something Zen.

Celebrate Your Life

On killing the Buddha. — This means ‘being with’ myself as I am, without judgement. I am how I am. And as I go there, I realize that, if I do not cling to the idea that I will be this way ‘forever,’ how I am shifts as time goes by. If I do not invest in my ‘tale of woe,’ I pass through it… until the next time.

The joy of non-duality

All interpretations are the same. Sensory data comes in, and you interpret it and give it a meaning. In other words, if you see a box, and say, “It’s a small box,” the “real” part is the box. Small is relative, as it means, “Small, compared to…” The box does not have “small” as a characteristic—it is not a part of its nature. Small (red, rough, etc.) are descriptors you have added. The same is so for your internal interpretations. (Nice, cold, angry, bad, good, fat, smart, stupid, etc.) Interpretations made in your head about someone are not ‘true.’ They’re just your stories.

Dropping the Excuses

The Buddha said some variant of, “All that you are is a product of what you have thought.” He meant that how we think determines our self-identity and our view of the world. It’s not the ‘right’ view, but rather how we frame our reality. Once we get the joke that the frame is warped by our perceptions, we can have a laugh and let it go.