Br Phap Lai gives the Christmas Eve talk on embracing the suffering that may come up during Christmas celebrations as well as the true spirit of giving.
Br Phap Lai shares a story of being embraced by the collective energy of the community on Christmas eve while he was grieving the death of a close friend. We firstly take care of our suffering by coming back to our body and breathing with our feelings and we can borrow from the collective energy of the community for support with our strong emotions.
Our teacher often spoke at Christmas about Jesus and Buddha being brothers and our teacher practiced walking in the Kingdom of God whenever he practiced walking meditation. Do we take the time to touch the Kingdom of God? Sometimes when we let go of our thinking, we finally find the peace and joy that we are searching for.
Br Phap Lai encourages us to give the gift of true presence, rather than a physical gift, which may have hidden impacts on our environment and society. He then goes on to tell several Christmas stories of children (himself included) growing up believing in Santa, the various saints associated with Christmas, and parents teaching children generosity and kindness toward others. Finally Br Phap Lai covers the four elements of true love which are friendship, compassion, joy and inclusivity which embody the Christmas spirit.
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