Who loves us more than Santa? Who do we love more in
return? Yet Santa is not just a jolly old guy in a red outfit. He is a
true Yogi — someone who embodies love, generosity and great wisdom. The
figure of Santa is a remarkable example of such qualities, which we may
all want to emulate:
1. He makes us do good and feel good. Now that’s a big
one, as many of us can get caught up during this time and act selfishly
2. He gives, endlessly,
to everyone, without discrimination, all over the world, all at pretty
much the same time. This indicates a truly generous heart, one that
takes great joy in giving, without needing to receive.
3. Yet he does not give
blindly. Rather he judges what is the most appropriate gift for each.
This shows great discernment, as giving needs wisdom in order to be of
encourages rituals and invokes magic in every child’s life: letter
writing, stocking filling, decorations, parades, milk and cookies.
Ritual is an essential part of honoring that which is greater than us,
and magic is the beauty of the unknown.
5. He listens to our pleas and
requests and reads our letters. He takes the time to hear us and pays
attention, which most of us could do a lot more of.
6. He has great psychic
powers: he flies in the sky with reindeer, descends chimneys without
getting covered in soot, goes by many names and forms, and is
extraordinarily elusive. Has anyone actually ever seen him?
7. He knows where we live. In
other words, he is inside every one of us.
8. Most importantly, he lifts
our spirits at the darkest time, bringing us laughter and joy, which is
undoubtedly the greatest gift of all.
Through giving to others, a la Santa, we get away from selfishness
and neediness, and in the process see our own self-centeredness in
greater perspective. It connects us to the basic goodness within us, a
quality of kindness that is easy to lose touch with. Giving–whether a
smile, our time, a listening ear, food or material gifts–is profoundly joyful, both to the
one who is receiving and the one who is giving. The essence
of this is an open heart, a free mind, and a blissful spirit.
If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind
of heart trouble. -Bob Hope
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we
give. -Winston Churchill
True generosity is giving without any thought of getting or
receiving; it is unconditional, unattached, free to land wherever it
will. Through giving and sharing in this way, we soon find that we do
not lose anything; we do not have any less. Rather, we gain so much.
At a booksigning in California, Ed was chatting with a man who was
training to be a Zen priest. Shortly afterwards, we left to get
something to eat at a Chinese restaurant across the street. As we were
eating, the man Ed had been talking to came in, nodded to us, then
walked to the back of the restaurant. A while later he came back. As he
passed our table he stopped and simply said, “Your dinner is paid for.”
Then he left. We were stunned by such a kind and generous act, and the
warm memory of it has stayed with us.
Has the spirit of Santa Claus made an appearance in your life lately?
Do you have any great Santa stories?
Ed and Deb Shapiro’s new book, BE
THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You And The World,
forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors such
as Marianne Williamson, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Ellen Burstyn, Michael
Beckwith, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jane Fonda, Jack Kornfield, Byron Katie, Dean
Ornish, and others is published by Sterling Ethos. Deb is the author of
the award-winning book YOUR
BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND. Ed and Deb are the authors of over
15 books, and lead meditation retreats and workshops. Enjoy their 3
meditation CDs: Metta - Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi
- Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra - Inner
Conscious Relaxation, available on their website:www.EdandDebShapiro.com