Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Minding the Fires of the Holidays

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

Photo Credit: Elysa Pizzolato

If you are like me, like most people, you are probably digesting a large Christmas meal. How fortunate we are to have the opportunity to engage in gluttony. And how readily we fall into that trap. The holidays are an incubator for what the Buddha called the three fires — greed, aversion, and ignorance  — all of which may be in abundance during this holiday.

Ironically, the antidotes to the three fires — the water to douse their flames — are the intended sentiments for this holiday, at least mostly so. Generosity, lovingness, and, perhaps, wisdom

The rioting over Air Jordan sneakers fans the fires of the holiday flames. Greed — the need to have material things in short-supply, and the willingness to engage in violence in the pursuit of them are the epitome of ignorance, nay delusion.

According to Huffington Post:

Yesterday’s release of new Air Jordans has caused a US-wide shopping frenzy leading to vandalism, violence and arrests. Shoppers waited in lines for hours to purchase the retro model of the most popular version of the Air Jordan shoes, which cost $180.

This is a flagrant example of hatred and greed in action. Less flagrant incidents can occur in any moment if we push or pull against the experience of now. In fact, if we are not utterly mindful and resting in equanimity in this moment that pushing and pulling is taking place. “I ate too much, I wish I hadn’t …” “Will I experience everything I ought to experience …?”

When the push and pull is in place, anxiety is also present. “I” is also present. Why not focus outside of “I” on generosity and love this holiday season? Relinquish needing things to go any particular wa and embrace the moment as it is.

And while you are at it enjoy this holiday with an open heart. Peace, gratitude, and love to my readers.



  • http://louellabryant.com Ellie

    Guilty of gluttony. Forgive.

Previous Posts

Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
My dharma friend and mindfulness colleague, Elisha Goldstein has a fascinating new book out. It describes the ways that we can harness our own healing power to create natural antidepressants. These five include mindfulness, of course, self-compassion, living in accordance with purpose, play, and a s

posted 12:42:14pm Jan. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Find Your GPS for Success
GPS has become part of our lives. We find it in our cars, our phones, and even in watches (I got one as a gift over the holidays). In any moment, we can know where we are and also communicate that information to others. GPS can be helpful for getting to a destination and lends itself as a metaphor f

posted 11:02:53am Jan. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Getting Past the Tyranny of Should: A Timely Message for the Holiday Season
There are many things we "should" be doing around the holidays. We should be happy, merry, and jolly. We should be with family. We should be the consummate hosts. In the course of the day, we might impose expectations, rules, and agendas on ourselves tirelessly. This is the tyranny of should.

posted 10:36:45am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Finding the Fall Line: The Technique of Practice
As I was meditating this morning, I came up with a new practice metaphor. There were times when I was clearly in the flow of my body, very attuned the myriad body sensations and there were other moments where I was somewhere else or trying to manage some aspect of the moment, almost as if I was tryi

posted 10:13:53am Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Prime Time, All the Time
An add for television streaming service Hulu states, "Every minute of every day should be considered prime time." This clever quip has a double meaning. On the one hand, it reflects the tyrannical notion that every experience that we have should be exciting, entertaining, and novel. On the other han

posted 9:31:08am Dec. 08, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.