What A Laugh

Company Christmas PartyWhat a wheeze, the company Christmas bash, held in the Village Urban hotel, Bournemouth was everything that we expected tonight. Not being one to over imbibe, I guess I was one of the more sober ones tonight, and what fun!

Of course, to start with everyone was sober, but as time rolled on, and the wine, beer and spirits flowed, inhibitions were slowly eroded and a few home truths surfaced. We are not the largest company in the world, and a little like a family run business, where everyone knows everyone else by their first names.

Observing, whilst not exactly being stone cold sober, I was in the perfect position to watch the fun and games. Not that there was too much to report, but people do say and do the funniest things when they get a bit squiffy. As far as I know, no videos or photos have made their way onto the social networking sites, yet, but it is a good feeling to be able to let, what little hair I have, down, whilst being in total control of my faculties.

I’m sure there will be a few tales told on Monday, but apart from me being an observer as well as a participant, I’m sure none of them will be about me.

Christmas Cheer

Christmas CheerWith families and friends gathering all over the world, to celebrate Christmas, it can be one of the loneliest days of the year for those who find themselves alone.

But rather than wallowing in that loneliness, you should set yourself a goal, and be determined, not to let the situation occur again this time next year. Make causes in the coming months to change the circumstances.

In one of his writings, renowned microbiologist René Dubos, stated. “History teaches that man without effort is sure to deteriorate; man cannot progress without effort, and man cannot be happy without effort.” This is indisputable.

You may be experiencing various hardships now, but because you continue to make efforts in the midst of those challenges, no matter how painful they are, you will definitely become happy. Effort and happiness are indivisible.

A Perfect Gift

The Buddha, Geoff and MeI know, I’m always going on about this brilliant book, but The Buddha, Geoff and Me is the perfect Christmas gift for the Buddhist in your life (if that isn’t an oxymoron).

An amazing, invigorating and enlightening story about a young man’s friendship with a Buddhist, who teaches him the basics of the religion and covers aspects of practice.

For anyone, interested in Buddhism (particularly Nichiren Buddhism) its teachings and practices, in most readable form, this book is a must read.

This book will transform your thinking, help you to control your mood (life states) and lead you towards a more meaningful life. Buy it here or listen to it in podcast form here.

I don’t think it is overstating the case, when I say that this book changed the course of my life forever. It relates Nichiren Buddhism to everyday life so well, and in such an understandable form, it should be required reading for all students, it would change the world.

Peace And Goodwill

As a Buddhist, I am not about to hijack one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, but on this festive day, may I wish you all a very happy Christmas and hope that for once, we can make it through the day without reports of incidents of conflict anywhere around the world.

Peace and Goodwill to all Mankind

Peace and Good Will to all citizens of planet Earth, may our wish of Kosen-Rufu, Peace to all Mankind, come true over the festive season and continue into the approaching New Year.

Namaste ~ Anupadin

Good Will To All Men?

Stolen WreathsWith Christmas just around the corner, you would like to think that the spirit of Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men might have kicked in by now. Sadly there’s not a sign of it. With wreaths being stolen off graves in Ringwood and presents donated for children at Great Ormond Street Hospital also being taken, you wonder at the sickness in our society.

Presumably these things are being taken so that the perpetrators can sell them on. With the economy in tatters and the advertising agencies plugging the latest must have Christmas items, it is little surprise that people are out to make a quick buck or spot a bargain. But where is the honesty and compassion, or have we just stopped caring.

It seems to me, that the more the economic cuts are felt, the less people are prepared to extend the hand of friendship. The ‘me and mine first’ attitude is understandable in times of austerity, but that must not come at any price. So if you are tempted to buy a nice Christmas wreath for the door, or a child’s toy for a knock-down price, from a dodgy bloke in a pub, think again.

Just imagine the emotional suffering that may have been caused by the theft of that item, and if that doesn’t sway you, remember the bad karma that will follow you round until it’s time for you to feel the effects. Remember, just because you may not believe in karma, doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you. Karma is not a punishment, just the result of the causes you make for yourself.

PC Gone Mad?

The following is an email from the boss to his staff …

From: The Boss
Sent: 23 December 2011 16:59
To: The Motley IT Crew
Subject:Merry mas

Dear Staff,

Before you all go your separate ways and eat too much …

Political CorrectnessBest wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all.

Additionally, … I hope you have a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year of 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, colour, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for the wishee or others, and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

Of course this is a joke, but you can just imagine it being the ways things will go in this world of politically correct madness. As a Buddhist, Christmas has lost much of its meaning, certainly in religious terms. It seems to be more and more of a marketing exercise each year. Still, all is not lost if people at least find it a good reason to be nice to each other for a whole day. The pity being, that they can’t find a reason to be nice to each other for the other 364 days of the year.

Heaven And Hell

Heaven And HellA man was offered the chance to visit Heaven and Hell. Upon entering Hell he was greeted by the sight of an infinitely long room filled with tables laden with the finest of foods, meat, fruit, wine and all manner of delicacies. But around the tables sat groups of starving people, crying out in their hunger. He realised that each person was holding a spoon, but the spoons were so long that they were unable to feed themselves.

He then went to Heaven and was surprised to see exactly the same scene. The same room was filled with the same tables, covered with the same food. But this time, around the tables sat groups of well fed, happy people. They too were holding spoons, the same length as those poor souls in Hell. The difference was that these people were feeding each other and so could eat as much as their hearts desired.

Here on Earth, that might just be the difference between our own personal Heaven or Hell. Helping others, in Buddhism, also helps us, indirectly, through the accumulation of positive karma. But whether you are Buddhist or not, helping others is the best way to make life better for everyone, and in this festive season, can give us all a wonderfully warm feeling.

Such A Laugh

Company Christmas PartyWhat a wheeze, the company Christmas bash, held in the Cumberland hotel, Bournemouth was everything, and more, that I expected this evening. Having never been a huge fan of taking taxis, nor getting blotto on corporate hospitality, I was one of the more sober ones tonight, and what fun!

Of course, with the company executives in attendance, people were on their best behaviour as the evening commenced. But as the time rolled on, and the wine, beer and spirits flowed, inhibitions were slowly eroded and a few home truths came to the surface.

We are not the largest company in the world, and we are still a little like a family run business, where everyone knows everyone else by their first names. There was mention made of the fact that all the executives sat together on one table, with comments about the wannabe’s fawning around them, and it all made for an entertaining spectacle as the evening wore on.

Not a drop of alcohol passed my lips all night, so being stone cold sober, I was in the perfect position to watch the fun and games. Not that there was too much to report, but people do say and do the funniest things when they get a bit squiffy. As far as I know, no videos or photos have made their way onto the social networking sites, yet, but it is a good feeling to be able to let, what little hair I have, down, whilst being in total control of my faculties.

I’m sure there will be a few tales told on Monday, but apart from me being more of an observer than a participant, none of them will be about me.

The Festive Meaning

Judging by the adverts on TV, the news reports of lower than expected footfall in the shopping malls of the UK, you might be forgiven for thinking that Christmas existed purely to boost retail businesses.

The actual meaning of the Christmas festival has been hijacked a few times. The original winter festival Yule Tide was assimilated into the Christian religious calendar many centuries ago. There seems to be evidence to show that Jesus was not born on, or even near to Christmas day, but that can be excused as being similar to the Queen’s Birthday.

Father Christmas himself, in his red and white outfit, is an invention of Coca-Cola, although they were not the first company to use images of Saint Nicholas.

I am sure that the birth of The Buddha is exploited in a similar way in Buddhist countries around the world.

I am not saying whether using such festivals in such a way is right or wrong, but I do think that it is important to remember the real reason behind them.

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