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Dr. David Am Koe Beighley, Sunim

Abbot/Senior Monk

White Sands Zen Center

December 20, 2022

Yes, it is clearly the holiday season. With Christmas being celebrated in five days, New Years the week after that, Hanukkah beginning, Buddha's many reasons for celebration. The first episode of "Monk on the Move" was just posted on the White Sands Facebook page, from the beach in Grand Haven in the blowing sand, wind and snow in 32 degree weather, and even that was celebrated!

Tiz the season for so much celebration and the expression of gratitude for all things. Within the past few months, there were new arrivals of babies to our household, the passing into the next realm of my 92 year

old father, visits to his bedside by his older 96 year old brother, his oldest grandson, and his youngest great-granddaughter.

Yes, all things are impermanent and this thing we call a self is only an illusion. The bag of bones we carry around will be transformed into something else and our essence will return to its source within the universes. I recently read a quote that there is "only one essence, and it is shared throughout the universes by all things". I like that sentiment because it directly speaks of the interconnectedness of all things.

Especially at this time of year it is important to think of ourselves as having zero degrees of separation from all other things, people, plants, animals, the earth, sea, and sky...we are bound by an eternal essence that flows within, between, and beyond each and every one of us and each and every "thing".

Keeping that in mind, we must remember the millions of suffering beings who may feel, think, or believe that they have nothing to celebrate. While many of us might have bright lights, tinsel, Christmas trees with presents underneath, we must remember those who are homeless, sick, suffering from mental, emotional, and/or physical disabilities. The ARE us...and we must remember to help as we are able those who do not "have" as we do. While it may be true that not one of us can do everything, every one of us is capable of doing something to help those in need. What are YOU doing??

It is good, right, and proper that we all remember Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path and LIVE the path...BE the path as we traverse not only this season of celebration, but each and every day of our lives!!

May you be safe, may you be well, and may you experience the incredible gift of "being" during this season!


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