Use Meditation By Mary Jaksch Running toward Christmas at fast-forward pace, there is one thing that is sure to give us pause: What will we give to our loved ones? Every shop is ajangle with Christmas tunes and the shoppers swarm in hordes. It’s hard to avoid being part of this consumers’ rush. Here is a different take on how to be a consumer; it is from a New Year’s wish from Brazil: There are things that can be consumed without consuming the world we live in. These are things that, when consumed, make us better human beings. And, as a miracle, the more we consume them, the more they multiply. May your consumption of beauty, friendship, love, kindness and generosity increase. In Buddhist thought dana, the spirit and act of generosity has always been seen as one of the great perfections. That’s because the act of giving allows us to transcend the barrier between self and other. The image that comes to my mind is that of an open hand. The hand of generosity is open so that it can offer help, support, friendship, pleasure, and love to others. What is the best gift we can give with the open hand of generosity? The best gift is attention. What I mean is full attention. Where we don’t do anything else but focus completely on the other person. Attention means that we hold out the hand of generosity to others in order to connect and support. This gift is free, can be given over and over (not only at Christmas). It builds connection, makes others feel valued, and makes us more peaceful. What is your most precious gift? *** PS: The gift of kindness and attention can be given in any situation. Here is a lovely post by Sebastian on his surfer’s blog that shows how to offer kindness and good cheer whilst trying to catch the wave of one’s life.