Sakyadhita Canada
NEWSLETTER 
   DECEMBER, 2016

Greetings to all our dear friends and supporters!
 
The Sakyadhita International Conference is just around the corner, being held in Hong Kong from June 22 - 28, 2017.  Check it out   HERE
and see preliminary information on panels, workshops, etc., under the theme of " Contemporary Buddhist Women: Contemplation, Cultural Exchange & Social Action". The biennial event promises to offer a rich opportunity to connect with Buddhist women (and men) and exchange experiences and ideas. We are excited as there will be three Sakyadhita Canada board members presenting papers/workshops.
 
Sakyadhita Canada has a limited amount of scholarship funds available to help offset the costs of a monastic or layperson to attend the conference. Any interested persons are invited to contact info@sakyadhitacanada.org for further information.  


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  It is always interesting to send out a Buddhist newsletter on a so called Christian holiday. And it leads me to research a little how these two can be mixed harmoniously.

  First, I was assuming that Christmas is a purely Christian holiday, and learned that it's not:   It has roots in the winter solstice celebration common to northern people. Christmas trees, holly branches, mistletoe, candles, feasts, gift-giving -- all are older than Christmas "proper." And long celebrated before the birth of Christ. (and just for interest, the new Testament gives no actual date, or year of Jesus birth)
Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of celebration between December 17-25.  

     December 25th, the winter solstice by the Julian calendar, the day of the least sunlight of the year, was the day on which many sun-worshiping pagans worshiped the sun (lest the sunlight should disappear altogether); they also held festivals shortly thereafter in gratitude for lengthening days. 

    Another popular holiday on the Roman calendar, Kalendae (literally, "the first of the month"), or "New Year's Day," was only a few days beyond the Saturnalia. Kalends was dedicated to the two-headed god, Janus, who looked forward to the future and backward to the past. It was celebrated with a feast, garlands of evergreens and the exchanging of small gifts, particularly of lamps with which to light one's path into the future. 

 So I've learned a few things from my research...
Don't believe everything, you believe!...I think the buddha said it a little differently:
 
And what could be more Buddhist than a holiday that celebrates giving, compassion, human warmth, and 
Joy to the world!
Merry Christmas to all.

Donations, ( Memberships) 2017
A time to renew and support
Sakyadhita Canada

Welcome 2017!
Thank-you so much for your support over the last year, and it is now time to renew your Sakyadhita Canada membership for the upcoming year (2017)    CLICK HERE
 
If you would like take part in Sakyadhita Canada, volunteers are very welcome and SC would appreciate your ideas, suggestions and talents - we would be happy to hear from you! Please contact:  info@sakyadhitacanada.org
Take a look at our website: www.sakyadhitacanada.org   
Stay in touch through the Sakyadhita Canada net letter, which is emailed to members & supporters on a regular basis.

Check out SC on FacebookLike us on Facebook - updated daily.
Find out about Buddhist women (and men) in Canada: what are their traditions, forms of practice, needs and concerns. Your generosity and kindness will help to nurture and encourage Dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) in our day-to-day lives.

Compassion

Here she is happy, hereafter she is happy.
In both states the well-doer is happy.
"Good I have done"
(thinking thus) she is happy.
Furthermore, is she happy,
            Having gone to a blissful state.                                                    Dhp. 18
*
Not to do any evil, to cultivate good.
To purify one's mind.
         This is the teaching of the Buddhas.                                                     Dhp. 183

For many, this time of year is a time for joining with others in a spirit of good will and harmony; of optimism and resolve.  A time where blessings are counted and resolutions are make.  A time of hope and of renewal. A time of rebirth.  For those of us who are disciples of the Buddha --- who go to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, for refuge --- this energy of renewal can be particularly inspirational.  It can remind us that every moment is a moment of rebirth; that with each thought and with each action, we are not only choosing our present moment, but are opening possibilities for future moments.  In the Buddha's teaching there are three ways that we achieve this higher level of consciousness. These ways are usually called, "making merit", and through their development, our way of looking at the world is broadened and our hearts are opened. The three ways are: The practice of generosity; The practice of developing our mind; The practice of developing a strong commitment to keeping the precepts.  Through the development of these three qualities we are enriched and happiness is the natural outcome.  This season, the season of generosity and good will, is the season that the disciples of the Buddha cultivate throughout the year. Each moment a rebirth. Each moment a moment ripe with the possibility of happiness now and in the future.                         
S├úrani. 

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