The Perfect Gift. Plus, Top 5 Elephant Articles of All-Time!

Via on Dec 18, 2010

Give Ole’ Santa a break!

Finding the right present for a loved one can often be a disastrous process saturated with anxiety and confusion. Navigating hectic holiday traffic and chaotic crowds of frantic shoppers is enough to send anyones nerves into a tissy. Rummaging through Best Buy looking for the right gift only to settle for a gift card is a disappointing Saturday to say the least! Besides, most of us already have our fair share of grooming kits,  insulated socks, and neckties.

I am not suggesting we do not buy gifts for our friends and family.  I am just “info-mercialing” the hell out of the ordinary to make my silly alternative seem even better…

So what is my alternative? Links.

We never think of links as gifts, but they are a lot like books. Links lead to information, and new information gives rise to new experiences. New experiences create new perspectives… So, passing on a link can change someones life. Change a life, change the world. What a gift! Its the law of causality, thermo-dynamics, attraction, or something like that… The point is its a law! Plus, its a paperless eco-friendly alternative to the forest killing book (shallow attempt to gain support from my environmentally conscious anti-e-book audience.)

With one simple click you could pass on an article about meditation to an anxious friend of yours. Could that be the gift s/he remembers for the rest of their life? Instead of buying your cousin or co-worker a gift card to Macaroni Grill, you could send them a link to a recipe blog you have come to appreciate. “Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime,” is the biblical way of saying, “It is the gift that keeps on giving!”

It is also a great solution to depleted funds. An e-mail, with a nice holiday greeting, personalized message, and link attached to your favorite blog or article is not only a thoughtful gift— It’s free!

In addition to fruitcakes and Snuggies lets give the “Mindful Life” to our friends and loved ones this Christmas. I have included an example of what this might look like, complete with my top 5 Elephant articles of all-time; plus a bonus link to an article I wrote about the basics of meditation. This is my gift to you— you’re welcome!

Now, lets get started gifting links!

Dear Elephant Readers,

Here are a few articles, which in a sophisticated manner articulate the ideals and principles that mean a lot to me. Each one, in their own unique way, has contributed to my perspective and appreciation of the “Mindful Life.” In these articles, I hope that you find the same peace and joy I have found. May this peace and joy inspire us all to do what we can to contribute to the sanity and well-being of our human family. I hope that you and yours have an amazing Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Ben Riggs

My 5 Favorite Articles on Elephant:

  1. Buddhism vs. Speed: Busyness is Laziness, by Dr. Reggie Ray.
  2. Is Yoga Un-Christian? by Angela Raines
  3. Buddhists Have It Wrong About Original Sin, by Scott Robinson.
  4. Why Vegetarian does not Equal Healthy (written by a vegetarian)by Ricardo das Neves.
  5. Touch—and Go. ~ QOTD, by Chogyam Trungpa.

Ok. Ok. I love funny. I love intelligence. Here are the two articles on Elephant that I think unites intelligence and humor most skillfully.

Parents: 1,000,000. Equanimity: 0 and The Plague of Woo Woo both by Joslyn Hamilton.

P.S.Want to teach someone to fish, and buy them a fishing pole? Get your friends, coworkers, and/or loved ones a subscription to Elephant Journal this Christmas! Its cheaper than a personal grooming kit! Click here to give your friends a subscription to the Mindful-Life!

Happy Holidays.

About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist & Christian spirituality and politics for The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, The Web of Enlightenment, and is the editor & chief for Henry Harbor--an online magazine concerned with art, culture, spirituality, & politics in the deep South. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Looking for a real bio? Click here to read my story....

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2 Responses to “The Perfect Gift. Plus, Top 5 Elephant Articles of All-Time!”

  1. Great blog, Ben. And a great list. Some of those blogs have mind-boggling discussions attached to them, too, particularly
    Buddhists Have It Wrong About Original Sin, which I once dubbed "The best discussion ever on Elephant myself."

    I love this idea of bring back the great blogs from the past, which are completely new to a great many readers. You do it here. Waylon's doing a lot of it on Twitter. I encourage all contributors to think up more creative ways to highlight their favorite blogs from the past, the way you did so skillfully here.

    Thanks,

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

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