A Little Poem: ‘Holy-days,’ by elephant journal founder Waylon Lewis.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 2, 2008
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I’m a half-WASP, half-Jew American Buddhist, and I like to have a Christmas Tree. Christmas trees date back to pagan Wintertime rituals. I don’t mind the shining star on Boulder’s Foothills, which many non-Christians regard as an imposition. I say a star’s a star. I take it from the Christians, and I give it to all people: it’s just a star. It’s Wintertime. It’s beautiful, shining on the snowy mountain. America is and always will be a melting pot—that’s why we have racial, religious tensions. That’s also why, once a generation or so, we have Suffrage, or the Civil Rights Act, or President-elect Barrack Hussein Obama. Next generation, we will return (for we can not give that which is inherent) full rights under the law to our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters.

On my Christmas Tree, which my momma calls a Lineage Tree, I hang handmade ornaments that feature pictures of my Buddhist teachers. I hang snowflakes, and (organic) candy canes, and LED Christmas lights. I love Christmas: I love simple, personal presents. I love cozyness, and world-quieting white snow, which still hasn’t come to my hometown in Colorado this year, even though it’s December 2nd. (Global warming?). I love fires, and dinners, and parties with friends and colleagues.

I love, at this darkest time of the year, remembering that life is short, and it progresses quickly, and memory fades, and all that really matters is being a good person, and making the better of two iffy choices every step along the way. It’s a wonderful life, after all.

So let’s put the ‘holy‘ back in the Holidays. Let’s buy gifts that better the world, and support good people doing good things. Let’s put away our phones and laptops and TVs—if only briefly—and make some eye contact, and say the obvious: “I love you, and this is why.” Or, “I’m sorry things have been funny between us. Let’s be genuine, and have a good talk.” Because, before you know it, one third of your friends will have died of old age or accidents or dis-ease. Why, just a week ago, an only-recently-perfectly healthy friend of mine passed away of cancer.

In Buddhism we say: this precious human birth is fragile. Make good use of it. Think about others as much as you do yourself. Meditate a few minutes, at least, each morning. Don’t chase after the fast food of life: sex, bad food, money, big houses, big cars. They don’t make you happy. The only thing that makes you happy is you sorting yourself out.

As my parents’ Buddhist teacher used to say, Good Luck, Sweetheart. We’ll need it.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


10 Responses to “A Little Poem: ‘Holy-days,’ by elephant journal founder Waylon Lewis.”

  1. Shari says:

    I agree! Holy back in the holidays!!!

  2. elephant says:

    Shari Soroka at 12:31pm December 2
    Excellent! Love it! Holy back in the holidays!

    Francesca Hussein Reed at 2:12pm December 2
    Waylon is the top-of-the-shelf all-the-way-round best.

    Waylon Hussein Lewis at 11:34am December 3
    Flattery will get you…everywhere, with me. Thanks for the generous words.

  3. swati jr* says:

    i think i may have just shed a tear. [for real] blessings, thank you. love, the grinch.

  4. nancy a says:

    i loved this.. beautiful and sweet and simple. nice W!

  5. Bella says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you so much for the simple, beautiful "realness" of it. Namaste.

  6. Beautiful! I just saw this when it popped as a "you may also enjoy" link following the post I wrote about "holy days." "A star is a star." — Yes! We all need a little extra starlight and holy in our days.

  7. Shivani says:

    a belated Thank You for the words you wrote – I am working on bringing back the Holy and I love this support you give! Namaste:)

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