When I learned about selflessness as a child, it was the Christian concept of giving unto others and denying yourself in favor of doing good. When I read the Dalai Lama’s short book on meditation, I learned that selflessness is the idea that the self has no individualism seperate from the universe.
Neither of these concepts is sufficient for me. While I have the lifelong preference for the former, because of my upbringing, I also have an inkling of the idea that we are each an iteration of a god that is the universe, and that iteration, that consciousness, is temporary and for the purpose of that universe to experience the life that each iteration leads.
What is truth, I don’t know.
What is joy? The better question. When looking through the Book of Joy, which I have previously mentioned, I found that joy comes from compassion. So the goal is to find compassion as a practice, something that is more difficult that the simple act of meditation.
On this Christmas, perhaps an act of compassion is recognizing that other faiths and other beliefs have their own holiday practices, and although you may say Merry Christmas, you also have Diwali, Chanukah, and a host of other holidays around the same time of year. To be inclusive, and compassionate is to embrace the holidays, to wish someone a Happy Holidays and mean it with a sense of diversity and a sense of welcoming. Just because you worship Christ and celebrate Christmas does not mean you are the only one, or the only celebrant for that matter.
So show some compassion this season. Instead of wishing Merry Christmas exclusively, go for something more inclusive, more compassionate, and wish a happy holidays,