Thank you for your end-of-year gift! To show our gratitude for your support, please enjoy this selection of Buddhist Teachings for the Holiday Season. 

Ice Skating Monk Illustration by Whooli Chen
Illustration by Whooli Chen

Generosity is a great gift, both for the recipient and the giver. The practice of giving, or dana, brings joy to both parties, and reduces selfishness and greed in the process—a helpful practice to remember amid the rush to buy gifts and cross tasks off your holiday list.

This season, we’re sharing teachings from our archives to help you cultivate an expansive, loving heart during the holidays and beyond.

Teachings on Generosity

The Depth of Generosity
When we tap into this paramita, Lama Tsomo teaches us, joy flows through us and out of us.

O Bodhi Tree, O Bodhi Tree
A Pure Land Buddhist reverend gets into the holiday spirit with a reflection on Bodhi Day and the value of giving selflessly.

The Joy of Generosity 
Need help getting your kids to help with the dishes after a holiday feast? Vipassana meditation teacher Beth Roth teaches her son the joy of being generous by involving him in a dish-washing extravaganza.

The Bodhisattva’s Gift
The giving season reminds us that when we intentionally reach out to others in giving, positive self-transformation occurs.

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Teachings for Navigating Emotions

Skunked by Gratitude 
Dharma teacher Pamela Gayle White explores how even unpleasant moments provide opportunities to give thanks.

Not Alone During the Holidays
Buddhist teachings about how we’re all connected can be hard to access if you’re alone during the winter season. One writer explains how she rediscovered her holiday cheer.

Mindfulness and Difficult Emotions
Beloved meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg highlights one of the most important uses of mindfulness: helping us deal with difficult emotions.

Starting Over Again
The winter solstice is both the darkest day and the return of the light, and it serves as a reminder for us to let go of everything and begin again.

Teachings for Cooking and Eating More Mindfully

Eating Just the Right Amount
Oryoki, often translated as “just the right amount,” is a highly choreographed Zen ritual of serving and eating food: it exposes our mental patterns and sticking points.

Mindful Eating
Five ways to develop a skillful relationship with food from physician and Zen Priest Jan Chozen Bays.

Giving Thanks from Your Gut 
Here are five ways to be present, connect, and reflect on generosity and kindness when you sit down to eat.

The Joy of Mindful Cooking
Laura Fraser shares tips for practicing awareness in the kitchen.

Teachings for Navigating Relationships and Family Dynamics

5 Teachings on Navigating Family Dynamics
Time at home may be the perfect testing ground for practice. Here are five teachings to help.

Family Awareness: A Relational Path to Freedom in Family Life 
Meditation teacher Bart van Melik explains how the four noble truths can help turn familial conflict into harmony.

Right Speech Reconsidered 
A reflection on right speech in the family from meditation teacher Beth Roth.

When to Speak and When to Listen
Mindful communication teacher Oren Jay Sofer shares advice for having meaningful dialogue that you can use around the holiday table.

Teachings for Holiday Shopping

Tricycle’s Buddhist Gift Guide
Ideas for compassionate presents that spread joy and reduce harm.

Coming to Terms with the First Noble Truth (and My Shopping Addiction)
A holiday shopping reminder from Zen practitioner Alex Tzelnic: suffering can even arise in the form of a new motorcycle jacket (or two).

Ego in the Shopping Cart
Stephanie Kaza offers insights on buying, being, and becoming.

Being Content with What We Have
The next thing you buy won’t make you happy, but a different attitude may.

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