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Daily Zen

Surviving Christmas… a zen chnonicle

The last article for the Zen calendar is rather current. As the agape is coming, with its emotional whirlwind and disappointed expectations… how to stay focused?

A series of articles written for the Swiss magazine l’Illustré, with journalist François Busson.

If my work is useful to you, feel free to support me by making a donation on the Patreon platform. Thank you so much!

Surviving Christmas

Of course, Christmas is precious. A moment out of the year, where we come together with family, eat well, and witness love and thanks for small things. In theory… In our time, it’s more likely where ideal collides with reality. We dream of an old fashioned Christmas, with decorations and a crib, but the decorations are plastic, the turkey has suffered before death and Father Christmas has been punched in the nose.

How on earth can we manage this maelstrom of emotions born of the wreckage between our dreams and reality? How to accept that all the gifts are plastic, made in Bangladesh by small girls chained to a workbench, and cope with the horrible feelings that we have about this.

Be aware of your emotions

This period is so agitated that it’s sometimes hard to experience our feelings in real time.We have the impression of running away, everything blowing up, like a race.Even so, being aware of each emotion is still useful. It’s working towrds knowing ourself, which leads to inner freedom and is practised in a lot of different spiritual paths.

The key: An emotion is firstly a physical sensation in certain parts of the body So come back to the body to centre and anchor yourself.

In addition: Each time you “come home” ( to the body) you respect yourself.It is as if you finally realise that you are important as you make this little ceremony to honour yourself.


It sometime happens that certain emotions overcome us completely, or there is a danger that they will. At that moment you can use the following ritual, from the Native American wisdom, which frees us from tension. Breathe in the emotion from the part of the body where you feel it ( head, plexus, throat, belly.. or any other place that is tense.) Turn your head to the past ( often behind you) and blow out a long breath, slowly and softly. Do this as often as necessary.

The key: the breath, as it continues, unblocks the emotion, gets it moving.

In addition: The work is done on a physical and symbolic level, and the efficacy increases with repetition.

If my work is useful to you, feel free to support me by making a donation on the Patreon platform. Thank you so much!

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