Christmas day passed without major event. For the most part, it was a quiet and reflective day, and in the evening I opened the Zen Center for only one participant, but was glad that I was there for the one. It's not the number that matters, but the sincerity of the practice.
In other news, at 4:19 am Christmas morning, a Mac user in Portland, Oregon Googled the somewhat improbable words "theories not yet proven cut chemist" and managed to become the 90.000th visitor to Water Dissolves Water. I point this out merely because at my current hit rate (21 per day), it will be a long, long time before I get to the more significant milestone of 100,000 (significant at least to our base-10 numerical system).
But back to Christmas. What, you may ask, does a Zen Buddhist care about Christmas? In response, I ask if am I supposed to ignore the holiday hype, the gift giving, the lights and the trees and the sometimes forced merriment? I'm often amused to observe my Jewish friends try to pretend that they don't acknowledge the existence of the holiday (even though, I notice, they still take the day off from work). Christmas is a cultural event as much (some argue more) than a religious holiday, or as Richard Dawkins, author of "the God Delusion" put it "understanding full well that the phrase retains zero religious significance, I unhesitatingly wish everyone a Merry Christmas."
And finally, R.I.P., James Brown.