Buddhist Centre Features

#EthicalChristmas: Metta Eggs – Collect Moments Not Things...

On Fri, 12 December, 2014 - 19:42
libbydavy's picture
Imagine being given a box of hand-crafted eggs
Filled with heartfelt messages
From people who really care about you

Christmas stirs up mixed feelings for most people. Life is busy enough without adding pressure to spend time and money we might not have, to connect with all our nearest, dearest – and perhaps those we feel we “should” be close to, even if they leave us gasping for air.

Who do we really care about and want to call family, or even “framily” as the dark nights draw us inwards in the North?

Among many other cultural traditions, the winter solstice or yule was a time to feast and celebrate before the longest, bleakest months arrived. Some evolutionary or social biologists see gift exchanges as a way to build alliances in order to survive tough times ahead, be they food shortages in days gone by, or in our case, the deep dark famine of the soul some call February. We wean ourselves off constant stimulation, catch up on sleep and perhaps turn towards what needs attention within, or fly south to Morocco. Or following the middle path, maybe both!

In modern times, no matter how hard we try to preserve our mental environment, we receive a deluge of marketing messages about what we “should” be doing and feeling in December. The perfect happy loving family, which is far from the reality for most. We need to stop “shoulding” on ourselves!

It’s no wonder people living a spiritual life, or at least working towards being more content and happy, might feel quite out of balance during “the silly season” as it has become known.

One thing seems clear. Any invitation to help create more peace and love in the world has got to be worth considering. But how can we do that in our own way, without the pressure? Especially as the cold seems to work more towards contraction than expansion.

Metta Eggs are one way to connect with who we care about at all times of the year, including Christmas. They are a way to say things you might never say out loud. This can be done person to person, or as a group.

They give us fresh access to symbolism and ritual, and create positive ripples throughout relationships, communities and generations.

I’m the lead facilitator and founder of Metta Eggs, and I’m a Mitra (training for ordination) within the international Triratna Buddhist movement. Many people throughout our movement have contributed to Metta Eggs and we are very grateful to many Sangha members who have directly helped with the development of this extraordinary participatory art experience – as advisors, friends, mentors, customers and message writing participants. It has been inspired by a deep connection to the Mettabhavana meditation practice and can be considered a right-livelihood business.

Our process begins with you and I sharing a personal phone or Skype consultation. During this meeting I will help you work out the best way forward, whether that is a small box of five Metta Egg’s just in time for Christmas, or our full social experience for a special occasion.

Our co-founder Graeme Sutherland and I have been Mitras for over six years, and welcome hearing from other Sangha who would like to get involved. We have studios in Brighton and Sydney and have been an active part of the worldwide ethical business movement since 1996.

Our policies and practices directly link to the Triratna precepts and we are working towards becoming a freedom-centred Democratic Organisation certified by WorldBlu. The boxes are certified fairtrade and hand-carved in Northern India.

We look forward to helping support you creating more Metta in your life, at Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, when babies are born, when someone is ill or needs extra support, at any time in life.

Let’s work together to bring more meaning back into sharing presents. But hey, no pressure. Let your Metta ripen in the fullness of time.

Find out how to order Metta Eggs

Follow the Metta Eggs blog

Read more about #EthicalChristmas and our campaign

Libby Davy is co-founder of Metta Eggs, a participatory artist (FRSA) and experienced facilitator.
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