24 November 2005

Gratitude and Thanks

Woke up this morning thinking about getting food on the table. It's soooooo easy to jackrabbit, on this particular holiday, into the materialistic. But due to the film What The Bleep Do We Know!?, I've been toying with the concept of consciously creating my day, which actually works far better than I would have expected. But anyway... I moved into thoughts of true gratitude and thanks. Philipp Moffitt says,

Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding. Being relieved of the endless wants and worries of your life's drama, even temporarily, is liberating. Cultivating thankfulness for being part of life blossoms into a feeling of being blessed, not in the sense of winning the lottery, but in a more refined appreciation for the interdependent nature of life. It also elicits feelings of generosity, which create further joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too guarded, and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development.
Once you still your mind a bit from the daily grind of how-tos and must-dos, there's quite a bit to be incredibly grateful for. Anne Cushman says,
As Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh points out, even neutral experiences (the touch of the air on our skin, the fact that we have teeth to chew our food with and do not currently have a toothache) can be transformed into pleasant ones simply through the power of our attention. To encourage this transformation, I often begin my mudita practice by formally "counting my blessings," as my mother used to call it. In a silent inner litany, I say "thank you" for the magnificent gifts of a healthy body: lungs that breathe the cool, foggy air; a nose that smells eucalyptus leaves and banana muffins; eyes that see hummingbirds swooping outside my window; a tongue that has just savored a golden, juicy peach. I express gratitude for my friends, my family, my son riding his tricycle up and down my deck, the doe and fawn that wander through my yard, nibbling on the lower branches of a plum tree. I give thanks that bombs aren�t falling on my city, that tanks aren't smashing through the walls of my house.
I wanted to spend my morning sharing mine with you... so here we go: I am Grateful for:
My sons, Rowan and Kestrel My husband, Jason The fact that Jason is here, with us, to see Kestrel's early months My triumphant mostly unassisted homebirth vbac My health My home The luxury of being able to choose what food I want, instead of having to take what's available, because that's all there is Clean water My job, which allows me so very much freedom and autonomy, and lately is also offering me the challenge of having to really, really think, instead of merely follow orders The fact that I can reasonably awake each day with the assumption that no one is going to be lobbing bombs at me or anyone I love The fact that every day, I have choices in how to behave, and the consciousness to recognize those choices The fact that I am lucky enough to have access to technology and information
And that's me. But as the Dalai Lama says, regarding mudita, the innate delight in the well-being of others,
It's only logical. If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!
So...what are you grateful for?

4 Comments:

At 11/24/2005 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Angela said...

I am grateful that I know you. :)

 
At 12/08/2005 08:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grateful for you posting these thoughts (and others)...
Franziska

 
At 12/11/2005 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Nana said...

I am grateful for having 2 awesome Grandsons and the parents who had them.

 
At 8/21/2006 07:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am grateful that I find reminders like this throughout my day...thanks for reminding me of all my blessings...

 

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