In Gratitude

gv-still-life-3

In gratitude, you have watered seeds of love in me, in gratitude.

In gratitude, I will water seeds of love in someone too.


This simple song that we sang tonight at Blue Heron Sangha says a lot about changing the world, one step at a time.

Breathing in…

Breathing out…

Grace also led us in a gratitude exercise this evening as well.

We read the following passage, first:

There are moments when we feel very grateful for the other person in our life. We deeply appreciate his or her presence. We are full of compassion, gratitude, and love. We have experienced moments like this in our life. We feel so grateful that the other person is still alive, that she is still with us, and has stood by our side during very difficult times. I would suggest that if such a moment happens again, take advantage of it.

To truly profit form this time, withdraw to a place where you can be alone with yourself. Don’t just go the other person and say, “I’m grateful you are there.” That is not enough. You can do this later. Right at that moment, it is better to withdraw into your room or to a quiet place, and immerse yourself in that feeling of gratitude. Then write down your feelings, your gratitude, your happiness. In half a page or one page, do your best to express yourself in writing, or record yourself on tape.

This moment of gratitude is a moment of enlightenment, of mindfulness, of intelligence: It is a manifestation from the depths of your consciouslness. You have this understanding and insight in you. But when you get angry, your gratitude and love do not seem to be there at all. You feel as if they have never existed, so you have to write them down on a sheet of paper and keep it safely. From time to time, take it out and read it again.

The Heart Sutra, a scripture that is chanted daily by many Buddhists, is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings on wisdom. What you have written is a Heart Sutra because it comes from your heart–not from the heart of a Bodhisattva or the Buddha, but from your own heart. It is your Heart Sutra.

(from “Anger,” by Thich Nhat Hanh)

Then, we took a few moments to do it.

Very powerful stuff, this Personal Heart Sutra.

You know there are times in your life when you do not feel gratitude. However, right now is not one of them, and you can stop now, and notice your breath, as you are sitting there, reading this post, and become aware of the gratitude welling up inside you, for all that life is…the totality of it…and find yourself reaching for the pen and paper when it seems right…to write…and know that in the days and weeks and months ahead, when you may not be in touch with the gratitude, you can read these words that you have written, and know just how grateful you really are.

Go Gratitude!

Be well, and at peace,

Phil

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