Gratitude

You gotta be kidding........

There is a story in the Buddhist tradition that may get your goat, but I think it will help you to be grateful. As always the story begins with a monk who goes to the Buddha and asks how he can improve the results of his practice? The Buddha reminds him about the importance of non-attachment to the fruits.

After this teaching the monk mentions to the Buddha that he is going to move from the ashram to live and practice in Baltimore City. The Buddha reminds the monk how dangerous Baltimore is. He continues, "You will be verbally assaulted for wearing your robe and carrying a begging bowl."

The monk replies. “In that case I will be thankful for these loving people who shout but do not hit me.”

"But what if they do hit you?" The Buddha replied, "These are dangerous people."

“If they hit me I will feel grateful that they did not stab me,” the monk replied.

“Ah but what if they do stab you?”  The Buddha asked

Then the monk, looking right into the Buddha’s eyes said,

“I will think these people are kind because they did not kill me!”

“I think you know where I am going,” said the Buddha, “my dear monk friend, what if they do kill you?”

Then monk closed his eyes and entered his heart. He took a breath and said, "Some monks get so discouraged on the path, so disappointed with their own efforts and the seeming fruitlessness of the practice that they take their own life.

I will be grateful that death finds me without my having to seek it.”

The practice of finding gratitude for what is going right, for what is the bright side of things can come in handy. This practice can make us not only more pleasant to be around but will release hormones that actually make us feel better. This in turn gives us the endurance to complete our endeavors more skillfully and with more vigor.

Our world is a product of how we think about it. We often see only what we think is true. By practicing gratitude not only can we cure ailments ranging from insomnia to depression but we can put on a new set of spectacles through which the world is seen anew. These are magical glasses reframing your sense of everything. This reframing is the purpose of your practice, to see the truth.

Name one thing that you are grateful for.

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