When I choose to take a moment to sit in gratitude for the life I have been living and the moments that have come to pass I can feel my eternal being fill. I can also feel the internal feelings of despair and grief dissipate into nothing, leaving my inner self full, happy and at peace. I have been told a thousand times, “say your gratitude prayers, it will heal you.” Or, “Be grateful for what you have, it will make you happy.” But to truly understand what this guidance mean is to feel them inside of your body, at least that is how it is for me.
I can feel it now, I can feel how I marvel at the fact that every plant has come from a tiny little seed pod, it has grown from only water and sunlight into a beautiful expression of earth right before our eyes bringing medicine, and a complete natural phenomenon right before us. This is a miracle and I am grateful for it.
I was talking to the Monk here at the Zen center at dinner the other night and I was telling him how going out to dinner makes me so excited, to think that I get to order food, it is then placed before me, I get to eat it and I don’t have to do the dishes or shop or anything fills me with such light joy and gratitude. He then said to me that not placing joy on a particular situation but being grateful for all situations is a beautiful way to look at life. In which I agreed, then I told him, “But actually, everything makes me this excited. I am pretty much always in a state of excitement, joy and gratitude because I have opened to the miracle of what life is and how impermanent it is. I am excited when I get to drive my car, I am excited when I get to go to bed at night and get cozy in my tent, I am excited when I practice yoga with my brothers and sisters here, I am excited to make lunch for myself, I am excited after I take a long hot shower…and so on.” To which he responded, “The Buddha says to be in adoration of all that is in us and around us is Buddha Mind.”
Then it all came together in my heart, I have had a practice for some time now and I have been resting in silence in a state of gratitude, allowing the medicine to sink deep into my soul. The gratitude lead me to the complete adoration of all around me and inside of me. It led me to love and get excited over the smallest things because what I may deem small like walking by a group of wild flowers or watching a bumble bee kiss a flower, these are all tiny miracles. These are all happening all around us and it’s beautiful, amazing, and completely unique unto itself and to be in the present in the presence of what is happening around us and inside of us, this is my practice and what I am grateful for. Thank you to my teacher Roshi, I love you…With or without ice cream, I love you.