Offered by David Mushin Keeber: Thanksgiving is in two days. And my email and Facebook accounts are loading up with testaments of gratitude and thanks. There is an annual gush of these sorts of things at this time, and I often chafe at them. Why, I ask myself, do these feelings only come out on a legal holiday? But, given a bit on consideration, some time on the cushion, and a goodly dose of humility, I have come to think of these posts in this way.
Whenever someone says they are grateful and offers that up to everyone, that is a good thing. If the holiday itself presents the impetus to raise our voices in thanks, so what? Or more appropriately, so much the better! With so much challenging news, so much to distract us from our blessings, whenever we can be direct and clear about our feelings of gratitude is a good time. Let me, therefore, add my voice to the chorus.
I am deeply grateful for this little space in which we gather weekly. A dedicated space in which to practice, one that is filled with the intention of our aspirations is a gift. Not having to shove the kids’ toys out of the way, no telephones (if we remember to turn off our cell phones while we are sitting!), and its one sole use is remarkable and invaluable. I offer a deep bow to our host, Eisho Peterson, for this gift. Thank you.
Having others with whom to sit regularly has made my practice stronger. Certainly, and in the end, this is a solitary practice. But being alone together is also a gift. Through the years our attendance has waxed and waned, but there has always been a core and for those souls, I am deeply grateful. Thank you.
Finally, I am thankful for the practice itself. While my understanding, engagement and perspective on this practice has changed and deepened through the years, it has always stood as a center post in my life. For this, I am deeply in gratitude to those who have gone before me and kept the Dharma alive. Thank you.
There are tons of other things for which I hold gratitude. The list is endless. I am making it an exercise to write them down and then act intentionally to thank those to whom I owe that gratitude. That action alone has been transformative. Truthfully, all of us can make long lists if we spend a fraction of a second thinking about it. Make your own and add them here, if you wish. But, do make your list as the effort invested is time well spent.
I offer a deep bow in thanks, this day and every day.