by Doug “Ten” Rose, author of “Reincarnation Through Common Sense.”
[Editor’s Note: We tend to think about gratitude more this time of the year, as we gather together with friends and family and say goodbye to the close of another year and look ahead to the New Year that has just come upon us. But gratitude is something that we can practice every day – and when we do so it can transform our lives. Take a tip from the Buddhist Monks and Nuns in a Southeast Asian Temple that Ten shares with us here.]
Most folks are grateful when something unusually pleasant comes along, great pain ends, or somebody does them a favor. People seem to save gratitude for special occasions.
The people who live at this Temple are grateful nearly all the time for whomever they are with and whatever they are doing at the moment. They remember what a lot of us have forgotten. Even when life seems to suck, there is probably something as well as someone in our life who deserves gratitude. That someone may not have physically done anything for us. They may only have encouraged us, or wished us well. But a good thought is easier to catch than a bad cold, and a good thought can carry a person a very long way. Encouragement and good wishes aren’t the small potatoes they appear to be at times.
Gratitude has a powerful potential to multiply into a series of good events. I’m grateful for that, but then again I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m too broke to get into the poorhouse and just a couple of weeks past suicidal, but things are improving rapidly. A very highly respected spiritual leader has invited me into his community—no money down. Professional altruists care for me and a whole village feeds me. I’m doing very well for a dead guy. So when a wild errant thought still tells me that leaving life may be a better idea than staying with it, there is a pleasantly heavy load of gratitude balancing that errant thought.
I lean on it.
My debt of gratitude is owed to everyone who has put their generous effort into helping keep my boat afloat and teaching me how to adjust my sails to the wind. This debt will not be repaid by my untimely demise. That would make all their noble efforts wasted. And so, morbid thoughts must be replaced with better ones such as gratitude.
I guess whatever thoughts replace suicide are an improvement, but gratitude is special. Gratitude itself is so pure and good that it doesn’t care if I use it as a crutch. Gratitude doesn’t care what form it is used in. It’s just grateful to be working.
I’m grateful that it’s working too.
Excerpted from the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. All author profits sponsor wisdom. Please see http://www.fearlesspuppy.org
Gratitude not only makes us feel better about ourselves and our lives, but it is also associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy. The practice of gratitude is a key component of one of our most popular programs, Tuning Your Core Vibration.