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Thread: Expressing Gratitude Is Transformative....

  1. #1

    Expressing Gratitude Is Transformative....

    Catching up on the Buddhist magazines, I just came across a lovely, simple practice on Gratitude from the late Daido Loori.

    Expressing gratitude is transformative, just as transformative as expressing complaint. Imagine an experiment involving two people. One is asked to spend ten minutes each morning and evening expressing gratitude (there is always something to be grateful for), while the other is asked to spend the same amount of time practicing complaining (there is, after all, always something to complain about). One of the subjects is saying things like, "I hate my job. I can't stand this apartment. Why can't I make enough money? My spouse doesn't get along with me. That dog next door never stops barking and I just can't stand this neighborhood." The other is saying things like, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work; there are so many people these days who can't even find a job. And I'm sure grateful for my health. What a gorgeous day; I really like this fall breeze." They do this experiment for a year. Guaranteed, at the end of that year the person practicing complaining will have deeply reaffirmed all his negative "stuff" rather than having let it go, while the one practicing gratitude will be a very grateful person. . . Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change our way of seeing ourselves and the world.
    It is from a book we recommend around here by him (Bringing the Sacred to Life) on "at home" liturgy ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...t-home-liturgy

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Coming from someone who has spent most of their life elevating complaining to a fine art, the practice of expressing gratitude is indeed powerful and transformative. Thanks for this Jundo. I am going to practice this morning and evening.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 08-25-2013 at 07:32 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  3. #3
    Hello,

    This is a valuable teaching indeed. A non buddhist friend of mine has cultivated that practise for a while now and says it has been very transformative.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  4. #4
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    With gratitude. . .


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    A beautiful book and a great practice, thank you for the reminder
    Gassho


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    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  6. #6
    Yes Jundo, this is a wonderful practice, thank you ... I am grateful for you, Taigu, this Sangha, and this practice.

    Gassho
    Shingen



    If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
    ~ Dogen Zenji

  7. #7
    Well, that s just a brilliant and most profound practice, a way to bow with body- mind and open our hands: i will put this into practice as from today. Thank you Daido, thank you Jundo, thank you all !!!

    Gassho

    Taigu

  8. #8
    Something unusually wise from Alanis Morissette:


    how bout getting off all these antibiotics
    how bout stopping eating when I'm full up
    how bout them transparent dangling carrots
    how bout that ever elusive kudo

    thank you india
    thank you terror
    thank you disillusionment
    thank you frailty
    thank you consequence
    thank you thank you silence

    how bout me not blaming you for everything
    how bout me enjoying the moment for once
    how bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
    how bout grieving it all one at a time

    thank you india
    thank you terror
    thank you disillusionment
    thank you frailty
    thank you consequence
    thank you thank you silence

    the moment I let go of it was the moment
    I got more than I could handle
    the moment I jumped off of it
    was the moment I touched down

    how bout no longer being masochistic
    how bout remembering your divinity
    how bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
    how bout not equating death with stopping

    thank you india
    thank you providence
    thank you disillusionment
    thank you nothingness
    thank you clarity
    thank you thank you silence


    In gassho


    T.

  9. #9
    Thanks a lot for the reminder, Jundo - I have a "Gratitude Journal" in which I used to write regularly, but haven't done so for several months now.
    I can only confirm how good such a practice can be. And I will now try to re-establish that habit.

    @Taigu:
    Thanks for these lyrics! What a coincidence, I thought about looking them up a few days ago, as a neighbour of mine is an Alanis Morissette fan and I thought about this song (don't worry, I don't believe in telepathy). ;-)

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    A great humbling practice and reminder
    Thank you!

    Gassho
    Shohei
    Ordained Zen Priest in training
    http://dirkinstitches.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Something that resonates deeply with me. Thank you for the reminder

    Gassho,

    Daido


  12. #12
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Very useful practice, myself been going through a very negative period in regards to work and been looking for some sort of reset button to help bring things back into perspective.
    A simple yet valuable reminder.
    Thank you.
    The more I learn, The less I know.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks for this Jundo and Taigu I love that song! Every time I hear her sing that it gives me a chill.

    I personally believe that metaphysics is real so I am just going to throw my 2 cents in here, for those who might want to read it. When you express gratitude, you are sending out an energetic message "I have this". When you appreciate what you have you open the door for MORE to come to you because you are vibrating with the frequency of already having. If you express frustration about something you don't like then you are saying " I don't have"; same thing with jealousy.

    While we are on lyrics I like this one from Sheryl Crow

    "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got"

    Gassho C

    (when I give up caffeine for Ango you might get less of these "inspired" posts )
    Last edited by Clark; 08-26-2013 at 02:22 PM.

  14. #14
    here you are...





    gassho


    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  15. #15
    Many thanks to all!

    Gassho

  16. #16
    Many thanks to all.
    Gassho

  17. #17
    Thank you for bringing up this gem again, Jundo
    Gassho
    Myoku

  18. #18
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Another powerful practice.

    On the down side, between smiling at people and being grateful for things, I barely have time to be angry anymore (although I sometimes manage in bad traffic!)
    "You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way." - Shakyamuni Buddha

  19. #19
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Thank you.

    This reminds me of the old story about the identical twin children, one an extreme optimist and the other an extreme pessimist. The parents got worried and took them to a psychologist, to see if there was something that would balance their emotions. The psychologist advised the parents to try something at an upcoming birthday party for the twins. "Buy the pessimist everything he has ever dreamed of" he said, " and get the optimist a pile of horse sh#*!"

    The parents did so, and on the birthday, the pessimist ripped open his gifts, only to exclaim " is that all there is?" The optimist, on the other hand, gleefully started digging through the pile of horse manure, smiling and laughing. When asked what he was so excited about, he said "where there's sh#*, there must be a pony."

    Gassho,
    William

  20. #20
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing!

    It certainly shows the power of affirmations and what we 'steep' our minds in really determines how they 'taste'

    This would be great for me to make into a regular practice,

    Alex

  21. #21
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Great story William. Thanks all
    Gassho
    C

  22. #22
    Thank you for this. I was definitely a complainer today. lol

    Gassho,

    Risho

  23. #23
    ...The other is saying things like, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work; there are so many people these days who can't even find a job. And I'm sure grateful for my health. What a gorgeous day; I really like this fall breeze." ...
    THIS IS VITAL:

    I so appreciate the power of the above Practice. But I am going to say that we would miss the mark a bit if only expressing our ordinary sense of "gratitude". Better said, there is ordinary "gratitude", but then there is a "Buddha's Gratitude" which is not dependent on what we "like", seeing that the "pro's outweigh the con's", not based on "looking out for the positives" or experiencing the "gorgeous" day.

    Ordinary human gratitude is what we are encouraged to feel in the above exercise, and it is fine. But it merely asks us to try to see the "silver lining" and the parts of things that please our little self.

    A Buddha's Gratitude is Vast and Unlimited ... a Gratitude both for that which we love and that which we may not, a Jewel beyond yet holding mere "silver linings" "brass rings" and "lumps of coal". It is a Peace and Wholeness which transcends "pro vs. con", a Beauty which sees even the ugly times as "gorgeous day". We are grateful for life, for death, for health, for sickness. It is a Gratitude in the face of a cancer diagnosis, Gratitude that dances all disappointments, A Gratitude which comfortably holds even the tragedy of Syria or any other bloody field (a Gratitude that is Grateful, even as we seek to stop such tragedies in the world).

    While it is a lovely Practice to not complain, and to learn to see the "bright side" ... this Light holds light and dark and all shades in between.

    So, yes, please practice daily the expressing of gratitude, and complain less and see the "negatives" less ... yet also Sit a Buddha's Gratitude.

    This is Vital!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-27-2013 at 08:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Thank you Jundo,
    just to express my perspective: The excerpt is from Daido Loori's book bringing the sacred to life (which as you might remember I was trying to translate a few years back because it is so powerful). This excerpt is just an example in his introduction to services practiced in Zen. Prior to the example he writes "The service is also an expression of gratitude for the teachings of the historic buddha" and so on, an then he gives this example, saying "Imagine an experiment" ... so he's not selling this for the teaching or the practice but giving some example we all can imagine and try and find ourselves being transformed. So, from my point of view, Daido Loori is not missing the mark here, he's not even trying to express the mark in this what just is an example of how we are transformed by certain behaviours.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  25. #25
    Yes, Myoku, I changed my words to say that WE miss the mark if only expressing our ordinary human feeling of "gratitude".

    Much gratitide tou you and Daido.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Junior Member gwz's Avatar
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    Lol!

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Jundo, thank you for reiterating how the practice of gratitude can help our world view become a right view. As well, by following the links we discover Shankman's "The Experience of Samadhi" which is very timely ( and for which I am very grateful) in my re-introduction to the Abhidharma and considering its import to our daily practice of shikantaza.
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo, that was very insightful.
    ( Buddhist Golf Clap)
    Gassho C

  29. #29
    Member glow's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo, Taigu, and everyone for this beautiful reminder.

    Gassho,

    Glow

  30. #30
    Member glow's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo, Taigu, and everyone for this beautiful reminder.

    Gassho,

    Glow

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