Here is a story from our service at church on Sunday. There was a Zen master upon whom many people called for help over the years. People came to her with heart break and strife of all manner, from the seemingly mundane to extraordinary greif. Each person who called upon her undoubtedly recieved her full attention, but she encouraged all of them to practice a mantra of sorts throughout their day, every day. That mantra was this, "Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever." It didn't make much sense to one man in particular. After a year of trying this meditation he returned to her.
"I've been saying this mantra for a year and I'm still selfish and angry and bitter. Please help me!
"Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever." Responded the Zen master. And the man arose with a new understanding and returned to his life able to embrace it more fully.
Our minister Mark remarked how people in Zen fables always seem to just "get it" with the snap of the fingers, and how crazy that made him. But in truth, the Zen master was telling us, that we must be grateful for everything...even the things that drive us nuts are gifts. So with that in mind.
I am grateful for anger, for it reminds me that I love myself.
I am grateful for loss, for it teaches me to appreciate and also gives me room for new joy in my life.
I am grateful for my life's challenges, for they teach me that my love is strong and unbending.
I am grateful for being disorganized, for it teaches me that I am resourceful as well.
I am grateful for adversaries, for they teach me that there is another vantage point.
I am grateful for tears for they cleanse my pallet, making it a welcoming place for the next round of joy.
I am grateful for my solitude, for it teaches me to appreciate my own company.
- And on another note-
I am grateful for my children...in guiding them, they guide me.
I am grateful for my friends who ground me and remind me that we are all in this together.
I am grateful for my family who remind me that my past, present and future are all tied together.
Thank you all. I have no complaints, whatstoever.