there’s a practice in Buddhism, where we see everything as our guru, that is to say, as our teacher. no matter what arises, with it also arises the opportunity to tap into our true nature, our Buddha-nature (awakened nature), to grow in our openness, our warm-heartedness, and our capacity to be with life as it is and respond in a sane and compassionate way. Franciscan Priest, Richard Rohr, says it another way – it is all “grist for the mill”. in other words, it is all usable, all of it can align us with and unify us with the heart of God, where we already reside.
it can be challenging to look at the present moment and 2020 with gratitude. there’s been so much loss and pain. is this saying we should be grateful for the harm, for illness, for injustice and inequity, for pain and suffering? i don’t think so. rather, i believe this perspective is saying that we can be grateful for the opportunity that arises, that these challenges bring us, to open our hearts, to practice kindness and compassion, to awaken to each other’s needs, to the harm and pain, and then exercise the best of who we are in our humanity, putting our love, our compassion into beneficial action. in that regard, 2020 – the year of clear seeing, has brought us a lot to be grateful for.
today, i’m grateful to be spending Thanksgiving at home (the first time in 15 years not working on this day) quarantined with my family. my heart is also aware and holding all who are not able to do so due to the pandemic. for those who have lost loved ones, i say – you are in my heart, held with love, may the love you shared with loved ones passed, comfort you. for those who have chosen to stay home, i say – thank you for thinking selflessly, for taking this pandemic seriously, for sacrificing for your loved ones. you are not truly alone and you are loved.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!!