Today was another beautiful day here, with early Spring sunshine. And in the afternoon I was fortunate to walk the lanes near my house and look over the fields at the Jura mountains nearby. It was another day where I was struck by the ordinary, simple, kindness of people and their support, as well as moved by the struggles and pains of others who are simply trying to make the best of life with the gifts and talents at their disposal. On days like this it is easy to find space in one’s mind for kindness and spaciousness and practice appreciation for all the good things, big and small, that come our way. This wakens us up to all the gifts which are given to us. When we do this we strengthen our capacity to be calm and relax with life as it is, not as how we want it to be. We are looking at the abundance that it already present in our heart and in our life, not complaining about what we do not have.
Appreciation is a relaxing and peaceful state of mind. It creates a space in which we can accommodate the vicissitudes of life and even think of the welfare of others. Complaint, on the other hand, is frustrating and painful. There’s an element of anger and fixation involved. We are believing our thoughts, taking them to be real. Our attachment to the concept of how we want things to be is stressful, because that concept is always disintegrating. What we wanted to happen is not happening. We think complaining is going to get the world back on our track, but really it results in our being deaf, dumb and blind to the present moment. Narrowing our mind with complaint is unpleasant and claustrophobic, the opposite of contentment.
When we complain, we’re saying that the world needs to change in order for us to be okay. If only our parent or partner would behave differently, if only the food were better, if only there were less traffic, if only the service were quicker—then we’d be happy.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.