Not wasting a day

Continuous practice, day after day, is the most appropriate way of expressing gratitude.

This means that you practice continuously, without wasting a single day of your life, without using it for your own sake.

Why is it so? Your life is a fortunate outcome of the continuous practice of the past. You should express your gratitude immediately.

Dogen quoted in Kazuaki Tanahashi,  Enlightenment Unfolds Kazuaki Tanahashi

How much we are missing

Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness. Day and night, gifts keep pelting down on us. If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us. But we go through life in a daze.

A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep. How much we are missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.

Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning. Everything is a gift.

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy – because we will always want to have something else or something more.

David Steindl-Rast

Blue

We have had bright Summer weather all week here, spacious blue skies, something of a rarity in Ireland

I thank God for most this
amazing day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural, which is
infinite, which is yes.

e. e. cummings

Meditation comes alive through a growing capacity to release our habitual entanglement in the stories and plans, conflicts and worries that make up the small sense of self, and to rest in awareness. In meditation we do this simply by acknowledging the moment-to-moment changing conditions… Without identifying with them, we can rest in the awareness itself, beyond conditions, and experience what my teacher Ajahn Chah called “jai pongsai”, our natural lightness of heart.

Wise attention has a gracious witnessing quality, acknowledging each event – whether boredom or jealousy, plans or excitement, gain or loss, pleasure or pain – with a slight bow. Moment by moment we release the illusion of getting “somewhere” and rest in the timeless present, witnessing with easy awareness all that passes by. As we let go, our innate freedom and wisdom manifest. Nothing to have, nothing to be. Ajahn Chah called this “resting in the One Who Knows.”

Jack Kornfield, A Mind Like Sky Meditation