hh dalai lama

 

Today is the day our culture sets aside for giving thanks, so it’s a good time to do just that. I mean, even a misguided culture has an occasional good idea, right?

So here goes for me:

 

I am grateful for the Buddha, for the teachings, and for the sangha of qualified teachers and fellow practitioners. Without them, my life would have gone on just the same as it always had. With them, I am experiencing basic goodness and sanity and learning how to be of benefit to others and how to be a little bit less harmful in my approach.

I am grateful for the Woman on the Verge, my path and my heart and my most profound teacher, guide, and co-conspirator. She’s got enough steel in her that I can sharpen myself against her and enough love in her that it makes me want to. It is my great good fortune to have encountered her and entered into her orbit.

My wider family. Our daughter, our grandchildren, my brother and sisters, my mother and father and step mother and step father and grandparents and uncles and cousins and aunts. What we are flows through each of our family members in wider and wider circles. You can’t pick out what part is just yours, because they are in you and you are in them. That circle widens and widens to include everyone that ever was or will be, and not just human beans but every living thing.

We are all one.

I am grateful for this new journey. Glad the house was sold to a couple who will love it and be nurtured by it just as we were. Glad to be debt free at last and with money in the bank. Grateful for my career which is now supporting us with my pension. Grateful that I got through that job without having to take a life and without losing mine. Grateful for what I learned about myself and about everyone else, especially about death in all of its many forms. Death, and courage. Basic goodness and basic confusion. Forgiveness and retribution. Compassion and selfishness. That job was a cauldron that cooked everything down to brass tacks, to mix metaphors.

Grateful that I got to say goodbye yesterday to my Grandmother who is slipping out of this world very slowly and to my Grandfather who is going with her, faster or slower, but bound to go where she goes. Grateful for the chance to be with them both in mindfulness and prayer and compassion and deep joy and to wish them well and give them my love.

Grateful that my brother didn’t take any of the bullets that were intended for him in the last SWAT call out. Glad they missed him.

Grateful for you. For your reading here, for your love and your kindness. For sharing your hearts with me and for going forward with joy and trepidation but always going.

Grateful for my health and my basic sanity, for the strength still in me and for my own courage and good heart which leads me always farther into the wilderness of what is. I enjoy my own company and for that I’m grateful, too.

Pilgrimage. My Dharma brothers and sisters. Nature in all of its transcendent glory and presence. The vastness of the sky, the wheeling between day and night. The mysteries of the worlds inner and outer. The many guides and spirits, the angels and demons, the beings of all the realms and the realms and the cord that winds through all things and binds them one to the other.

I can go on and on in this prayer without ceasing, for everywhere I turn my gaze it falls upon blessings too numerous and wild to count. In truth I am grateful for everything just as it is and for this moment in its fullness and strangeness which is the only moment.

For love, in the end, which is my altar and my god.

 

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Namaste, pilgrims!

 

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