Gratitude

by Seiyo Thomas DeMann

dharmawheelcoloring

Gratitude has always been a shortcoming of mine.  Recently, however, this has begun to change slowly.  With this in mind, I have started to have thoughts of things that I need to be grateful for as I travel on my current path.

Shakyamuni Buddha tells a story of how lucky one is to be born a human.  Gautama says that being born a human is as difficult as if a blind turtle rises to the top of the ocean once every hundred years and his head slips into a yoke as he reaches the top, improbable but not impossible.   How fortunate am I!  Because I was born a human, I have the ability to hear and accept the Dharma which can lead me to enlightenment and nirvana.  I would not have this opportunity if I were born an animal.

Previously, I wrote a Dharma Glimpse regarding the illness that nearly took my life.  It was at this point that things started to change for me in my way of thinking.  Exactly what is this life all about?  From what I have learned in one of the books that we read in this class by Kogen Mizuno who made the statement, “What is the final profound truth?  It is the finding of the infinite life of humankind within the eternal life-force of the universe.”  I found this to be a comforting statement and something to work at.  So how do I work at this?  So what am I grateful for?

First of all, I am grateful for my illness even though I am left with various physical and psychological limitations.  This encouraged my walk down the Buddhist path to find something.  Siddhartha Gautama has pointed his finger to show me what I need to do.

I have learned that life is composed of suffering.  If I do not understand this, I will not search for a way to eliminate this suffering.  

From this………I have learned the following:

I have learned that I should see things as they are.  If I am unable to do this, this will lead to nothing but misunderstanding and delusion.

I have learned that every cause has an effect.  If I do not realize this, my actions will create all effects.  I must control every thought, action and how I speak.  These three things make up my actions.

I have learned the Four Noble Truths are a way to lead me to enlightenment and nirvana.  If I do not understand this, I will be lost in this lifetime.

I have learned that the Eightfold Path is THE way to escape this misery.  If I do not understand this, I will have a miserable existence.  

First of all, I am grateful for my illness even though I am left with various physical and psychological limitations.  This encouraged my walk down the Buddhist path to find something.  Siddhartha Gautama has pointed his finger to show me what I need to do.

I have learned that life is composed of suffering.  If I do not understand this, I will not search for a way to eliminate this suffering.  

From this………I have learned the following:

I have learned that I should see things as they are.  If I am unable to do this, this will lead to nothing but misunderstanding and delusion.

I have learned that every cause has an effect.  If I do not realize this, my actions will create all effects.  I must control every thought, action and how I speak.  These three things make up my actions.

I have learned the Four Noble Truths are a way to lead me to enlightenment and nirvana.  If I do not understand this, I will be lost in this lifetime.

I have learned that the Eightfold Path is THE way to escape this misery.  If I do not understand this, I will have a miserable existence.  

 

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