Dharma Topic: Gratitude and Love – A Thanksgiving Message

Dharma Topic: Gratitude and Love – A Thanksgiving Message

Discussion date: Thu, Nov 25, 2004 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

We will not be having a Thursday evening gathering this Thursday, 25 November,because of the Thanksgiving holiday — our most "Buddhist" ofholidays.  If we are together with friends and family, it is a wonderfultime to practice love and compassion. In the quote below, Brother David SteindlRast reflects on the connection between gratitude and love.

We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness. And we grow in gratefulness when we grow in love. Here is the link between the two: thanksgiving pivots on our willingness to go beyond our independence and to accept the give-and-take between giver and thanks-giver. But the "yes" which acknowledges our interdependence is the very "yes" to belonging, the "yes" of love. Every time we say a simple "thank you," and mean it, we practice that inner gesture of "yes." And the more difficult it is to say a grateful "yes," the more we grow by learning to say it gracefully. This sheds light on suffering and on other difficult gifts. The hardest gifts are, in a sense, the best, because they make us grow the most. (From Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer).

Warm wishes, Happy Holiday.

Mitchell Ratner 
Senior Teacher

Discussion Date: Thu, Nov 25, 2004