Dear Still Water Friends,
I think of Thanksgiving as the most Buddhist of the American holidays. It encourages us to break down barriers and to be grateful for what we receive. As Roger Walsh highlights in the quote below, giving thanks and expressing our gratitude enriches us. The more we give, the more we receive.
I wish you a joyous thanks giving,
To Give Is to Receive
From Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh
While forgiveness heals the heart of old hurts, gratitude opens it to present love. Gratitude bestows many benefits. It dissolves negative feelings: anger and jealousy melt in its embrace, fear and defensiveness shrink. Gratitude deflates the barriers to love. . . .
Like other attitudes, gratitude can be cultivated. We don’t have to wait for our fairy grandmother to shower us with gifts before feeling thankful. We can develop gratitude by reflecting on the gifts that are already ours. This reflections can be done for a minute, a day, or throughout a lifetime. Most people celebrate their birthday and holidays, but those who cultivate gratitude celebrate every day. We can be grateful because we are happy, but we can also be happy because we are grateful.
We tend to forget how very different the laws that govern the mind are from the laws that operate in the physical world. In the world, if we give a physical thing to another person, whether it be a toy or a diamond, we lose it. Yet in the mind, the opposite is true. Whatever we intend for another person we experience ourselves, whatever we give we gain, whatever we offer flowers in our own mind.
If you feel hatred toward someone, that hate boomerangs back and scorches your own mind. On the other hand, if you offer love to someone, that love first fills and heals your mind. Once this is understood, the desire to hate and hurt starts to shrink, while the desire to love and help begins to flourish.