“Thanks For Everything”

柴山全慶 Shibayama Zenkei (1894-1974)

“Reason shows us there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” -Seneca, Letters To A Stoic

“Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously honors the Tao.” – Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell translation

Having an attitude of gratitude isn’t selective. It’s not something we reserve only for the good times. It’s for ALL times. For everything that happens to us.

A good mantra to practice is “Thanks for everything.”

The author Stephen Mitchell in his translation of the Tao Te Ching–which by the way is phenomenal, a must read–relates a wonderful Japanese story told in Zenkei Shibayama Roshi’s “A Flower Does Not Talk.”

A hundred and fifty years ago there lived a woman named Sono, whose devotion and purity of heart were respected far and wide. Ony day a fellow Buddhist, having made a long trip to see her, asked “What can I do to put my heart at rest?” She said, “Every morning and every evening, and whenever anything happens to you, keep on saying, “Thanks for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” The man did as he was instructed, for a whole year, but his heart was still not at peace. He returned to Sono, crestfallen. “I’ve said your prayer over and over, and yet nothing in my life has changed; I’m still the same selfish person as before. What should I do now?” Sono immediately said, “Thanks for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” On hearing these words, the man was able to open his spiritual eye, and returned home with great joy.

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