24 November 2011

Thanksgiving 8:46am

There's a fine enough form of gratitude that consists in ticking off all of the good things and close calls and successes large and small that have come one's way.

This is called thanking, and it's good to do every once in a while.

But there's another form of gratitude, one that can find no words and hence can enumerate no list.  This is the gratitude that swells up with the dawning realization that there's never been an "I" on the receiving end of things to begin with.  There has only ever been the endless burgeoning forth of all there is.  At this point there is only one thing to do: let the burgeoning forth continue by stepping out of the way and letting things move along.

This is called giving, and it has no time of its own; it has no end, either, just as it has no beginning. 

I am reminded of Bodhidharma's take on the matter:
The sutras say, "The Dharma includes no being because it's free from the impurity of being, and the Dharma includes no self, because it's free from the impurity of the self."  Those wise enough to believe and understand this truth are bound to practice according to the Dharma.  And since that which is real includes nothing worth begrudging, they give their body, life, and property in charity, without regret, without the vanity of giver, gift, or recipient, and without bias or attachment.  […]  And as with charity, they also practice the other virtues.  But while practicing the six virtues to eliminate delusion, they practice nothing at all.
May we all practice so very little!

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