Thinking of the Buddhist Proverb, “When the Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear,” is an excellent example of causes and conditions in our lives. In 1905, the conditions were perfect for people living in Canada to hear the Buddha Dharma which caused the Hongwanji-Ha in Kyoto, Japan to assign the first Shin Pure Land Buddhist minister to Canada. We are truly thankful to be celebrating 110 years of Buddha Dharma in Canada.
Much has been written about gratitude, the simple emotion of expressing gratitude (thankfulness, appreciation) can ease some of the suffering of life. Gratitude helps us to view our life in a way which focuses on good qualities and situations. The interdependence of our lives with other people and living beings helps us to experience the goodness in our lives by sharing the emotion of gratitude.
Have you ever experienced being in a grocery store that was very busy, crowds of people shopping in the aisles and the lineup to pay for the groceries was very long? The atmosphere in the grocery store tends to be very stressful and frustrating as people are in a hurry to purchase their items and get out of the store. There seems to be little regard for others and an attitude of frustration as we view ourselves as being stuck in a crowded grocery store. The emotion of gratitude, to be able to have a grocery store, to be able to pick from a variety of foods, to be able to have a shopping cart to carry our items, to be in a safe environment, to be sheltered and in a climatized building, to be able to have money to pay for our items and to be healthy enough to go shopping can easily be overlooked when we are in such situations that are stressful and frustrating.
We live in a life of duality; therefore, if “Misery Loves Company” then “Gratitude Loves Company”.
It is truly amazing how easy it is to be judgmental and unhappy with daily life and events. How easy it is to complain and to be able to share our complaints with others.
The Buddha taught us that With Our Thoughts We Make the World!
It is never too late and it is always the right time to embrace a commitment to practicing gratitude with ourselves and the many people and living beings we share our lives with, enabling us with the ability to live a life which has meaning and joy.
Remember a time when you were grateful, at that moment life was worth living and joyous. We have the capacity to be grateful daily and share our gratefulness with others.
Pay it forward with compassion in our attitude and actions; we all are in need of seeing what there is to be grateful for in all things big and small.
Robert Gubenco Sensei
Resient Minister, Calgary Buddhist Temple
June 30, 2015