Thankfulness as an Invitation

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Many of us have spent the last few days doing the traditional American Thanksgiving holiday with families and friends and are already in the mood for appreciating what is wonderful about our lives.

The holiday is a good reminder to be thankful, but one that we can too quickly leave behind.

Gratitude can go deeper than counting our worldly blessings and giving thanks for our health and loved ones, yes? The more we stay in the mood of giving thanks and keep our eyes open, the more we can begin to notice something different about our surroundings.

Maybe giving thanks isn’t just something that we do in our minds or hearts! Maybe there is an invitation here into a whole way of living that we are being reminded about in this yearly ritual – an invitation to begin to deepen our experience and satisfaction with life.

Perhaps at one moment we might take a sunbeam on the table for granted, but with thankful eyes we might see the blessedness of simply existing in a world where the sun penetrates our home, highlighting the simple objects we enjoy.

Perhaps the motion of a breeze flitting through a tree as we go for a walk can now capture our attention with its dance-like motion and lift us in ecstacy, when we would have otherwise ignored it because we were thinking of other (more important?) things.

These are windows of the mind giving glimpses into new awareness of what has been with us all along. Nothing new. Just openings into what is already here.

Sometimes it can take the feeling of the closeness of hunger and suffering in the world to get us to be grateful by comparison to other’s misfortune. When someone dies we are renewed for a moment in our awareness of the preciousness of life. But, again, are not these all just small partings of a veil that our minds are making over the reality that at each moment life is already incredibly and unbelievably precious, just the way it has always been, even when we were ignoring the fact by paying overmuch attention to the mind’s habit of judging what is relevant and what is not?

Thankfulness has the power to open us to what is already here.

What is here is a dance beyond all imaginings, this dance we do as we wake up in the morning and go through our days, one after another.

It is beyond magic, beyond belief; just in the fact that we are here at all!

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