I want to give “thanks,” today, but don’t want to offer it the Norman-Rockwell, “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” way of the holidays. Instead, I want to share how grateful I am for such taken-for-granted “gifts” that I am only beginning to realize most of us have been given.
The first would be my breath and the fact that I can inhale and exhale to my heart’s content (pun intended). I breathe well despite the onslaught of allergies as I grew older and the years of cigarettes I smoked while younger. I’m grateful nothing impedes the passageways and that I can breathe freely.
I can feel the coarseness and the softness that touches me, be it from a raging storm outside, or the light breeze of air-conditioning on a sweltering day inside. I feel warm when making contact with another body or even an object. Try it. Notice how your feet feel warmer when they make contact with the floor. Focus now on the buttocks and thighs as they “touch” the inanimate chair giving them support. Is there the slightest of breezes on the exposed skin? Try to feel the air as it makes contact and “caresses” the hands, the neck, the face.
Let me give thanks for the sense of touch that allows me to perceive this contrast. I’m grateful I’ve had no accident or injuries that would prevent me from experiencing such moment-to-moment stimulus.
I never truly appreciated the taste of coffee until serving in the military. Ask any veteran about this. Once you’ve been forced to drink Army coffee, you cherish civilian-brewed java. There is nothing quite like the first two sips of good coffee in the morning.
Unless you want to focus on another gift to give thanks for, and that is the smell of the coffee brewing, particularly on a morning you’re off from work and someone surprises you with a fresh pot. What is it about coffee “scenting” that makes you want to hit-the-ground-running once the brain senses it?
There is something special about colognes and perfumes that create such an amorous feeling in me. Let’s not forget how prayerful and humble I feel when someone burns incense and the olfactory gland reminds me of worshiping in a church or temple.
Despite losing some hearing – being exposed to too much Rock & Roll and/or artillery fire while younger and serving in Vietnam – I am grateful I can still hear children at play. I can listen to both Beethoven and Doo Wop and appreciate what the composers and performers offer in their music. I’m grateful I can hear you whisper “I love you” perhaps the sweetest sound a man and a woman ever voiced to one another.
Lastly, for still being able to see, I want to thank my lucky stars. (Would you prefer the Greek gods instead?) Yes, I’ll need the help of spectacles, and I know it will only be a matter of time before a cataract develops. But I can look you in the eye and see how much you are just like me and how little difference there really is.
That’s a lot to give thanks for today, and I’m glad I can feel grateful to you.
I love you.
It is nice to see you here again.
The feeling is mutual, my dear. What is it about you ladies from Canada? You make me want to to give up my citizenship in these lower states and move to a state of mind that produces such loving and caring persons.
I am grateful that I have learned to rely on myself to love myself completely as I am.
I am grateful I experienced a life long lesson that was needed.
I am grateful that I understand the difference between needy love which is human love based on needs; verses unconditional love, which humans are capable of giving some of the time.
I am grateful for waking up from the fantasy of perfect human love.
I am grateful to have learned and experienced the fact that humans generally communicate with one another because they need something from another person which can mean just about anything.
I am grateful for understanding that hypocrisy is a part of human behavior. There is no way to rid yourself of your own hypocrisy. You cannot transcend it.
I am grateful that I invested my energy in learning how to get real.
You got real with me, Livvy, and I agree how grateful we all can feel once we try to give unconditionally. You don’t expect a payback, but there can be such an uplifting in the “doing” that one can almost get high from “doing it.”
I’m grateful I can be of some service — no matter how little — to my fellow man and woman.
How many are practicing?
How many are wearing masks/
Getting Real is the practice.
That’s what it’s all about, to really be yourself. Not what your parents, your place of work or what someone, somewhere, sometime wants (or wanted) you to be.
Don’t be dissatisfied with who you are, but be grateful that you are you.
I like this message, but I gotta tell you, I had to go to U-tube to play it because I could only get to the first 14 seconds of John Daido Loori, Roshi, speaking here. Could be my computer hookup, I don’t know. But I want to thank you, Livvy, for the introduction. Having never met before, I hope to learn more about him soon.
Loori died about one year ago. He was the Abbot of Zen Mountain Monestary. He spoke about the “inherent intelligence of wildness.” Actually, I am going to write a post on it right now!
Thanks, I just read the Times report and gained more insight. Now let me comb through Loori’s writings and photographs to get a better “picture” of his offering to the Dharma.
Can you hear me whispering? “I love you, Michael J.” I don’t know what you did while you were away, but the difference is breath-taking. What do I sense? Peace. Truly a gift that we experience when we know gratitude awaits the breath that takes us into our inner speck of divinity. I suspect…that speck is a universe.
I don’t care as much.
Does that make sense? I don’t care where I am “supposed” to be at this stage of the game, or whether I’ll offend someone who might disagree with me. It’s uplifting not to care what someone might think, as long as I stay true to what I feel in a given moment.
I am not so entrenched that I could not change my view on most things, knowing how impermanent they are and how we are all in a constant process of change.
Damn it, this sounds so wishy-washy, so “flip-floppy” that I surprise my self on saying it. But how many things in life do we really need than to love and be loved, to whisper “I love you,” and hear someone say it to you, particulally if that someone is named Amy, also known as the “Soulddipper?”
Isn’t freedom fantastic? And there’s so much of it inside us. Thank God we mature enough to let it out!
It makes all sorts of sense! Congratulations. Your maturity is highly attractive and compelling!
(Would you prefer the Greek gods instead?)
In their time, they were no doubt just as effective as anything the post antiquity world has to offer. People who pray to a stone or image of whatever, has as much faith in their belief as someone who kneels in a church in front of an image of someone that is said to be the son of a God or someone who prostrates themselves in front of a golden image of Buddha or who claims that Allah is the God of all Gods. Simplicity and streamlining of all faiths would go a long way towards solving the world’s conflicts, which so often has their roots in religion (belief systems).
I will drink deeply from a cup of Dionysius and bow to you in thanks my friend. Wouldn’t it be great to get drunk on the wine of spirituality without ever knowing which deity to be grateful to?
Both your spirituality and the unknown “Deity” you would like to be grateful to, exist only within your own consciousness, thus be grateful to yourself for being who you are and what your are.
Grateful for coffee… I love that. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful today.
I can think of no other beverage for the morning to greet me with then a cup of rich coffee Carmen.
Like a kind word from you, it’s good to the last drop!
Awe… you are too kind. Thank you for that! I love that you’re back writing your blog… missed your words of wisdom! Have a beautiful day! 🙂