Gratitude in Difficulty

Here’s another passage from Morning Pages–a practice that I fell out of with a recent work schedule shift, but I’m making every effort to get writing regularly again. I just finished one of my Morning Pages journals, and in the first pages of the new one, I dedicated the efforts to gratitude, as it was the day after Thanksgiving. While I do not want to limit my Morning Pages and their creative openness, I’m taking a meditation on gratitude as a general inspiration for this journal, and this is the second entry with that spirit.


 

Look! Two days in a row! I’ll get back into this. Well, as I look at these pages, I think on gratitude. Perhaps, a general intention for morning pages is wrong, but I won’t let it guide my writing beyond a general mindset.

It’s hard to feel gratitude sometimes. Your mind can be compressed to a few square inches of mental space where it walks the same grounds of complaints and anxiety again and again. The trick is not to get trapped here and think that those thoughts are the mind. Getting beyond the focus on these gets the mind loose into its true nature–openness.

For instance, this morning, I can’t find my keys–which is a serious annoyance for me. I also have a headache and body pains. I’m hungry. I’m tired. As I focus on these other grievances come out and multiply. A legion.

However, if I take a moment, breathe, and relax into just being here–writing in this particular now–the thoughts slip past.

Here is one of the greatest gifts of mindfulness–setting the mind see and not confusing it with the thoughts that come and go.

Such openness allows the spacious embrace of gratitude to come in every moment, even when you have a headache. 🙂

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Right after I finished writing this entry, I read this passage:

It doesn’t matter what comes up. You don’t have to analyze anything when you are meditating. You can simply maintain your dignified posture and pay attention to your breath. The technique is that you look at the thoughts as they arise and say to yourself, “thinking.” Whatever goes through your mind is purely thinking, not mystical experience. Label it thinking and come back to your breath.

So you are there. You are thinking.You don’t try to get away from your thoughts, but you don’t stick with them or encourage them either. Thought patterns are just ripples on the surface of the pond. They come and they go. They merge into each other, and you take the attitude that they are not a big deal.

Bodily aches and pains and physical irritations also come and go. They may seem more problematic than your thoughts. But in meditation practice you regard physical sensations as also thought patterns. Label them thinking. Aches, pains, pins and needles–all thinking. This keeps everything simple and straightforward, so that you can appreciate everything as port of one natural process.

–Chögyam Trungpa, Mindfulness in Action, pp. 22-23.

May this inspire you to find gratitude even in difficult days. May you see that your thoughts are not your mind.

Gassho!

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Avril
    Nov 30, 2015 @ 07:27:55

    As ever Zack beautifully and authentically written and very timely for me. I was unable to post this comment on your site for some reason, hence the e-mail. Thank You

    Warm wishes

    Avril

    Avril

    *”Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” Carl Jung*

    https://multidimensionalreality.wordpress.com/

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Human-Multidimensional-Experiment-Time-ebook/dp/B00PY2WZ7A

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Multidimensional-Paradigm-Seeds-New-Consciousness/dp/1503154130

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • zeuslyone
      Nov 30, 2015 @ 16:28:24

      Thank you so much for this, Avril! I greatly appreciate the comment, and it means even more to me that this resonated with you. It’s funny how serendipity reveals timely wisdom again and again in our lives. You’re welcome for the words–thank you for the message!

      Best Wishes,
      Zack

      Like

      Reply

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