I am grateful to live in a time where Buddhas still manifest and teach! Grateful to have a kind Guru like Tsem Rinpoche who gives us the potent remedy for our delusions in order for us to receive true happiness is indeed a once in a lifetime kind of blessing.
All we have to do it just pause and look around us, how many people are actually aware that even Dharma exist, how many are actually even spiritual? Just listen to the conversations next time you’re at public place like the mall. I did and it dawned on to me how ‘zombiefied’ the world of materialism can make us. Our minds are occupied with what’s the next thing to shop, buy, eat, get and acquire that’ll make us a little bit happier, to make us feel good for the moment. And the more we accumulate, the more a little piece of the light inside us gets lost.
It is moments like this that makes me ponder how so very fortunate I am to have stumbled upon a great Mahaboddhisattva that would do everything in His will and power to provide a an environment that is conducive for spiritual practice, just so we can try to learn how to reconnect with our light again… Nurturing and quenching the thirst of our spiritual being that was once lost, to relearn to live again, and to try to practice a path out of pain and suffering. Hence manifested a place like Kechara Forest Retreat, a place where conversations goes beyond the mundane obsessions of just “this life”.
Some of us do not need to even pay to live on this sacred land, no bills to pay, nothing is demanded of us except our commitment in transforming our own mind to become better is required. That’s certainly isn’t much to ask of anyone that one wouldn’t already want for oneself. So how could we not feel gratitude and do everything in our power to at least try to practice? How could we not remember the kindness of our Lama who forsakes His own happiness to live a quiet hermit life in the forest doing retreats, just so we can have a chance to become spiritual practitioners ourselves?
For some like me, it is because of Rinpoche we are even alive now breathing the fresh air of life. So yes, gratitude is a meditation and a reflection for not just today but every day. It is makes us appreciate waking up in the morning, giving us a clearer perspective and a whole lot fresher focus than just ourselves. Thank you Rinpoche for this teaching, and thank you for the greatest gift in life – the dharma. May all those who have a genuine Guru follow their Guru loyally and practice the dharma their Guru has taught them.
May all those who have a genuine Guru follow their Guru loyally and practice the dharma their Guru has taught them.
When we are afraid to express gratitude, we don’t want to reveal what has been done for us and so we don’t have to ‘pay back’ nor remember. Also perhaps we don’t want others to know so we don’t have to ‘pay’ back…..then eventually we become angry and bitter because we are not being honest and true to others and ourselves.. we will not feel good when we just take, take and not give. We need to give and take and take and give then there is a balance. Balance is the key.
Example: A student takes a lot from the teacher eg teachings, love, advice, materials, care, etc and that is in the beginning. Student ‘returns’ or ‘pays’ back the kindness of the teacher by transforming, overcoming fears, helping others and doing less vice and more positive activity for oneself and society. So by a student showing gratitude or anyone showing any gratitude, it is ultimately a training of the mind to overcome self-centricity. Gratitude has that type of effect on our mind. Teacher and student is just one example as it can be applied to many other relationships as well. Gratitude is not meant to remind you negatively how you took something, but a quality in the mind to be developed. To develop the mind to higher thoughts and modes of conduct.
When we express gratitude, then we return it to others and others feel good you remembered. Then others respect you. When they respect you, you feel good about yourself giving little space for anger, hatred and negativity to arise. When you feel good about yourself, little space for negativity to arise and do harm. You have nothing to hide, avoid or feel bad about when you express gratitude. Owing and gratitude are different. Owing is like a loan to the bank that you responsibly pay back. Gratitude is not being afraid to say you needed help, received it and will show the same to others. It is a positive state of mind to another sentient feeling being.
Showing gratitude is one of the best ways to not feel bad about what you received and to positively put you in a position you ‘have’ to give also. It makes you give to others due to the mind being cultivated into higher mode of thought and conduct not guilt. When you give, then you feel good because innately we want to help others. When others are benefitted by us, we innately and naturally feel good. Feeling good can escalate into doing even more for others and vice versa. It just continues. Showing gratitude is acknowledging others can do more than you at the moment and you needed love, help and that is it ok to receive this. It counters jealousy and pride. Big enemies that make our minds unhappy. It also tells us that we are not bad people for needing love and help. Also that when we are ‘better’ we will help others back. It is a good way to live.
It is important to show gratitude in a way that trains our minds and it lets other people know they are appreciated. That is important in mind training. To appreciate the care, help and love you have received is a very strong component of happiness.
Training in gratitude is good for those who are in a secular life and especially good for those developing spiritual qualities of higher attainments, compassion, bodhi mind, wisdom. All good things arise from proper and consistent development within the fundamentals of which gratitude is one of them. ~ Tsem Rinpoche
An excerpt from Rinpoche’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/tsemtulku/posts/10204779946445861:0