Sep 25, 2007

Sensei says...

Cultivate the attitude of gratitude.
We are so lucky to be here living this extraordinary life, with all its comforts and luxuries. Compared to many, we have little to complain about, yet I do find myself complaining about my life. Cultivating this feeling of thankfulness helps to put my life in perspective.

There is a point in the ritual of Chanoyu where the tea bowl is lifted in silent thanks – kansha. This is not just to thank the host for making the tea, but also for all the preparation he has done. It is also to thank all those who came before us in our study, and to thank the growers of the tea and all who had a hand to make this moment possible.

Before my mom passed away, she asked me to keep a gratitude diary. Every night before I went to bed, I would write a list of the things that I was thankful for. Some nights I had to think really hard about what it was I was thankful for because I had a bad day at work or car troubles. Somedays at first, I wrote that was just thankful to just go to bed to get this day over with. As I wrote more and more in my gratitude diary, my lists became longer and I was really grateful for my life, my health, my family, my job, and many little things. It began to change my perspective and during the day I would mentally note some little things that I could write in m diary. A glass of ice cold water, a clean corner of my desk, the ability to call my husband and tell him I love him, driving home a new way.

If we look hard enough there are many, many things in our life that we can be grateful for. Why not change perspective by cultivating the attitude of gratitude?


  1. beautiful beautiful beautiful!!

    thank you:)

  2. Thank you for reading and thank you for the comment.

  3. I was talking to my therapist about it. I am losing that attitude of gratitude. I am creating a monster inside myself that is getting hunger for new things, and when I realize what I have now, it is exactly what I ever wanted, and now I am trapped in a situation that I could get hunger for gratitude and thanks for everything and feel bad for not doing it. As my sensei would say, you must be grateful for being able to see it.
    And I am also grateful for you to show me a way to get out of it. I will start to write, right now, all those things I am grateful for have/be or even lose.

    As a start, thank you

  4. Anderson,
    Thank you for sharing honestly about your life. Sometimes we all get caught up in this material world. Often we ask ourselves, why can't my life be better? Perhaps a better question to ask is how can I make other people's life better? Good luck with the gratitude diary. It helped to change my perspective, and I hope it will help with yours.

    Take care,