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Aloka
13 Dec 10, 18:41
I was touched by this article I found by Ajahn Sumedho and wondered if anyone had any comments or reflections after reading it.


The Gift of Gratitude

- Ajahn Sumedho recounts the joyful unfolding of a deep appreciation for his teacher and parents.

"Even if one should carry about one’s mother on one shoulder and one’s father on the other, and so doing should live a hundred years . . . moreover, if one should set them up as supreme rulers, having absolute rule over the wide earth abounding in the seven treasures—not even by this could one repay one’s parents. And why! Bhikkhus, parents do a lot for their children: they bring them up, provide them with food, introduce them to the world.

Yet, bhikkhus, whoever encourages their faithless parents, and settles and establishes them in faith; or whoever encourages their immoral parents and settles and establishes them in morality, or whoever encourages their stingy parents, and settles and establishes them in generosity, or whoever encourages their foolish parents, and settles and establishes them in wisdom—such a person, in this way repays, more than repays, what is due to their parents."

—the Buddha, Anguttara-nikaya 2.32


"MY FATHER DIED ABOUT SIX YEARS AGO. He was then ninety years old, and he had never shown love or positive feelings toward me. So from early childhood I had this feeling that he did not like me. I carried this feeling through most of my life. I never had any kind of love, any kind of warm relationship with my father. It was always a perfunctory “Hello son, good to see you.” And he seemed to feel threatened by me. I remember whenever I came home as a Buddhist monk he would say, “Remember, this is my house, you’ve got to do as I say.” This was his greeting—and I was almost fifty years old at the time! I don’t know what he thought I was going to do."


continued : http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/gift-gratitude


:hands:

Cobalt
14 Dec 10, 03:41
We know in our mind that we should be able to forgive our enemies and love our parents, but in the heart we feel “I can never forgive them for what they’ve done.” So then we either feel anger and resentment, or we begin to rationalize: “Because my parents were so bad, so unloving, so unkind, they made me suffer so much that I can’t forgive or forget.” Or: “There’s something wrong with me. I’m a terrible person because I can’t forgive.” When this happens, I’ve found it helpful to have metta for my own feelings.

Awesome. I've wrestled with rejecting my own feelings, with suffering over my suffering, as though that's going to do anything but double the hurt.

I think that sometimes we can get so caught up in making sure we don't see ourselves as being more worthy than others that we end up seeing ourselves as less so, and the fact is... sometimes we do legitimately need our own compassion, and we shouldn't deny it to ourselves any more than we should deny it to others. There's no need I can see for martyrs in dharma practice, nor is there a need for anybody to hate or resent themselves for failing to be perfect.

plogsties
14 Dec 10, 12:48
We know in our mind that we should be able to forgive our enemies and love our parents, but in the heart we feel “I can never forgive them for what they’ve done.” So then we either feel anger and resentment, or we begin to rationalize: “Because my parents were so bad, so unloving, so unkind, they made me suffer so much that I can’t forgive or forget.” Or: “There’s something wrong with me. I’m a terrible person because I can’t forgive.” When this happens, I’ve found it helpful to have metta for my own feelings.

Awesome. I've wrestled with rejecting my own feelings, with suffering over my suffering, as though that's going to do anything but double the hurt.

I think that sometimes we can get so caught up in making sure we don't see ourselves as being more worthy than others that we end up seeing ourselves as less so, and the fact is... sometimes we do legitimately need our own compassion, and we shouldn't deny it to ourselves any more than we should deny it to others. There's no need I can see for martyrs in dharma practice, nor is there a need for anybody to hate or resent themselves for failing to be perfect.


Well said.

Khalil Bodhi
16 Dec 10, 10:57
Thank you for this. I don't have much to say except that purposefully cultivating gratitude (katannu-katavedi) has opened up my practice in a number of ways. Anumodana. Mettaya.

trid6
21 Dec 10, 22:41
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance,chaos into order, confusion into clarity.It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie



edited to show its a quote

Aloka
25 Dec 10, 08:07
Buddha said :




"Monks, these two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful for a kindness done and feels obligated to repay it. These two people are hard to find in the world."

(AN 2.119 - Dullabha Sutta: Hard to Find )

Aloka
04 Jan 11, 05:25
I know its not a good idea to have a thread full of quotes. However, as nobody has made any further comments on this one, I'm going to add something from Ajahn Buddhadasa:




".... we may take an even humbler virtue, that of gratitude. With just this one virtue, the world could be at peace. We must recognize that every person in the world is the benefactor of everyone else. Never mind people; even cats and dogs are benefactors of humanity, even sparrows. If we are aware of our debt of gratitude to these things, we will be unable to act in any way that harms or oppresses them. With the power of this one virtue of gratitude, we can help the world."


http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/BhikkhuBuddhadasa_Heart_Wood_from_the_Bo_Tree.htm


Animals aren't a problem for me, but I confess I don't find it easy to feel gratitude to absolutely everyone human. Feeling neutral is sometimes the best that I can manage.

:hands:

plogsties
04 Jan 11, 13:12
Animals aren't a problem for me, but I confess I don't find it easy to feel gratitude to absolutely everyone human. Feeling neutral is sometimes the best that I can manage.
True for me too.

Esho
04 Jan 11, 14:30
Feeling neutral is sometimes the best that I can manage.

;)

Jayam
14 Jan 11, 09:29
Hello friends...

I would like to share one of my experiences. It seems as a simple matter but again…

One day , while coming home in weekend , I saw a new fruit stall nearby the main street. Since I had only small amount of money left me, prior to buying I asked how much would it cost. The seller mentioned the price. I had enough money to buy so that I asked to weight some grams of above fruit. After handing over the parcel , the seller said a price which was higher than the price which he had mentioned a second a go. I was so surprised and asked the price again. He clearly indicated the higher price again. After paying, I had only the bus fair left with me. This incident hurt me a lot. That man has broken the fundamental relationship between a buyer and a seller. If everybody started to act like this what would be the result? At that moment I realized the value of the trustworthiness and the importance of the fourth precept.


Animals aren't a problem for me, but I confess I don't find it easy to feel gratitude to absolutely everyone human. Feeling neutral is sometimes the best that I can manage.
True for me too.

Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with all of you! ;D

We cannot feel gratitude for that type of people. But, as Buddhist we should try not to hate people in any circumstances. Therefore feeling neutral may be the best we all can manage. Your thoughts…

Jayam.