Live the middle way. From the middle, dark and light is one. From the middle, we can see everything, dark, light, and everything in between. If you can see the light in darkness, then you can be grateful in your darkest moments.
Humans are prone to judging others and experiences. From the middle, you don’t jump to conclusion that someone is either dark or light, good or bad. From the middle, you don’t jump to conclusion that an experience is dark or light, good or bad.
When a person lashes his or her anger at you, you’re tempted to label that person as a dark person. When you’re in the middle, you’ll see the light, in even the most hateful person. You go deeper and have empathy for that person who may have suffered deeply at the hands of others.
When you experience suffering, you may feel tempted to label it as darkness, which will drag you further down into sadness, frustration, and/or anger, all negative emotions that pushes away your happiness and negatively impacts everyone you interact with. From the middle, you’ll be able to see the light in even the most darkest of situations.
From the middle, suffering expands our gratitude practice by making us more present and aware of all the good things we have in our lives. Here are my 10 examples of how suffering can expand our gratitude practice:
1. When a loved one dies, we’re grateful for the time we had with that person.
2. When our romantic relationship falls apart, we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to experience romance.
3. When we fail at a goal, we’re grateful for the lessons we learned from the failure.
4. When we face financial hardship, we’re grateful for every little thing we have that helps us get by.
5. When we provide value for others and get attacked by opposition or critics, we’re grateful for our ability to create value for others and evolve.
6. When facts in litigation aren’t believed where we face fines, jail, or unfavorable rulings for business, divorce or our personal life, we’re grateful that we had the opportunity to tell what happened.
7. When we can no longer drive a vehicle, we’re grateful for public transportation.
8. When our health declines, we’re grateful for still being alive and having what abilities we still have.
9. When we are wronged by people, we’re grateful for all the positive people in our lives.
10. When our life appears to be in turmoil, we’re grateful that we were born to even have a shot at life.
2 of my daily practices: the middle way and gratitude.
Waikele on the early morning of February 22, 2019.
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