Pondering gratitude led me back here to my blog.
I’ve been so gratified that people like my writing, and moved by some of the comments I’ve received, both on the blog itself and “live,” as it were.
In spite of the connotations the Pilgrims have come to have for me as an adult (destroying the indigenous population, repressive views, misogynist beliefs and destruction of the habitat — to name a few things), the concept of gathering together to feast and give thanks remains a beautiful one, worthy of honor.
So I honor gratefulness itself today, and will let Osho Transformation Tarot share its wisdom on this subject. This is a different deck from the same folks to produce the beautiful Osho Zen deck. Very different, but lovely in its own way. Here’s gratitude:
A night without lodging
The moment one is capable of feeling grateful for both pain and pleasure, without any distinction, without any choice, simply feeling grateful for whatsoever is given… Because if it is given by God, it must have a reason in it. We may like it, we may not like it, but it must be needed for our growth.
Winter and summer are both needed for growth. Once this idea settles in the heart, then each moment of life is of gratitude. Let this become your meditation and prayer: thank God every moment–for laughter, for tears, for everything. Then you will see a silence arising in your heart that you have not known before. That is bliss.
The first thing is to accept life as it is. Accepting it, desires disappear. Accepting life as it is, tensions disappear, discontent disappears; accepting it as it is, one starts feeling very joyful–and for no reason at all!
When joy has a reason, it is not going to last long. When joy is without any reason, it is going to be there forever. It happened in the life of a very famous Zen woman. Her name was Rengetsu…. Very few women have attained to the Zen ultimate. This one is one of those rare women.
She was on a pilgrimage and she came to a village at sunset and begged for lodging for the night, but the villagers slammed their doors. They were against Zen. Zen is so revolutionary, so utterly rebellious, that it is very difficult to accept it. By accepting it you are going to be transformed; by accepting it you will be passing through a fire, you will never be the same again. Traditional people have always been against all that is true in religion. Tradition is all that is untrue in religion. So those must have been traditional Buddhists in the town, and they didn’t allow this woman to stay in the town; they threw her out.
It was a cold night, and the old woman was without lodging, and hungry. She had to make her shelter underneath a cherry tree in the fields. It was really cold, and she could not sleep well. And it was dangerous too–wild animals and all. At midnight she awoke–because of too much cold–and saw, in the night sky, the fully-opened cherry blossoms laughing to the misty moon. Overcome with the beauty, she got up and bowed down in the direction of the village, with these words:
Through their kindness in refusing me lodging I found myself beneath the blossoms on the night of this misty moon… She feels grateful. With great gratitude she thanks those people who refused her lodging; otherwise she would be sleeping under an ordinary roof and she would have missed this blessing–these cherry blossoms, and this whispering with the misty moon, and this silence of the night, this utter silence of the night. She is not angry, she accepts it. Not only accepts it, welcomes it–she feels grateful.
One becomes a buddha the moment one accepts all that life brings, with gratitude.