Continuous practice, day after day, is the most appropriate way of expressing gratitude~ Eihei Dogen
With regular practice, meditation is known to calm our nervous systems, enhance present moment awareness, and make us more available to lived experience, the reality of our lives. In time, we become less reactive, more responsive; less quick to judge and more open to not-knowing; less caught up in the scaffolding of who we think we are, the construct of a separate identity, and more curious about what is real.
As practice unfolds, we may find ourselves more at home in the world, less self-absorbed, and increasingly committed to the lessening of suffering for all.
What happens when the heart opens to its native tenderness and the vellum boundaries grow increasingly thin? What remains when the artifice of arbitrary judgements falls away? When silence widens a space in the tumble of thought and the whole sensorium of being human comes to light, what comes rushing into that clearing?
In a word, gratitude.
Gratitude and its near siblings: humility and compassion.
Dogen tells us that zazen is an expression of gratitude. And so is the aspiration to sit wholeheartedly, a first step in the never-ending circle of continuous practice – the most appropriate way of expressing gratitude.
Gratitude, humility, and compassion. Just one sitting.
The whole world sitting you.