Gratitude

…food reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains the life of the sun and the earth….We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! Contemplating our food for a few seconds before eating, and eating in mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.  Having the opportunity to sit with our family and friends and enjoy wonderful food is something precious, something not everyone has. Many people in the world are hungry. When I hold a bowl of rice or a piece of bread, I know that I am fortunate, and I feel compassion for all those who have no food to eat and are without friends or family….Mindful eating can cultivate seeds of compassion and understanding that will strengthen us to do something to help hungry and lonely people be nourished.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh, in Peace is Every Step

In this season of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the kindnesses I have encountered along my life’s journey, the countless advantages I have taken for granted, and the sweetness of life as I experience it. Gratitude is (in part) being more aware of what you have than what you don’t have. Gratitude as a practice can remind us daily of the impermanence of life and the perfection of the present moment. Gratitude “cultivates seeds of compassion” for those who are suffering.

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