Gratitude in the middle-place

We have been watching Japan with saddened hearts for all the people there are so gracefully enduring. We are also debating ourselves whether or not to leave Taiwan or wait it out here. It’s a very middle-place to be sitting for the moment. The past few days have been spent with bags packed and ticketed itineraries, far too much CNN and googling of “worst case scenario” as I have tried to figure out nuclear science and what this all means for our travel plans and living in Taiwan.

For the moment, we are staying put. At the same time, I have a ticket for the girls and I for Monday night.

I remain in prayer for Japan and the people who were lost and also those in very trying circumstances now.

I’m reading Huston Smith’s autobiography, Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine. I am rarely envious of another’s life path, but Huston Smith had such a grand adventure. He spent 10 years living and practicing each of the world’s major religions. (Born Christian and lived as missionary kid in China, practiced Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim.) He traveled the world and studied with everyone. I’ve been engulfed in his tale and plan to read everything else he’s written about religion and get a copy of his PBS series he did with Bill Moyers.

I just read about his Zen studies in Japan. He studied at Myoshinji sodo to learn Zen Buddhism. It was not an easy course. Right before he left for home again, the roshi knocked everything off the pedestal of what he had just learned, saying that koans are not Zen, sitting in meditation is not Zen.

He said this, “Make your whole life unceasing gratitude. What is Zen? Simple, simple, so simple. Infinite gratitude toward all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility to all things future. Have a safe journey home. I am glad you came.”

Practicing gratitude and remaining teachable are the qualities that have most saved my life. Huston Smith, I sit at your feet today.

Today I am grateful for:
terra firma,
clean, ironed sheets waiting for me in the bed,
healthy family and clear minds,
yummy dinner with good friends,
and a ticket to L.A. that is currently salving my anxieties.

I could go on, but I should rest now. Gratitude lists are so simple and almost mockable, but they work. I always feel like a millionaire when I write one.

“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Let the beauty we love be what we do.” –Rumi

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2 Responses to Gratitude in the middle-place

  1. nysha says:

    My love, if you do indeed come home, please call us. We welcome you to our small cabin for love. These are difficult times. Go with your instinct. I released my fear a few days ago. I too have done a Phd’s worth of research on Nuclear Science. We must hold our planet in a blanket of protection for our little ones.

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