Gratitude & Acceptance

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  • Mp
    • Jul 2024

    Gratitude & Acceptance

    Hello fellow Treeleafers,

    I hope the holidays have treated you well and given you the opportunity to share with family and friends. Please allow me to share with you my experience of life and the practice of Zen. Maybe in my fumbling of words I can share with you the beautiful practice of Gratitude & Acceptance. =)

    Recently I was reminded about gratitude from the wonderful talk Tonen O’Connor gave to us and also about acceptance through the wonderful book “Inside the Grass Hut” by Ben Connelly

    Over the last few months I have been faced with the challenges of life from my daughter being very sick and in the hospital to being “thrown under the bus” by some family member’s. Like many of you life can throw us these curve balls right when we think we have no protective gear on. In actuality these teachings are always here with us where ever we go in life and with whatever we face … so in essence, this practice is our protective gear, the gear of gratitude and acceptance.

    Recently when my daughter was very sick and in the hospital I felt afraid, sad, and that I failed her not being there. Through this experience, I practiced, I sat, I felt, and I allowed whatever to come, come and accepted it as it was. In doing so I was able to see all the wonderful people who were there helping my daughter when I was not able to. Who kept me informed so I felt connected and not alone. Through this acceptance I felt gratitude for all these wonderful people. Thankfully my daughter is on the road to recovery and back home with her mom … to which I am grateful!

    Just when I think life is coming back to a state of normalcy I am faced with the upheaval of where I live, as my brother is doing major renovations to the house. Being pushed out of my home, my comfort zone through the stench of toxic glue and plaster … to the choking of drywall dust filled air was not something that I was ready for. Again, the feelings of frustration, sadness, and betrayal boiled to the surface. Having to spend 8-10 hours a day in my truck from wifi to wifi spot to get my freelance work done; to sleeping on a friends floor at night was a true test. On top of it all we have been faced with some of the worst weather in record … state of emergency due to flooding and not being able to drink the water due to high levels of turbidity … when was it going to end? But again this practice of acceptance shined through and helped me see that there was so much I could be grateful for … my daughter being safe, my truck, my health, my friends floor, for Jundo and this Sangha, for these teachings … for wifi to help me get my work done.

    There is a wonderful passage in the book “Inside the Grass Hut” which quotes Dogen from the Genjokoan which says, “Practice intimately and return to where you are. When you find your place where you are, practice occurs, actualizing the fundamental point. Realizing we are here is our practice, and practicing is realizing we are here. Practice is the Buddha Way.”

    The following day after I read that the storm outside had passed and I took the opportunity to get outside and just be with the warm rays of the sun. I drove to my favorite spot, open the tailgate to my truck and sat zazen. With the warm rays of the sun on my face, the snow capped mountains, tears on my cheek … I let go, I accepted life just as it was … in that present moment I felt the same gratitude and acceptance that the trees have for the mountains and the mountains for the sky.

    Even though these experiences we face in life are not always so pleasant - whether good or bad, easy or not so easy, we should try and be grateful and accepting of the wonderful opportunities … as they are some of the best teachers. =)

    Another quote from Dogen that I reflect on often is, “If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ~ Dogen Zenji

    I wish you all the best over the holidays and the coming of the New Year ... I am truly grateful for all of you here at Treeleaf. =)


    ~ Sat today
  • Kyotai

    Shingen, here with you my friend. You have a lot on your plate. I am greatful for this teaching.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Metta to your daughter, may she feel better very soon.

    If I lived out your way I would offer you my guest room (and free wifi!) but since I do not, a warm smile filled with Gratitude will have to do.

    Be well,

    Gassho, Shawn
    Sat today
    Last edited by Guest; 12-28-2014, 02:31 AM.


    • Joyo

      Shingen, such pain yet such beauty. The mud and the lotus, entwined. Thank you for sharing. Your experiences and what you learned carry with it such valuable life lessons. I admire your ability to learn so much when facing such difficult circumstances.

      Much metta to you dear brother.

      sat today


      • Dosho
        • Jun 2008
        • 5784

        And we are grateful for you! Much metta to you, you daughter, and your family.

        I do not go in search of trouble to engage my practice, but I find that I am far less upset than I used to be when trouble inevitably finds me.

        Deep bows to you my brother!



        • Jishin
          • Oct 2012
          • 4820

          You are a cool dude Shingen.

          Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_


          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39477



            • Meishin
              • May 2014
              • 805

              Thank you, Shingen. What wonderful teaching. My heart goes out to you.

              Sat today


              • Mp

                Thank you everyone for your kind and thoughtful replies, re-enforcing why I am grateful for you all ... you guys rock!


                ~ Sat today


                • Yugen

                  Much love and gratitude to you.

                  I am glad you are my brother.

                  Deep bows



                  • Tb
                    • Jan 2008
                    • 3186


                    As a wise man once said, "With great powers come great responsibility".
                    or as another, not so great, man always says, "Its all good practice".
                    Thank you for your practice.


                    Life is our temple and its all good practice


                    • Troy
                      • Sep 2013
                      • 1318

                      Originally posted by Shingen
                      I let go, I accepted life just as it was … in that present moment I felt the same gratitude and acceptance that the trees have for the mountains and the mountains for the sky.
                      Beautiful Shingen! True practice

                      Sorry to hear of your troubles my friend. Thank you for this teaching of acceptance and meeting life in this moment. Much metta to you. I hope you are able to experience some normalcy soon.



                      • Daiyo
                        • Jul 2014
                        • 819

                        Hi Shingen, I'm sorry to read aboute those hard moments you had to go through and at the same time very glad to know you managed to see in the problems, good opportunities for practice.
                        If that's what this practice accomplishes in us humans, I'm happy to have chosen it.

                        Thank you for the teaching, you are very kind for sharing it.

                        And much metta to you and your loved ones.




                        • Shokai
                          Treeleaf Priest
                          • Mar 2009
                          • 6391

                          Thank you for sharing this teaching Shigen; it's what it truly is all about. And, to that I add, 'what they all said'

                          gassho, Shokai

                          仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                          "Open to life in a benevolent way"



                          • Kyonin
                            Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                            • Oct 2010
                            • 6742

                            Hi Shingen,

                            The heart of gratitude is within the connections we have with the universe. We rely in each other and say and feel THANKS, then keep up with our lives.

                            Thank you for sharing and being here.


                            Hondō Kyōnin
                            奔道 協忍


                            • Jika
                              • Jun 2014
                              • 1337


                              thank you for sharing this and much metta to you, your daughter and all of your family.
                              In reading the precepts, I found this.
                              To catch the eye of a person, to turn our mind, the window glass for luminosity needs not to be clean, and the sky makes the best sun effects when clouded.
                              Who would notice or be grateful for a blazing sun from clear blue skies? Too often, me not.

                              Thank you.

                              治 Ji
                              花 Ka