By Nhat Quan
Talking about showing gratitude, of course, talking about people who have helped you, you must know and be grateful for that person. First of all, you should ask yourself:
- Who gave you life
During the nine months and ten days in your mother's womb, you depended entirely on her for life. Like eating, feeding, and nourishing flesh and blood, all of which come from your mother, and even your mother's breathing helps you to survive. But, after being born, people cut the umbilical cord and cut off contact with the mother. At that point, you begin to breathe to live. What a baby needs most at birth is Air. The very first cry is the act of getting air into the lungs. Then when you grow up until you die, you still need air as the only food, nothing can be replaced. So, the air is essential for your life
In fact, what is worthy of gratitude, worship, reverence, and adoration… is the atmosphere, not anyone else. But, does anyone appreciate, revere and worship the atmosphere? If any of you worship the air, people will think you are crazy, or mentally ill!
After the atmosphere, one needs many other things. In Buddhism, the object of gratitude is very broad and is summarized into four groups, which are:
- Grace of parents, ancestors
- Gratitude to the nation, the country, and those who have sacrificed for the cause of building and defending the country;
- The grace of a good teacher, a good friend
- The grace of all sentient beings, and the ecological environment.
Gratitude is not only one of the moral elements but also a spiritual method, practiced daily. As a practice in the sense of practicing to transform and change your life, you also need to get it right, so that you know how to show it right, avoiding confusion and being easily led the wrong way in daily life. By the way, I just reiterate briefly:
1- Parents' favor:
The kindness of parents, nine months of carrying, swallowing bitterness to release sweetness to raise their children, using all means to raise their children to grow up. All their life is devoted to taking care of their children, even death has not stopped.
2. The grace of the Three Jewels and the chief monk:
The Three Jewels are the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Even though you have made a vow to take refuge in the Three Jewels, those who directly give to your wisdom life in you are good knowledge, including Saint Sangha, ordinary Sangha, Senior Master, and fellow practitioners and fellow students. Therefore, as a Buddhist, you have to take a deep and careful heart to appreciate the kindness of knowledge, etc. Thanks to that, love gradually blooms, and the fire of wisdom slowly burns, thanks so that it is easy to achieve success by studying Buddhism.
3. Grace of the nation and society:
Homeland is the deep consciousness of each person of a nation in general. Gratitude to the motherland is also the grace of the nation's leaders, responsible for preserving, protecting, and developing the country's increasingly prosperous society.
4. The grace of sentient beings of all kinds:
And finally, the grace of sentient beings to provide food, medicine, literature, knowledge, protection...
According to the Buddhist doctrine of causality relative, nothing is alone, but all as a chain, the giver and the receiver have created harmony in life. From humans to nature, plants, flowers, heaven, and earth. So there isn't a single moment when you don't receive and don't give.
Life is produced by causal conditions, any achievements of each person also have a relationship and correlation with many other people, with the environment, society, and traditions in which that person was born and raised. In contrast, with failures, too. In view of being produced by causal conditions, mutual responsibility cannot be avoided or denied.
You were born among the human community and surrounded by countless factors. An individual grows up relying on a large community in this society. Happiness is the reason for life that all of you wish to have. A warm family knows how to cherish moments together, respect and share sweets together. Happy when the children study hard, obediently, and politely. Parents even have to thank their children immediately because they bring joy and motivation to them to strive for work and even when they are rebellious and stubborn so that they bend them to follow the path benevolent. Happiness and success in life are two reasons that always go together, with success you will be happy, and knowing the value of happiness will work hard to succeed.
Gratitude does not have to wait until July, the Ullambana season to return filial piety, but needs to be conscious and nurtured in daily life. The true value of gratitude not only brings serenity but more importantly, makes each person appreciate life to live a good life, from which to have real peace and happiness and long term
Commemorating the four great graces is another way of saying gratitude, thanks to which you are worthy to be real people. To repay the four greatest and most important graces of human life that anyone cannot forget. You should not only follow the dogmas and rules of your religion, only worshiping heaven and earth, saints or some god somewhere, but forget these graces. Or there are people all day, all year long, worrying about being grateful to their ancestors for giving them a job to make a living but forgetting to be grateful to their parents.
Only the Four Great Graces are worthy of your daily remembrance, adoration, and reverence, only. Because there are already all kinds of graces needed in life. So you need to keep the memory of the four graces is enough. Meister Eckhart, a German theologian, born 1260-1328 said:
- Thank you for being your only prayer in life, that's enough!
How can such a simple act, such an easy thank you, change your life so much?
According to Meister Eckhart, one of the things that has had the most profound impact on his life has been his realization of the immense power of gratitude. Gratitude is just a word, but simply a thank you is enough.
Gratitude has influenced everything in his life and has turned him into a much more optimistic, positive person, a more creative person, a more accomplished person, a husband, father, son, and brother and sister better. And be a happier person.
Meister Eckhart affirms that simple gratitude will change people's lives in an instant and positive way. He recommends that if anyone takes the time to consider a few things gratitude can bring to your life, and how it can change your life:
1- Take some time in the morning for gratitude. Please take a minute of your morning and make it a daily habit, to remember those who have done something good and beautiful for you, and to think of all you are indebted to in your life. You won't think everything in one minute, but that's enough. And that one minute will instantly make your day better, and help you start your day more relaxed.
2- When you have a difficult day, make a list of the things in your life for which you are grateful.
Who among you is not indebted to many people, and many things such as Those who gave birth to you, taught you, those who love to help you, your health, the work you are doing, a roof to shelter you from the sun and rain, and warm clothes on a cold winter day. And life itself, every day you live, is also very worthy of your gratitude.
3- Instead of getting angry at someone, show gratitude. This is a very different behavior change like a 180-degree turn. Instead, take a few deep breaths, calm yourself, and then calm down.
Think of the reasons you are grateful for the other person. Someone has done something good for you. Try to find something good, even if it's difficult. Focus on the things that make you grateful to that person. This will change the anger then. If you feel better, show your gratitude. You can gradually improve your temperament, relationships, and things will be lighter and more positive.
4- Instead of criticizing your lover, husband, or wife, say thank you. Just like with your coworker, gratitude can change your marriage or relationship. If you don't stop criticizing your husband or wife, you are slowly ruining your marriage. You should remember:
Everyone needs to talk about problems, but no one wants to be criticized forever. When you feel frustrated, just want to criticize to vent your anger, then try to stop, and take a deep breath. Try to calm down, and think of what your spouse has done for you to be grateful for.
Say, thank you as soon as possible. Your relationship will be better. Your spouse will learn this from you especially if you practice regularly. Your love will be multiplied, and everything will be more agreeable and smooth.
5- Instead of complaining about your children, thank them.
6- When faced with a major obstacle, you must thank the difficulty. Many of you often see difficulties in work, and in life as a bad thing. If something goes wrong, just complaining won't solve anything! Instead of lamenting, be grateful for those challenges and obstacles because they are an opportunity for you to grow, learn, and know how to do better. This will transform you from a whining person to a positive person who faces challenges and improves you. You will be more liked and you will be more successful.
7- When you have a misfortune, a disaster, thank you for being alive. And you can think of something else, more pleasant than this unhappiness:
- Be grateful for life, you are still alive.
Feel the fragile beauty of impermanent life. And most of all, enjoy life while you can.
And Professor Joseph Murphy (1898 - 1981), wrote books, taught advisers, and lectured to thousands of people around the world. Joseph Murphy says:
- The whole process of spirituality and material wealth can be summed up in one word: Gratitude.
One of the most powerful energies you can ever experience is gratitude. Be grateful for anything, and you will completely change your perspective. Be grateful for your life, your lungs, your house, or the words you are reading. Once you feel grateful, you possess an energy that can create miracles.
You've got a lot of things in your life. When you compare your life with those of people living in third-world countries, you quickly realize that you are living like a king or a queen. You have food, clean water, shelter as well as a refrigerator, television set, radio, and possibly a computer. Millions of people around the world don't have those. Realize that you are blessed with wealth, feel grateful for life, and you will attract more wealth.
Gratitude can change everything. Just start feeling genuinely grateful for what you have. The best attitude you can inspire others with is gratitude and appreciation. Being truly grateful for what you have in life will automatically attract more good things into your life.
Be grateful for all the difficult, challenging situations in life. Often through these situations, you will become more mature, both mentally and emotionally. You can learn to see each obstacle as an opportunity to develop some new quality, skill, understanding, or wisdom, and be grateful for those lessons. Every challenge is an opportunity for you to grow and expand.
Seize the lucky opportunities, and be grateful for all that you learn in the process. Keeping a positive attitude and appreciating opportunities not only helps you avoid attracting more difficult situations into your life but also creates a positive energy field that attracts more things you really want. Live each day with joy and gratitude. Your future will open in strange ways.
Gratitude, or in other words, the gratitude of people for humans and all species. You were born into this world, everyone receives the favor. In the Nikayas it is recorded that, after attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the Buddha stood still for a distance to admire the Bodhi tree for a week. Buddha expressed his deep gratitude to the Bodhi tree that protected him from the sun and rain during his practice. Perhaps the first sermon the Buddha gave to life was a lesson in gratitude. Or in other words, it is the Blessing Sutra
You see the meaning of the Buddha looking at the Bodhi tree that he taught you:
- When a person succeeds in something in this life, the first thing you have to think about is not the future, but going back to the past. Look back at the favors you have received to get the results you are today.
Therefore, living a life where you do not see that relationship of grace, and continue to seek your own interests, is not worthy to be a disciple of the Buddha. So every hour, every minute in life, you have to consider all the relationships, to see the grace that you receive in life is very much. From there, you will see the responsibility of what to do in this life, to compensate if you do not want to be ungrateful.
So you should vow for the rest of your life, to live fully selflessly for others, to repay the favor of so many people in your life that you have received. When you live like that, it means you have given some gratitude to life.
Practice this gratitude and you will always encounter good things:
- When you appreciate good values, other good values will often come to you.
- When you do not appreciate, good values will come to you less, or when they come, they are no longer in the best state.
Gratitude is not only your noble virtue but also the blessings of the Buddhas for you. If you are not grateful for what you have, you will not have the opportunity to be grateful for what you will receive.
- Gratitude will help those who are lying on the hospital bed get well soon. Those friends will soon get better because of your grateful attitude. The more you appreciate the care and treatment of doctors and nurses, the sooner you will be healthy again. And vice versa, the staff in the hospital will always remember you.
- Gratitude will strengthen your spirit.
Do you thank your parents for creating your shape and body, for giving you the life you have today, for giving you a family, having loved ones around? Do you thank your parents for giving you peace and comfort? While there are millions of people in the world who want to be like you but can't. They have to live in insecurity, fluctuate in war, or suffer from poverty.
When you feel you are always being cared for by the loving Buddhas, you will live a comfortable, loving life! Your gratitude is the magic magnet that brings you the best gifts in life.
Studies show that once you write on the pages to express gratitude to your parents, the three jewels, the nation, society, and sentient beings of all kinds, you will find your life more meaningful! Gratitude will also help you cultivate love, acceptance, forgiveness, and generosity. Thus gratitude is not only the greatest virtue but also the source of all other good qualities.
In short, it is natural throughout your relationship with your parents, brothers, and friends…. There will be conflicts and disagreements. But deep in your heart, you always have appreciation and gratitude for them, even when negative emotions overflow. So you beg them to forgive you and you forgive them too.
Your parents have shown you tremendous kindness throughout their lives. Therefore, whenever you treat your parents badly, you must wholeheartedly ask them to forgive you.
You can also repay the kindness of your parents by being careful in your words and actions. From the day you were born, they always take care of your happiness. They impart knowledge, nurture you, and take care of your every need. So, if you speak or act rudely towards your parents, even the smallest things have a huge effect on them. Words will hurt and mean more when they come from the mouth of the children themselves. This is the love that parents feel for their own children.
If your parents get to the point where they can no longer take care of themselves, this is the time to give your parents all the help you can without counting. You repay your parents by caring and taking care of them with all your heart. And when you do these good deeds and express your gratitude, your life will have new fruits, inner richness, and meaning. Gratitude to parents, bringing up parents, the Buddha taught, is one of the highest blessings.
Similar to other gifts such as Gratitude to the nation, the country, and those who have sacrificed for the cause of building and defending the country. The grace of a good teacher, a good friend, a gift of all sentient beings, an ecological environment ... you must always carefully accept forgiveness and keep in mind knowing and thanking. If you can do that, your life will definitely sublimate.
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