November 2011: Gratitude and Perception
The Buddha said, "What we think we become." What we are looking for and
expecting colors what we find, as does our attitude. Therefore, life truly is what we make of it. It doesn't mean everything
is easy or clear just because we have a good attitude, however, we do have the option not to struggle or suffer. Pain and
discomfort are inevitable at times, but if we keep ourselves open and remember that everything is an opportunity for mental-
emotional-spiritual growth, then we will be connected to the peace deep within. Even when we are sick, we will have gratitude
for whatever is good in our life. Our very life depends on the sacrifice of the lives of others- both in the sense of hard
work, and at times, literally the giving up of life so that we may continue on. Plants are just as alive as animals, and they
sacrifice for us constantly. Our breath and their breath is a constant exchange: we breathe in the oxygen that they breathe
out, and they breathe in the carbon dioxide that we release. If we open our minds and hearts to revel in every small and
large wonder, we can regain a connection to the sacredness of every moment. In finding that connection, we live a compassionate life, filled expansive freedom, unlimited love and deep joy. If you look for the good, the connection, and the opportunity to love and be loved, you will find the kind of life that you long for. Change your perception, change your intention, change your actions to embody a vibration of conscious compassion, and this is what you will find within all life.
Throughout the month of November I will try and post many thoughts on living a life of gratitude, non-harm and compassion, and about the consequences of our expectations and actions. I will share ideas for a healthy, compassionate, sustainable, and delightful Thanksgiving feast (which can be applied to your holiday celebrations if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving).
While plants and animals sacrifice their lives to support our lives everyday, we can choose to eat only plants, which spares hundreds of animals per person each year, spares our health from the main killer diseases, spares the earth unsustainable and unneccesary abuse, and provides a bounty of delicious, affordable, enjoyable choices. Choose life, choose sustainability, choose compassion, choose plant-foods!