I was at sangha this past weekend. For those who don't know, sangha is sort of the Buddhist form of church... a Buddhist-based meditation group, to put it simply. I found the group a couple of years ago, by chance, and have gone off and on since then. I always leave feeling like I've learned something and grown in some way. This past weekend was no different.
After the silent meditation portion of the sangha comes the dharma talk. Sometimes they have guests come in to speak and/or share something (one time a girl came and sang songs with her guitar), other times the people who are there are just able to share whatever they want to. It's an organized sharing, one person talking at a time, and anyone may respond or share something completely different. So with that brief explanation out of the way...
The woman who hosts this sangha in her home shared on Sunday that she's been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She's been dealing with it on her own (with her husband's support) for a couple months now. Sunday she decided to open herself up to the sangha and share what's been going on with her.
She said how she's been learning to accept her current condition. It has added certain limitations and struggles that she's never had to deal with before. For a long time she's been saying to herself, "No, not this," "No, not that."
We tend to resist what we don't want. We don't want to be sick. We don't want to be limited in any way, either physically or otherwise. We don't want to accept things in our life that aren't what we wanted or what we expected. But that stuff comes at us anyway.
The woman at sangha then shared that she realized she needed to change her thoughts of "No, not this," to "And this too."
We need to be thankful for whatever comes to us. It's all here for a reason. It's all for our greatest good and for our learning.
This is what I learned in sangha this past Sunday. To be grateful for everything. Be humble. Be honored. Be peaceful. Be loving.
We all have unexpected challenges pop up over the course of our lives. I'm grateful that I got to hear this amazing woman at sangha say, "And this too." Three simple words, but that's why I like it. That's why it resonnated with me.
It's easy to say, "Thank you," for the things we get that we want. But we need to learn to say "Thank you" also for the things we get that we don't want.
The next time you're thanking the Universe or God for that list of good stuff in your life, remember to say thank you for that less than ideal stuff too.
"And this too."
Quotes of the Day:
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." (Melody Beattie)
“True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.” (Oprah Winfrey)
“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” (Steve Maraboli)