The fast-paced life we live today with our work schedule, our responsibilities, and making sure we are engaged in our society, can sometimes distance us from the real joys in life and the things that we genuinely need to be grateful for. Just take a look at the Zen Buddhists, everything is about gratitude. They believe that there are thousands of little things we should be thankful for. Every little thing that we have we should be thankful for because everything can be unique to us in a different kind of way. Especially today, we take too many things for granted and end up feeling sad or shocked when some things are not part of our life anymore. Just look up some teachings of life lessons from Zen Buddhists, and you will learn how to appreciate the little things in life.
1. The Blind Turtle
The story of the blind turtle shows that life happens so randomly and that even being alive can be enough you one to show gratitude. Be grateful that so many things had to happen for you to be here today, regardless of your situation. A person should be extremely thankful because thousands, if not millions of small occurrences had to happen for you to be alive. The story of the blind turtle was taught and told by Buddha. The story goes that a blind turtle’s living at the bottom of an ocean, and he comes up once every hundred years. So when the turtle’s swimming up to take that breath, as he is breaking the surface, he goes through a golden yoke that is randomly floating in the ocean. This story can be related to life, everything happens randomly, and we should be grateful for it.
2. The 10,000 Sorrows
Life will sometimes throw something bad at you, and that is reality. No one on this earth hasn’t been through hard times. The best part of being grateful is recognizing those negative things and try to learn from those painful experiences. If we focus enough and practice gratitude enough, we will no longer live seeing duality. We will go through life and take whatever it brings. Times will come when life will be harsh and painful, and it is up to us if we choose to live in that mindset of fear, or we learn from the negative occurrences and see life more positively. The saying goes that life comes with 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows, but it is up to us which part we focus on more because regardless of what we choose, life will still move forward.
3. Gratitude for Our Parents
The two people that we should be most grateful for is our parents. Form the day we are born, parents are there to keep us safe and teach us the ways of life. Buddha has said that the only two people that you will never have the ability to repay are your father and mother. He says that even if you carry both of your parents on your shoulders for 100 years, you will still own them a lot. The things that they have given you, you will never be able to give back.