No one lives in a vacuum and our existence depends on others all the time, and our dependence runs deeper than that. Who we are comes from others too.

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

Be grateful to everyone.

It sounds simple and profound. Just be grateful.

We have a lot to be grateful for. Consider everything in your life. You didn’t grow the food you’re eating. You didn’t build the building you’re in, or the roads you drive on. We need other people every moment of our lives. We’re all deeply connected all the time, regardless of how much we may want to be introverted loners.

No one lives in a vacuum and our existence depends on others all the time, and our dependence runs deeper than that. Who we are comes from others too. Obviously we inherit a lot from our parents. But also, we are shaped by everyone we come in contact with, some people have a big impact, some have a small impact, but everyone has an impact. We couldn’t even be what we call a “person” without other people.

Try thinking without using language you learned from other people. Being grateful to everyone is training in this understanding. It is with everyone else that we are shaping the world. It’s only through being shaped by others that you’ve come to this path.

But, what about people that have harmed us? Even if we haven’t had serious things done to us, we’ve all been kicked in the heart sometimes. We’ve all felt hurt and abused.

What about those people?

Well they shaped us too. It’s so hard to find the good in our life experiences sometimes. That’s why this path is hard. But looking for the good and finding ways to be grateful…that’s how we develop boundless compassion. And boundless compassion is a powerful tool for transforming suffering.

So be grateful to everyone.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall


 

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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel lives in Kansas City. He's a Zen Priest in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and he leads public meditations. His focus is on the mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings. He believes that these teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called "A great everyman teacher" and "Really down-to-earth"

Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook
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