Sunday Sermon, Thanksgiving Edition

Today I am thankful.

I try to be thankful every day, but that can be difficult. It seems that we are incapable of contentedness; as Ms. Lang put it so well, constant craving has always been. Humans are possibly the only creatures on this planet who spend so much time yearning. Perhaps that is the price of self-awareness - we are aware, and thus we grasp our mortality and the fact that we can't have everything, try everything, be everything.

On this day in particular, we are encouraged to be thankful, but all too often it takes a negative form - we are told that we are luckier than others who have nothing. Unfortunately, no amount of looking at those less fortunate than ourselves can fully quench the want; we seem doomed to look at what we have and find it wanting - and look at what others have and wish it was ours. The old zenjis called it "the monkey mind," because it snatches at every shiny thing that wanders by. Detaching ourselves from those desires is what the Buddha set out to do way back when, and I think that's what everyone wants, even if they don't use those terms.

So today, I have decided to be thankful simply for what I am, not what I possess. I am not my job, nor my life situation, nor the balance of my checking accounts, nor the contents of my refrigerator (tasty though they are!). I am human. I am able to think, to reason, to realize. I am able to step back from the hungry animal in myself, and decide to awaken.

I am human, and for that I am thankful.

Go in Peace.


Big Gay Jim said...

An excellent perspective, Rev. Of course, the evil twin wanted to say "I've got some thanks for you, right here in my..." But I stopped him. Nobody go near the root cellar for a while.

Modig_Bjorn said...

Not to sure if you have stepped entirely away from the hungry animal in yourself...HSBP-sized appetite and all. ;)

Happy Thanksgiving from Indian Princess and Vanilla Fresh in Lakeside, Montana.

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