365 Challenge Day 185 – Silent Retreat – Day 3

22 Dec

Day 3 of an 8 day Silent Retreat

I decided to practice Gratitude on this retreat.  I brought a journal (which is actually discouraged at this retreat center, but I went to this one wanting to do my own thing a bit.)  Every day I wrote a list of ten new things I was grateful for.  Some of the items were significant, like my kids, and some were mundane, like lentils, and hot water.  Then during the meditation sessions I would call mind one thing I was grateful for, say thank you, and then rest in that feeling of gratitude for a while, then move onto the next.  It was a beautiful practice!

Coming up with 10 unique items each time was a little more challenging than I thought it would be!!  I’m sure I could list hundreds, but I realized how many things that were coming to mind had to do with comfort, like heat, hot water, warm clothes, a nice house, etc.  And then another big category were items that had to do with pleasure, like yummy food, or beautiful colors.  I didn’t want my gratitude sessions to turn into sessions of Greed!!  For example, it would have really easy for me to walk around and say, I’m really grateful for the beautiful plant! (and then a voice in my head says, I want to buy one just like it when I get home!!)

So I tried to think of things that weren’t in either of those two categories, things about comfort, or things about sense pleasure.  And I couldn’t come up with much!!!

It just goes to show how little we actually need in this life.  Family, friends, healthy food, clean water, safe living environment, a good job, access to medicines…  most of the rest seems extra.

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