How Many Gifts Did You Receive Today? – Metta Teachings

Kindness is being aware



Appreciation is a wonderful gift to have. To thank someone for a kindness is to literally touch the heart of another.  Through lovingkindness, everyone and everything can flower again from within.When we discover the knowledge of our own goodness and that of others, self-blessing happens naturally and beautifully. Here’s a nice note from Swami Chinmoy on gratitude and appreciation.

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Every day in our multifarious activities, either we express ingratitude or we express gratitude to our fellow beings.Ingratitude is not our inability to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Ingratitude is our deliberate unwillingness to acknowledge the gifts we receive from others. Gratitude is receptivity, the receptivity that acknowledges others’ gifts, others’ love and concern. Each time we express gratitude, we expand our hearts.

Receptivity can be increased. How can we increase our receptivity? We can increase it by cultivating it. The farmer cultivates the ground and then he sows the seed. He waters it and eventually the seed germinates and grows into a sapling and a tree. Here also, when we cultivate our gratitude-heart, we get the opportunity to sow our pure love there. This pure love grows into true concern, and true concern eventually becomes inseparable oneness.

When we want to pick a beautiful flower from a tree, we look around to see if anybody is observing us. We feel that nobody should know that we had to take the flower from some other place. We want to show the world at large that this flower was ours right from the beginning. In order to do that, we try to destroy the branches of the tree.

We receive gifts from our friends in the inner worlds but we don’t want others to know about it. So we speak ill of our inner friends, consciously or unconsciously. We want to make the world believe that we are self sufficient, but the rest of the world knows that we are receiving something from others. Ingratitude is nothing but a sense of inferiority, an inferiority complex. The gifts we get from others we do not want to acknowledge. We are afraid to expose ourselves to others.

Ingratitude, impurity and the doubting mind go together. It is impurity that divides and separates us and does not allow us to have the feeling of oneness or gratitude. And this impurity unconsciously or consciously is treasured by the doubtful mind. Gratitude, purity and the loving heart always go together. The gratitude flower grows in our purity heart. Purity expands our heart. Purity awakens our entire being within to the highest level of consciousness. The heart is self giving. And what is self-giving today becomes tomorrow God-Delight and God Perfection.

-Swami Chinmoy