Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratefulness

Autumn hike along the coast of Big Sur

Happy Thanks-Giving to all.

Out on a hike just a few days ago I was high above the Pacific Ocean and in between the silence of the mountains could hear the waves crashing below. This simple line from Rumi came to mind and heart.

"When the ocean surges,
don't let me just hear it.
Let it splash inside by chest!"
~ Rumi (from the Essential Rumi)

On this day that we set aside to intentionally give thanks it comes to the surface again and speaks to me of gratefulness for the human animals in my life. All of you who have touched my life... don't let me just see you — may you splash inside my chest! It is in the "splash" that I feel gratitude.

I often quote by friend Bro. David Steindl-Rast.
"It is not happiness that makes us grateful.
It is gratefulness that makes us happy."

Happy Thanksgiving,

Steven

Here are some links for those of you that would like some inspiration and/or are curious about gratefulness:
A Good Day YouTube video with Bro. David
Meal Chant Stew article by Steven on Bro. David's site Gratefulness.org
Want to be happy? TED talk by Bro. David

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zen Life, Wild Life

Abbot Steve St├╝cky & Steven in the Kaisando at Tassajara

My friend, co-leader, and central abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center has terminal cancer.

Co-leading retreats with Steve at Tassajara has made my life richer and more wakeful. The 2008 fire brought us together. I am blessed to have shared trail time with Steve on the path in and around Tassajara. How lucky I feel to know someone who deeply loves the earth in such an intimate manner. Coulter pines after the fire and Myogen Steve will always carry new meaning… and with them the reminder of life’s wildness and gratitude for our capacity to open our hearts. I hear the bell ring out across the Horse Pasture and attend with wakefulness three breaths and the flood of life pouring in every sense portal. 

With the deepest of gratitude for you — Abbot Steve — two claps, and a deep gassho! 

For those of you that know Steve or have attended retreats with Steve and me at Tassajara here is a link to follow his quickly changing condition: Subtle Eye 

Blessings,
Steven