Be Thankful or Else!

Is it just the contrarian in me, or are there others who balk at a particular day set aside to be thankful? I have similar feelings about Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, but as a Buddhist I live in the moment, and Thanksgiving is the Day of the moment in the United States.

vector turkey card for thanksgiving dayDon’t you just love it when Aunt Margaret asks everyone to (insists that everyone) form a circle. join hands and take turns proclaiming something they’re grateful for? If you have enough relatives, this goes on until your sick of Uncle Harry’s calloused tight grip on your left and Cousin Rose’s delicate little fingers on your right. Then when it’s your turn, you hope they’ll all laugh when you say you’re grateful that the sharing circle is almost over.

Uncle Joe will undoubtedly lift his glass and make a toast to “absent friends,” even though it was too much “toasting” that helped cause some of their absences.

But wait a minute! Isn’t Melting-Pot Dharma supposed to be about compassion, the oneness of everything, and Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration (the Noble Eightfold Path)?

Well, yes, but my Buddhism is also about living in the moment and accepting all of the seeds within me. So once I’ve published this post, I’ll do my best to nurture my seeds of love and compassion without at the same time denying my curmudgeonly seeds.

Now I have to go so I can take my shower and recite a calming mantra 108 times before Aunt Margaret gets here.

Copyright 2015 © Mel Harkrader Pine

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh God, yes.

    (Yours in contrarian-ness, as I’m off to Turkey Trot).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Linda Allen says:

    Loved it! Thanks! Dave and I are having a date night and going to eat at Texas De Brazil downtown tonight😀. No turkey…but, I am thankful for all I have in my life (including you)…but, this is everyday, not just today ;-)!

    Love, Linda

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

    1. melhpine says:

      Wish I was there

      Like

  3. I don’t know, I guess a small part of me balks…on the other hand, I did buy the book “Gratitude” and attempted a daily gratitude practice for a while, but I let it slide. Maybe it’s just not for me. I was mainly afraid that my parents were going to say grace at the restaurant we went to for lunch (a practice my atheist husband and I sit out). But I needn’t have worried; I guess Dad had his hands full with my mother, who has recently been diagnosed with dementia and spent almost the entire time we were with her speaking in a singsong that about drove me mad. It turns out that for this journey I need not only strength but patience. Our collective mood improved as the day wore on, however, so overall the day wasn’t as bad as I was fearing, even with my nearly-shot nerves. Anyway, I hope you didn’t kill Aunt Margaret and that you survived your Thanksgiving otherwise unscathed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. melhpine says:

      Thanks for the good wishes, Louise. My Thanksgiving actually did work out well. All of those who came knew my son Thomas — most of them quite well — and care deeply about his loss. That may have contributed to a calmer atmosphere. I am sorry about your mother’s dementia. It is an awful thing for a child to witness. I’ve been through that process with my mother-in-law. If you ever want to talk about it or want suggestions for coping, send me a message via my Contact Mel form.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mel. I just might take you up on that.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. melhpine says:

      By the way, one of my cousins read my blog post on the way to my house but didn’t tell any of the others what I had written

      Liked by 2 people

  4. And thanks for the pingback!

    Liked by 1 person

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