I participate in a meditation community where members share brief stories via email about how their practice is going. It’s a way for the individual doing the sharing to delve deeper into his/her practice, and a way for people receiving the message to stay inspired when the practice can become difficult/boring/uncomfortable.
An important part of the meditation style I follow focuses on service and gratitude. In fact, every year the in-person community holds a “Festival of Giving and Receiving”: an afternoon event where people share items to be offered to local non-profit organizations (everything from canned goods to cash), as well as messages of peace and unity. The messages can take the form of essays, music, poems, raps, or any other structure the giver desires.
One of the individuals from the email community said that he would like to collect brief sentiments from us, and read several of them aloud at the festival. Happy to oblige, I sent him the following note:
“At the end of every day, I get to come home to two tiny, furry, old dogs. The pups are toothless; one has a permanently displaced hip and the other has arthritis; both require too many expensive trips to the vet, special food, and daily medication…and yet, every day when I return home, both of these tired old boys perk up, wag their tails, lick my hand, and let me know that they love me with all of their puppy hearts. The feeling is completely mutual.”
May these sentiments (and images) of gratitude and joy spread and cultivate similar feelings among others.