I enjoyed this essay by Alan Cohen on the value of gratitude. Repeating this affirmation sounds like a worthwhile exercise!
Here is a wonderful essay by Alan that I posted earlier.
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THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING
The story is told about a woman Zen master named Sono who taught one very simple method of enlightenment. She advised everyone who came to her to adopt an affirmation to be said many times a day, under all conditions. The affirmation was, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”
Many people from all arenas of life came to Sono for healing. Some were in physical pain; others were emotionally distraught; others had financial troubles; some were seeking soul liberation. No matter what their distress or what question they asked her, her response was the same: “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” Some people went away disappointed; others grew angry; others tried to argue with her. Yet some people took her suggestion to heart and began to practice it. Tradition tells that everyone who practiced Sono’s mantra found peace and healing.
Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever. My friend Lisa, an attractive woman in her late 30s, came to one of my seminars after I had not seen her for a number of years. She informed the group that a year earlier she had been diagnosed with a brain disorder that required immediate surgery. The surgery was done, a steel plate was inserted in her head, and her doctor keeps her under close observation. Lisa reported that now she lives from day to day. Privately I told Lisa that I was sorry she had gone through this whole ordeal. “Oh, don’t be sorry,” she told me emphatically. “I’m not sorry at all. This was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It really got me to appreciate my life and relationships. I married a wonderful guy and we are thinking about having children. I wouldn’t trade the experience if I could.” Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.
Can you imagine what your life would be like if you simply dropped your complaints? It’s a radical proposal, since most of us have been trained to question, analyze, and criticize everything we see. But then we end up questioning, analyzing, and criticizing ourselves. Then we miss out on joy, the only true measure of success.
The ecstatic mystic poet Hafiz proclaimed, “All a sane man can ever think about is giving love.” One evening I received a phone call from my friend Cliff, a Jewish guy from Brooklyn who discovered A Course in Miracles and became a world-class love exuder. Cliff just went around finding good and beauty in everyone he met. On the phone, Cliff told me, “I just called to tell you how much I love and appreciate you.”
“Well, thank you Cliff,” I answered, delighted. “I really appreciate that . . . What prompted you to call me at this moment?”
“My knee was hurting me, and I knew that the only way I could feel better would be to give more love. So I began to think of the people in my life who I care about, and you came to mind.” Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.
In my book Handle with Prayer, I state that the highest form of prayer is gratitude. Instead of asking God for stuff, start thanking God for stuff, and you will find that God has already given you everything you could want or need, including the adventure of discovering more riches every day. Life is a big treasure hunt. Eventually we grow weary of seeking treasures outside ourselves, and we begin to look within. There we discover that the gold we sought, we already are. The beauty we overlooked because we were focusing on what was missing, still lives and awaits us like an anxious lover. As T.S. Eliot nobly noted, “The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
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THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
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Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.