November 24

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 24: “My girl is a Buddhist, and she’s always saying thank you to the beach and to the waves and the sunset. I used to think it was all woo-woo bullshit, but I like listening to her talk. I’ve caught myself thanking a tree once or twice. I’ve decided that even though it’s bullshit, it’s the good kind.”― Ann Napolitano

This quote made me laugh. I do not understand that the author believed Buddhism has anything to do with thanking Nature for her gifts. It is a function of mindfulness, to be sure. But not a part of a regular Buddhist practice. I would not ascribe it to the person due to their beliefs.

To practice thanking Nature or others is a separate practice. I was taught to bow to everything greater than me, but it was by my Medicine teacher. I was taught to respect, revere, and appreciate all of nature. The practice of walking through the world without leaving a footprint or changing anything is an old practice of many indigenous people. I respect, honor, and revere their teachings. They took ONLY what they needed. That is not something I learned from teachings I have followed in any other spiritual tradition, but it is the best one I know.

I did learn from a Buddhist master to walk in mindfulness, without stepping on anything that is living beneath my feet. But it was already in my tool kit. And to live peacefully with all that IS. Not to kill any other living thing. Not to create stories around my fear of other living things that allowed me to believe that harming them was necessary.

Mostly, I love the woo-woo bullshit of thanking the planet, all of its creatures, all of its natural resources for my enjoyment of them. I spend a lot of time outdoors, walking and hiking and loving Nature. I belong to her. She is the source of my joy and happiness because I sing to her the Anthem I learned from a very long-ago sponsor. Anyone who walks with me through the world learns to thank the Universal Power for every amazing bird, animal, tree, flower, and so on. They are tremendous gifts.

Nature is a huge blessing that Ego works to conquer and overcome. We have destroyed an entire planet in short time with our greed and materialism. It is a heartbreak to see what Ego does. It is a joy and source of wonder and awe to see what Universal Power does. There is nothing to argue in that.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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