Also known as “Counting your Blessings”. And blessings are something we all have. For a start we are living in the West, which automatically means we are significantly better off than the vast majority of everyone else on the planet.
So you have Gratitude for the nice place in which to meditate.
You can have Gratitude for the people around you who helped you become a Tantric. I did this towards the Theravadin group and its members I had known for so long. They were still complete fucking arseholes, but they were complete fucking arseholes who had given me every reason and some very good ones to leave Theravada and to explore a Path that is significantly more suited to me as a person. I looked back on every person who contributed to my leaving Theravada and developed a deep sense of absolute Gratitude towards them. I didn’t and still don’t like them as people, but the anger is by and large gone. These people were a Blessing, by and large in disguise.
I also looked back on the people who refused to talk sense to my ex-wife and thus in encouraging her in her increasingly destructive negative behaviour that brought about the death of that marriage and from the position of a deep happiness in my marriage to Selina, developed a deep Gratitude. No great accident that the people who were in the Theravadin group and those who simply didn’t help were the same crowd.
The point of this is to illustrate that whilst things may at first seem profoundly negative, we can in hindsight look back on them and see them as a net gain. I would never have done half the things I have in the last 5 years had I remained either in the marriage or the group I was in. Thus, for me, there is room to see things as a Blessing.
Mahayana Buddhism is very big on Gratitude towards our parents. There is the truism that we only understand the sacrifices our parents made in raising us when we become parents ourselves. Thus I now understand my parents and have a great deal of Gratitude towards them.
Selina understands that as an Aspergers, I need a fair bit of solitude just to function as a person. She gives me two weeks a year to go walking by myself. This is a deep gift from my wife.
My son is absolutely a Blessing to me. For a start he helps me become both the man and the father I want to be. He has also taught me an incredible amount of Dharma. Because of him I’ve also had to practice more Patience, Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Equanimity than I ever thought I would. He has also helped me heal from a rather painful past.
I regard Aspergers Syndrome as a Blessing. Yes it can be a royal pain at times, but the positive aspects are what defines me as a person. A friend remarked that it was the Aspergers that enabled me to stage and win my fight against the Depression that was the legacy of my childhood. Aspies are notorious for not backing down in a fight, nor giving up.
The motivation to pursue the Tantric path is a Blessing. Even if that motivation came from a near miss with death or diabetes.
We sit in our usual manner and review all the utterly wonderful things in our lives. You might be surprised at just how many there are.