Live Out Life with Gratitude

This last November, the Su Bong Zen Monastery production team made a documentary for Luang Por, Pra Pongsak — a Thai forest monk and the first teacher who opened my mind through the teaching of living in Nature to experience the pure nature of our true nature. Nature only gives and never asks for reward. The taste of this great joy and happiness makes me feel I am always in debt to Luang Por. This deep gratitude never stops.

Our production team asked me to take them to where I started to practice and explain those moments of insight. When we returned to those places and started recording, deep inside I felt as if those stories and insights were from a past life. Even at that moment when I was sharing those experiences, it was like someone was telling another person’s experience. Those experiences were not mine nor were they real — it was a taste of shocking impermanence and emptiness.

After that, we met the current abbot of the temple where I used to practice. We talked for a while and then he asked jokingly: “Would you like to have this temple back?” I told him: “I am just a guest passing by. Now it is your turn to do this abbot job. I wish you every success in spreading the Dharma.”

Have you ever felt like we are just guests passing by? It doesn’t matter who you are or what experience you have — after all it will not remain the same. 2019 is replacing 2018. What you have accomplished and not accomplished both you cannot keep. The one thing we can keep is being grateful.

We are grateful to have been born as humans because we were given a chance to grow and learn. So many people have shared their knowledge and experiences with us. So many opportunities have been given to us. Most importantly, we met the Dharma and have keen-eyed teachers to show us the way to practice, become free from suffering, and attain true freedom.

May we always keep this attitude of gratitude in our everyday life, in our careers, and in our relationships and friendships. In this gratitude there is no past or future; we are only truly living in this moment 100%. This gratitude mind is willing to accept and let go. In this gratitude, we will be humble in our willingness to take up responsibility and feel great honour to have a chance to pay it forward. May we all, in the year 2019, the year of the pig, live a life of gratitude, and then attain all the vows of the awakened, wise beings and help each other.

Our mind is like a bright pearl shining
into the whole universe;
Live out life with gratitude, and
without effort, attain everything.


Happy New Year!
May the Year of the Pig bring you good health and happiness, filled with fruitful experiences of wisdom and compassion!