Thursday, August 09, 2007

On Gratitude

I had chance to browse through Celebrating Silence while waiting on J to finish her music lesson. The quote on Gratitude really got me thinking. The concept of saying thank you was alien to me until convent school teachers made sure I learnt my manners.

Thereafter, I have said (and felt) thankful in the world outside but cannot recall any time I have formally thanked my closest family. I used to wonder why "Thank You" feels so contrived and awkward at home with those I loved most when it comes spontaneously for perfect strangers. I may have found the answer I was looking for.


To thank someone implies separation. Thanking means there are two. If you are deeply thankful, it means you deeply feel the separation. Deep within there is no need to thank because there is oneness. But you can thank superficially. Thanks are like ripples on the surface of water.

When you say "thank you," you complete something. You are finishing a transaction, a relationship, a process ."Thank you" is like "goodbye." You can complete all transactions at a surface level, but deep inside there is only oneness.

Thankfulness always exists in relation to something else. Yo do not thank for nothing at all. you thank for something. But in this case, something is less than nothing.

At the deepest level, thanking has no meaning. Does one hand thank the other hand? The deeper you go, you see there is no "other" to be thanked.

- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in "Celebrating Silence"

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