In the instance of the dharma of Christianity, the “mayo” is Gratitude. It is the state of mind that can appear to be the cart before the horse, the chicken before the egg. Gratitude is both the natural result of and the only thing that will help us fully benefit from the practice of Christian dharma.
We often hear it quaintly said that we should maintain an “attitude of gratitude.” Traditional Christianity expresses this in the form of praise and worship. Sunday morning worship is all about the opportunity to express gratitude around an occasion of mindfulness and meaning. That’s what’s really trying to go on. Fellowship, food for thought and a chance to sing and say thanks together.
Studies and experience show that offering a co-worker praise invariably results in better job performance. It improves the quality of both the workplace and of the work. When we stop and smell the roses we are experiencing them mindfully. We get more from the experience. When we connect our deliberately loving mind with our actions, our actions mean more.
Attempting to live in a state of gratitude makes us more resilient to the obstacles we face everyday in life. Increased resiliency means we are calmer, more peaceful, and likely better equipped to make thoughtful decisions rather than emotional ones. When we operate out of our emotions we make bad decisions and bad neighbors. We react when we should be responding.
I invite you to consider the active practice, no matter what your belief system, of the five dharmic principles of Christianity: Nonresistance, Forgiveness, Compassion, Hospitality and Empowerment. Allow Gratitude to seep into the creavasses of that practice. Find moments, any moment at all, to feel grateful, just for the sake of it. Especially when you’re really upset, latch onto something for a moment about which you feel incredibly grateful. Get the brain chemicals flowing in a different direction for a second. It will change literally everything.
When you see injustice in the world, first acknowledge that it exists and is informed by hurt. That is being nonresistant. Merely acknowledge it, without judgement, that it exists. Recognize that to forgive something is not the same as excusing it. Maintain a state of compassion for the hurt itself, send energy to it. It knows not what it does. Welcome discussions and debates on how to support both the hurt that causes injustice and the hurt caused by it. Raise them both up as equals and injustice will no longer have a sanctuary in this world. ❤️