My feet hurt tonight. I guess I walked more today than I thought I did. It was a beautiful day.
1. I am grateful that after all these years, I finally found a tram close to P-'s house. He always told me there was no transport link near him. I guess he didn't think it was safe for me to travel on the metro in his neighbourhood. He forgets that I live in London. It is sweet of him, but he is more likely to get mugged than I. However, he is better equipped as a kung fu teacher, to get away.
2. I am grateful for woman on the platform who changed my 20 Euro bill for two tens so that I could buy a ticket from the machine as it doesn't accept any bill bigger than a ten.
3. I am grateful that I had time, whilst P- was preparing his presentation for his client, to contemplate this practice and to read a couple of articles on the research on gratitude and the other practices (Joy, Oneness and Service). I have not done much research because finding my way through this, organically, is, I think, the skeleton of my book. I am happy to report that what has been found organically also matches clinical research.
Joy - I have a few "happy" songs that really lift my spirit (and which are not in sanskrit) by Train, Mraz, and Pharell. I listened to them whilst I was making soup for the family for the next few weeks and I found myself dancing around in the sunny kitchen chopping vegetables.
Oneness - One of the things that won my heart when I met P- for the first time was that he told me Belgians, and he in particular, was grateful to Canadians because it was our forces that liberated Belgium, and his hometown of Antwerp. Today I walked around the city and explored some parts that I had not seen before. I went back to the river and saw for the first time a monument recognizing the liberation of Antwerp in WWII. Of the some 10,000 forces who stormed the port and died, more than 6,000 were Canadian. When I see war memorials to Canadian soldiers in Flanders, I am always moved (I cannot hear Last Post without crying) and I say a prayer of remembrance for them.
Service - well, cooking was a kind of service today but I also went into town and bought some fruit bread and chocolate that I know P- and his family like. Food is good for the soul and the spirit and when it is made with love or bought from the finest bakers and chocolatiers, it fills us with that love when we eat. My first experience with karma yoga (selfless service) was in preparing the prasad (blessed food offering) for the spiritual community. Food, to me, can be a spiritual experience when its preparation and serving is infused with love and without expectation.