Exercising the Gratitude Muscle

Suganuma Sensei used to read short passages in the Dojo written by great teachers.
One of his favourite teachers was Nakamura Tempu Sensei.
A while ago I wrote a post about a sentence Nakamura Sensei wrote: “What is the single thing that
determines our lives?”
This sentence receives enhanced power and meaning these days, in which we spend most of our
time in small spaces with the people closest to us, a time characterized by uncertainty regarding the

Most of us have limited influence on the circumstances: I cannot determine when the Coronavirus
will end, when the economy and businesses will return to normal, when we will go back to practice
Aikido as before, etc. I am not able to influence any of these things.

But there are many things that I do have the ability to influence on!
In times like these, each and every one of us can choose his/her attitude!
We can choose if we seek the flaws in our spouses, in our children, and in anyone else.

As we all know, our consciousness seeks proof of what it has already made up its mind about. The
minute we decide that someone is “not OK”, we will find proof of that. If that someone happens to
be our spouse, we will find many flaws, even flaws we did not notice earlier…
The outcome will be quarrels, weakening words, negative energy.
Is this what I want?

On the other hand, if we choose, and choice is key here, to see the good in our spouse, to
remember why we fell in love with them, to give them credit for the good things they do, to
acknowledge the fact that they are doing their best, there is a good chance we will spend these days
in a good atmosphere. We will enjoy the company of the people who are closest to us, and family
ties will grow stronger and better.

That is the reason for the tradition we follow in social gatherings in the Dojo: each person tells about
something good that has happened to him/her lately.
What is that good for?
Actually, we are exercising “the thankfulness muscle”, or “the gratitude muscle”.
The moment I actively look for good things, things I should be thankful for, my consciousness
continues this search naturally.

Accept this warm recommendation given by Masters: Suganuma Sensei, and Nakamura Tempu
Try it. You may even benefit from it…

תגובות (1)

  1. Arjan de Vries:

    Great blog my friend!
    Everybody gets a little crazy during these bizar times. This is why I keep teaching online and trying to keep the group together. So even while the dojo is closed we can be together. As for being with the family in the house for already 5 weeks, just give each other space. If you can take a walk together. The world is still a beautiful place with beautiful people.

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