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Gratified, Joy, and Gratitude

Today is Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. Somewhat different from February 2, this day does not merit uncertainty.

Upaya is a Sanskrit term referring to limitless possibilities. It is often used with upaya-kausalya, meaning "skillful means."

Upaya finds mention in Mahayana Buddhism as an aspect of guidance that recommends practitioners to follow their own specific techniques according to a prevailing situation in order to achieve enlightenment.

Using skillful means is considered as one of the attributes of a bodhisattva, which refers to those who tread the path toward achieving Buddhahood.

This “attribute,” to me implies a boundless point. Therefore the selection of a word or phrase as a description of “___________, ” is, in the words of the immortal Buzz Lightyear– To infinity and Beyond.

So today, how can one convey (upaya-kausalya)... "love" without counting the ways. And my stumble is over gratification, which I sense is different from contentment. This is a welling-up beyond my grasp, that can seep-forth or burst-out.

Could it be that there is being grateful beyond gratification? I have a joyful feeling about this in that it is beyond need and expectation. Jack Kornfield ponders this too through the practice of mindfulness:

Just as we are grateful for our blessings, so we can be grateful for the blessings of others…

Turning now to translations of Dogen’s meaning of penetrating, one often reads intimacy or heartfelt. Our heart metaphorically skips a beat…the clutch is engaged. I resonate with expounding thankfulness, which is the action arm of gratitude beyond being gratified, with a pinch of heartfelt joy. Love?

108 Bows,


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