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Day at a time, Gratitude, 6/4/20

7 Apr 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

Beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Feeling so grateful to practice Qi Gong outside, on the lawn, in the fresh air and green with the feeling of the gentle wind and the sun on my skin. That was Sunday – yesterday. I chose to enjoy the beautiful weather, spending the day gardening, being with the family and walking the dogs. I chose to let go of the idea of writing a blog and enjoy being.


This morning, another lovely Spring morning on the one hand, groggy feeling on the other. Sculpt exercise at 8.00 am followed by Monday meditation with friends at 9.30 am on Zoom. We practiced 30 minutes silent meditation together, feeling connected although not physically together. Sitting in silence, just sitting – nothing to do and nowhere to go. Just this, and the body and mind begin to still. As Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master says,


The apple juice became clear after resting awhile.

In the same way, if we rest in meditation a while, we too become clear.

This clarity refreshes us and gives us strength and serenity. (1988)


As I sit, I can hear the birds singing outside. The wood pigeon providing a background cooing and the songbirds coming in and out with their joyful sounds. The gratitude fills my heart and I feel this joyful energy in my chest. After meditating we share any reflections on how we are, how our practice is going and about life. Today the theme that arose was gratitude for the kindness and connecting that is happening everywhere and gratitude for the amazing people who care for us in our lives. One friend shared the beautiful words of Michael Rosen written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS: –


These are the hands that touch us first, feel your head, find your pulse and make your bed.

These are the hands that tap your back, test the skin, hold your arm, wheel the bin.

These are the hands that change the bulb, fix the drip, pour the jug, replace your hip.

These are the hands that fill the bath, mop the floor, flick the switch, soothe the sour.

These are the hands that burn the swabs, give us a jab, throw out sharps, design the lab

and these are the hands that stop the leaks, empty the pan, wipe the pipes, carry the can.

These are the hands that clamp the veins, make the cast, log the dose and touch us last.


Michael has been in hospital with Covid-19 and so many people who love him and his work are wishing the best for him. My local hospice is being turned into a field hospital and will have twice the number of beds. The staff are understandably extremely anxious. Right now, we are all dealing with challenging issues to a lesser or greater extent and building our inner strengths is key to maintaining balance and well-being. Gratitude is an inner strength and helps us notice the many blessings we still have.


Hint: Count your blessings


Practice: Gratitude


At the end of day literally count on your fingers the things you are grateful for. Aim for 10 because getting to 10 may be hard to do but really helps us acknowledge everything we can feel appreciation for. Right now I am enormously grateful to be living in the countryside, to hear the bird song outside, see the blossom on the trees, the comfortable chair I am sitting on, the warmth in the room, a roof over my head, family living with me, connecting with friends this morning, the comfort of dogs, the sunshine and this delicious water I am drinking – phew made it!!! Savour the feelings as you do this.

Sounds of the countryside…