Brightest blessings…

The notion of ‘brightest blessings’ is an ages-old aspect of the traditions that I teach, coach, and humbly endeavor to follow, e.g., Ming Chia (the Bright Beautiful School of Thought, a facet of the broader Tao-Chan or better known as Zen).

Congruent therein, it is common to wish “brightest blessings” to others, much like wishing someone good tidings, a good day, or any such. It is meant to be a serious wishing of the most splendid of blessings, in a genuinely heartfelt fashion.

That said – yin to yang/yang to yin, with what we might construe as on a deeper level in said tradition, the notion of bright or brightest blessings can go further in its appreciation, outlook and application: It is the concept that brightest blessings are congruent not as much with the blessings themselves, but that the truly brightest of blessings are consistent with TRUE APPRECIATION of blessings, blessings which are manifest in measure beyond what we so often appreciate or choose to wrap our heads around, so-to-speak. This SO genuinely healthful outlook is congruent with that which may lead one to sweet and innocent mindful meditative sparkling spine-tingling/shivering levels of appreciation – healthful beyond what words can describe: Such can only be witnessed, not figured or construed in thought.

Allowing oneself such a level of true appreciation is likely to be among the most difficult of things in life – learning to more and more and more appreciate the boundless blessings in our lives. To further clarify, this is where the notion comes even more specifically into focus: That which is genuinely witnessed as a blessing – REALLY TRULY appreciated, and not just for a fleeting moment, is again in a deeper sense a bright or brightest blessing. AND such a level of true appreciation connects to a type of pattern literacy, e.g., makes it easier and easier to connect our appreciation to more and more and more of the boundless blessings in our lives. In this tradition, it is viewed as a true responsibility, a facet of the broader notion of true health and our responsibility of making the world a better place. This versus being stuck on stagnant plateaus and tearing the world down. In short, it is true health through true responsibility.

In our daily lives we are often so hurried, harried, and distracted – therein it is quite normal to take things for granted and not appreciate the blessings in our lives. It isn’t even socially or culturally normal to be very aware of the notion, the truth of being so blessed, or to take the time to appreciate said blessings. It can be QUITE difficult to even seriously consider. Things like the air that we breathe or the natural world that makes life even possible, may not even seem like blessings, being that these things as such are SO common and easy to take for granted. Albeit, in truth, this in no way makes such things less of a true blessing. On a fundamental level, this is inarguable. AND such blessings in our lives go on and on and on…

It is quite a simple matter to get lost in our priorities, even what are often unhealthful and misguided priorities. We live as if we know a lot, when in fact, if we are living lives that aren’t full of significant appreciation, then on many levels, it is a lie: What could be more important than feeling deep and abiding appreciation for the most fundamental of blessings…even life itself. It is SO easy, yet SO wrong to not appreciate things as such. And once again, the blessings go on and on and on. EACH moment is a blessing…a miracle unto itself. At the deepest levels, we can only FEEL such amounts of appreciation, WITNESS it, not rationalize or construe. What could be more important? Is it likely that it would be much more difficult to be upset, anxious, worried, depressed, sad, angry, or frustrated, if we aren’t thinking such thoughts, e.g., just appreciating? Would it be consistent with true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…nothing to hide behind?

The following verse from the last chapter of my book relates to these concepts in a succinct AND appreciative fashion:

“The Lotus Flower Blossoms

There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be. It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.

In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before.

It is not unlike Heaven and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation. It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful, more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind.” (Copyright 2011)

*In a proverbial nutshell – life is good, we are blessed, we just need to appreciate it. SO simple. SO difficult. We’ll never perfect it on this earth, but we can work at it, and catch some of those sparkling glimpses of Heaven, working at it over our entire lives, always taking to heart and remembering that the greatest of blessings/gifts are found in a loving spirit of true appreciation…knowing (and feeling additional appreciation(!) that there is always room for improvement. There IS magic all around us and inside of us ALL of the time, in each moment AND each moment is a miracle. — Dr. Glen Hepker


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