Don’t let it go by
One time I had a wonderful evening with the author Alice Walker. Someone had arranged for us to do an event together, and actually it turned out to be wonderful because she loves tonglen, and that’s what she wanted to talk about. She said one of the things she does is takes note of when things are going well in her life, when she appreciates something, feels gratitude, or there’s something good—minor or major.
That’s where I learned this, from her. She said, “I think it’s important to note it and actually say to yourself, ‘This is wonderful,’ or ‘I like this,’ or ‘I’m feeling happy right now.’” A smile crosses your face and you actually let it be like sunshine through your whole body. She said, “Otherwise, at the end of the day, all I remember are the bad things.” It’s really true. But if you make note of it during the day, then you remember the whole gestalt of the day, with its good parts and bad parts.
On Never Losing Heart, a free 17-minute teaching from The Heart of the Matter, an online course with Pema Chödrön.