Buddhist Writer and Teacher Cheri Huber Says we all have Plenty of Reasons to Give Thanks

November 20, 2006

Author: David Ian Miller

Source: The Buddhist Channel/San Francisco Gate


It's Thanksgiving, time for another nationwide gratitude wake-up call. On this one day each year, Americans feel free -- or some might say compelled -- to openly express thanks for life's blessings. On the other 364 days, we are left in peace to mumble and grumble about the minor annoyances of life, interspersed with occasional quick thanks to the powers-that-be when something truly spectacular happens.

But gratitude is something we can and should feel year round, says Cheri Huber, a Buddhist teacher in the Soto Zen tradition. Huber says every day should be filled with focused appreciation, both for what we have and for what we don't have. Doing so, she believes, is the best way to both grow spiritually and achieve more of what we want in the mundane world.

Huber, who founded the Palo Alto Zen Center and the Zen Monastery Peace Center in Murphys, Calif., is the author of 17 books, including "Suffering Is Optional: Three Keys to Freedom and Joy" (2002, Keep it Simple) and "Unconditional Self-Acceptance" (2005, Keep It Simple). I spoke to her last week by phone about the importance of gratitude, the nasty little voices in our heads that ruin a perfectly fine day and the Buddhist precept of non-attachment ("way overrated," according to Huber).