Gratitude - 感謝 - Gǎnxiè
When you drink or eat,
remember the source.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Spiritual understanding is key to acquiring awareness of the greater world, picking up on the subtleties of life that others overlook. If you only devote your attention to earthly entertainment and trivial distractions, you will never attain the profound level of awareness required for a spiritual journey.
Grand religious ceremonies and heroic affirmations of faith are important milestones on the path, but they are not the only (or the most important) occasion of spiritual growth. Every moment, filled by the little details too small for many to notice, is an opportunity for achieving understanding. The smallest act, as well as the largest, should permeate with reverence.
One of the most basic acts of mankind is drinking water. Without it, life cannot be sustained. Water cleanses, cools, and is essential for biological processes. And yet, when we drink water, are we aware of the good it does for us? Do we think of the source and all the effort that went into securing the resource for human use? Are we ever thankful of this simplest gift, refreshment?
Being spiritual does not mean taking things for granted, as you must always remember how everything fits into the scheme of the Universe. Acknowledge the precious qualities of everyday objects. Maintain gratitude for the good and the bad in this world and continue to contemplate the equilibrium of existence.