By December 10, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

ZenView – Gratitude

By Mary Layton

What are you grateful for? Our family decided that we will only get gifts for the kids in the family. I’m grateful for that because I’m not really that fond of the shopping frenzy, or the pressure to find just the perfect gift for everyone. On the other hand if I come across something unusual and unique I will gift it to the right person. Finding the right gift for someone is a real pleasure. Coming from a Zen point of view however, I can easily settle with a less materialistic approach. I love the more simple and fundamental aspects of Christmas, the wonderful smell of a live or cut Christmas tree, the energy of green and red colors everywhere, the candles and the sparkle of Christmas lights, the smell of cookies and the sounds of bells and Christmas music. It’s the season again to spread the good cheer and love. This is the last month of 2019 and somehow I find that it makes for a special Christmas season as we are heading into 2020. We all have been so busy with our lives all year long!

I think of Christmas as a celebration of life. Finally we have some time to be with our loved ones, family, friends, coworkers and neighbors or to be by ourselves, to slow down, recuperate and appreciate all the things that we have, a roof over our head, shelter, good food and company. Even if we have suffered losses, there’s always something to be grateful for. Everything about us, our bodies, our mind and spirit is miraculous. There’s the sky, sun, moon and the stars, the sunsets and sunrises, the tweeting of a bird, the purring of a cat or a child’s smile that can bring peace and gratitude. I’m also grateful how much more appealing Modesto has become. We can see world-class opera here, great concerts, art shows, ballet and fun parades in downtown. There’s so much more to do and experience here now. Enjoy the season of giving. Have a very beautiful Christmas!

Give a month of T’ai chi classes as a Christmas gift. Go to for details, call (209)572-4518.

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About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.