Gassho means “deep appreciation” and it describes the deep joy and thankfulness that we have for everything that we do, everything we receive, and everything that we have.
Gassho is the ultimate and most powerful expression of mindfulness and awareness (zanshin).
We travel through the our days, implicitly relying on the tremendous goodwill and support of the people around us: our friends, our family members, our life-partners, our teachers, our fellow students, even random strangers – everyone gives us so many gifts each day that perhaps we take them for granted.reminds us to be mindful of these gifts and the presence of all these people in our lives. Gassho encourages us to reach deep into our spirits and bring forth a truly intense and personal expression of joyous gratitude – a celebration of appreciation – for the presence of these people and their contributions to our lives.
Gassho also reminds us of the wondrousness of life itself: do we appreciate that we have an entire new day, freshly-offered, each and every day of our lives? A day that will give us the chance to train on the dojo floor to become a better person outside the dojo? And a day in which our tomorrows do not have to be like our yesterdays, if only we make that decision to effect positive changes in our lives? Such an opportunity to live a strong, positive, uplifting life of constant improvement and constructive change is something in and of itself a magical thing, and a truth for which we must hold the deepest and most sincere appreciation.
And finally, gassho reminds us to be deeply thankful of the unique and valuable person that we ourselves are – and the incredible contribution that we already make to the people around us today, and how wonderful it is that we also have the opportunity to make even more powerful and even more positive contributions to the universe of the people in our lives tomorrow.