“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
We’ve explored the reasons to practice Gratitude and the many different ways that we can cultivate a sense of gratefulness into our daily life. So today, a short post, offering you a simple meditation that you can use whenever and wherever you like. Gratitude meditation is a practice by which people consciously consider all the things that they have to be grateful for in their life. More often than not, the rewards of the practice are felt during, if not immediately after, which means that practicing gratitude meditation even once can enhance well-being.
When we pause for reflection, we find that there is so much that we can be grateful for. We can appreciate our family and friends, our colleagues, teachers and mentors. Or take pleasure in the sky, the clouds, rain or snow. Or the taste of our morning coffee or the smell of dinner. Nothing is too big or too small to be grateful for. We can open our hearts and feel blessed by anything. But this practice isn’t just for the positives in our life. It is important that we learn to express gratitude for our challenges, recognising that they help us grow and evolve as a person.
Often life appears dark and there are things in our life that seem bad or unfair. A practice of gratitude encourages a shift in perspective so that instead of dwelling on the negatives, we can see them as an opportunity for self development. True happiness is not about positive thinking or naively ignoring the suffering, rather being aware of the negatives, and choosing not to let them control your mood.
A Grateful Meditation
- Come to a comfortable position, preferably seated with a long spine
- Close your eyes of soften your gaze
- Become aware of your bodily sensations on the chair, cushion, floor beneath you
- Notice how you are feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically
- Observe the breath flowing through the body for a few moments
- Let your awareness move to your immediate environment: all the things you can smell, taste, touch, see, hear. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.”
- Next, bring to mind those people in your life to whom you are close: your friends, family, partner…. Say to yourself, “For this, I am grateful.”
- Next, turn your attention onto yourself: you are a unique individual, blessed with imagination, the ability to communicate, to learn from the past and plan for the future, to overcome any pain you may be experiencing. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.”
- At this moment, we can begin to turn our awareness to the challenges in life: relationships, work, finance, love, community… Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.”
- Finally, rest in the realisation that life is a precious gift. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.”
Till next week 🙂
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