today's fast moving world, qualities such as gratitude seem to belong to
another age - a simpler time when life moved along at an easier pace and there
was time to appreciate everything. Yet within this apparently meek sounding
quality there lies a tremendous source of power that can radically reshape the
way you look at the world.
gratitude can do for us:
Puts things in
Human beings have this self-defeating propensity to let the bad things in life
fill our mental vision and leave no room for the good, a tendency reflected and
perpetuated by television and newspapers. Often it takes just one bad thing to
happen for us dwell on it and get depressed, no matter how many good things
that are happening. In cultivating a daily practice of gratitude, we start to
reverse that process and gain a true perspective on life.
Lifts us above
the ebbs and tides of life: The more you develop the quality of gratitude in
your life, you will start feeling grateful even when bad things happen to you,
because you will have developed the inner vision to see that good things and
bad happenings are nothing but experiences to shape you and make you stronger.
Hence you will be able to have piece of mind no matter what the outer
Takes us out
of our limited ego:
As with other practices of self-discovery, your awareness expands and you
gradually feel you are part of something much more infinite than your limiting
ego and finite mortal frame. Gratitude helps us turn away from selfishness
and realize our place in the universe.
higher part of our being: Gratitude is primarily a quality felt by the
heart center, that place in the middle of our chest where we can feel our soul,
or the essence of our existence. Therefore, when we are consciously grateful,
some inmost part of ourselves is awakened and we enter into the higher and
nobler realms of our being.
Techniques to cultivate the quality of gratitude: There
are many different techniques to use; the important thing is that they be
practiced every day, preferably at the same time each day so you can form a
habit. Just after you get up in the morning is usually the best time - you
aren't likely to be disturbed, and the peace and serenity you get from the
practice benefits you throughout your whole day.
things you are grateful for: This serves as a useful beginning to
the other techniques. Each day you can write down seven things that you are
truly grateful for, and as you write try to feel that quality inside your
heart. When you start writing, you realize how many things there are - from the
big things such as the gift of life and friends down to tiny little incidents
that happened yesterday such as someone giving you a smile or the chance to
spend a few minutes sitting in a park.
flower of gratitude inside your heart: you can try silently chanting the
word gratitude over and over again. Each time you repeat the word you can feel
that a tiny flower of gratitude inside your heart is growing and growing,
expanding petal by petal.
Joy carries with it the quality of expansion and awareness which gives rise to
gratitude. Try breathing in and out and keeping your awareness on the river of
breath entering and leaving your body. Feel that when you breathe in, pure
inner joy in entering into your heart, and when you breathe out, worry tension
and stress are leaving your system.