Gratitude Meditation

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.

It will help if you can establish a certain place and a reasonably regular time for your mindfulness exercise. If you can fix a room, a corner, a certain chair, you will more easily establish the habit of daily meditation but remember that the breathing exercises can be performed at any time and in any place. You are never more than one breath away from your true home in the present moment.

We begin our reflection by coming into the present moment in the manner recommended by Thich Nhat Hahn by becoming aware of the breath.

Breathing in I am aware that I am breathing in.

Breathing out I am aware that I am breathing out.

We continue with this breathing exercise for a few minutes until we feel an easing of any stress or tension in the body or mind.

For a few minutes just stay in awareness of breathing in and breathing out.

Today we reflect on the the virtue of gratitude and try to remain in awareness of the many things in everyday life that we take for granted. From the air we breathe to the car we drive or the transport that brings us wherever we want to go, we are blessed every day with an abundance of good things that are over and above anything that we might possibly have paid for or deserve. Our food is provided by the heat of a nearby star and is the work of countless human beings involved in planting, cultivation, harvesting, packing, transporting and sale. Even the most isolated among us have been blessed with the gift of life, family, friends, education, work, security and mostly good health. We have the gift of our senses, our sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. We have the benefit of communication and community. If we mindfully go through a day, everything we see and use can become a reminder of our reason to express gratitude.

We can even the thankful for the things we do not have. Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us to be grateful for our non toothache! And how many times has something that we considered a loss or a handicap turned out to be a blessing when, against our will, we were forced by circumstance to accept it. Even at the worst of times our lives are filled with blessings beyond our needs, an abundance so reliable that we very often take it for granted.

So this week let us try to establish the habit of counting our blessings. Meister Eckhart tells us if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is “thank you“, it will be enough. Let us remember to say it frequently.

So let us try mindfully to go about life aware of our blessings and let an attitude of gratitude enhance our lives and the lives of everyone we meet.

We conclude our reflection by spending a few minutes in awareness of our breathing in and breathing out.

May all beings everywhere be happy, peaceful, and free.
— The Buddha

I hope your week ahead is full of reasons for happiness and gratitude!

Tony

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