Today I’d like to suggest that we pay attention to how gratitude feels. Lets try and be mindful to the sensations of gratitude, mindful to how gratitude manifests as a physical sensation, on a bodily level.
I’ve uploaded two versions of guided meditations on gratitude (with and without music) but if your’e not into guided meditations or if you’re too busy just read through and take 3-5 minutes to intentionally reflect and meditate on gratitude.
I know many of you already have an established daily meditation practice so my advice to you is to end your daily practice with 2-3 minutes of contemplation on gratitude before you get up from your cushion. I warmly advise you to try and meditate (with or without “me”) and not settle for just reading and thinking about gratitude.
So sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Relax your body and take 2-3 deep breaths.
Now bring to mind someone in your life you’re grateful for. It could be a loved one, a parent, a child, a partner or a friend. Anyone. But make sure you make it easy. Not someone you SHOULD be grateful for, rather someone that the thought of them naturally makes you smile and filled up with love.
Invite them into your heart. Try and get an image of them – see their faces in bright colors. If you cannot get an image its absolutely fine, just feel their presence, maybe you can smell them or hear them or just notice how their presence feels like.
Now take some time to recollect all the things you love and are grateful for about that person. In your mind or out loud, tell that person all those things you love and are grateful for about them, as though they were there with you. Tell them all the reasons you love them.
Mindfulness of Gratitude
Make sure you notice how gratitude FEELS like. Notice the sensation of gratitude in your body. How does gratitude feels. Is it warm or cold? soft or hard? expending or contracting? fluid, evaporating or solid? is it swinging, ticklish, throbbing? Does it have a movement? if so, to which direction? does it have a sound? where do you feel it in your body – Chest? Throat? Stomach? Make sure you pay attention to how gratitude FEELS as a physical sensation on a bodily level. That simple attention to the sensation in our bodies makes the difference between contemplating gratitude to meditating on gratitude.
Do it Again
Now bring to mind another person or another situation in your life you feel grateful for. Once again see or feel that person in front of you. Recollect all their kindness and wisdom and tell them all the reasons you love them. Now do it one more time. And once more. Do it at least five times*.
Try and apply this practice more than once. Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to sit and meditate, the next time you reflect on gratitude pause for an extra moment to notice how gratitude FEELS. I assure you it WILL make a difference.
No matter where we are in life. No matter how our day, our week or even our year looks like. We can always find at least ten people of situations to be grateful for. All we need do is divert our attention towards them. That is how easy it is to give love through gratitude.
Let the sense of Gratitude fill you up and take that with you when you go about you day. Let the sense of gratitude touch everyone you meet with today.
May your hearts be filled with love, joy and gratitude. May we shower everyone around us with love, joy and gratitude.
*Don’t worry if no-one comes up for you when you try and practice. If that is the case, try and imagine a baby or a little puppy or kitten. Something small and cute. If it still doesn’t work, drop me a line and we’ll think of something together. If too many people come up and ask for their “share” it’s absolutely fine. You can repeat this exercise, express and feel gratitude to different people each time.