Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving meditation on gratitude...

"Both ancient teachings and modern medical research agree that one of the quickest, most direct routes to restoring harmony and balance in our lives is to foster gratitude and appreciation. The moment you shift from a mindstate of negativity or judgment to one of appreciation, there are immediate effects at many levels of your being: brain function becomes more balanced, harmonized, and supple; your heart begins to pump in a much more coherent and harmoniously balanced rhythm; and biochemical changes trigger a host of healthful balancing reactions throughout your body.

In the healing ways of indigenous people, the restorative power of gratitude was well understood. Giving thanks was the first step for many indigenous communities to any meeting, celebration, or gathering. A heart filled with gratitude generates actions and prayers that complete the circle between the gift offered to us, the receiver of the gift, and the sacred source of the gift. To offer prayers of thanksgiving is a gesture of rejoicing in discovering the many gifts that life brings us.

Here is a practice we often teach as a way to dwell in gratitude and thanksgiving. It has been shared by many circles of friends, families, and communities around the world at times of Thanksgiving:

Reach up and touch your heart and smile with a tender sense of deep connection and deep reflection. Allow your mindful awareness to blend with the natural rhythm of your breathing and settle into this state of openness and flow. As you become more fully present, open your heart and call to mind every one and everything in your life that you are grateful for. As you inhale, gather these people or aspects of your life into your heart one by one and reflect upon your thanks and gratitude for them. Breathing out, let your heartfelt gratitude flow to them and through them. Continue for as long as you like, letting each breath bring to heart a loved one, a friend, someone who has been kind to you, someone who is teaching you patience or how to forgive, or something or aspect of your life for which you are grateful. Allow each breath to shine from the depths of your being through the depths of their being in order to light up their life with your love. Taking your eyes, your ears, your hands, your intelligence to heart, bless them in a similar way with the heartfelt radiance of your gratitude and appreciation. Whoever or whatever comes to mind, gather them into your heart, one at a time or all together. Taking these many gifts to heart, complete and affirm the circle with gratitude, assuring that the stream of blessings in your life and in the universe will be unbroken."

-- Excerpted from Joel & Michelle Leveys' books, Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind Fitness, - and - Wisdom at Work.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all -- I thank you for your friendship and comments, and look forward to continuing our friendship in the future......peace.....

11 comments:

marciamayo said...

What a beautiful post. I'm thankful for it and for you, my new friend.

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Thank you for the reminder...there are times we forget and get caught up in negativity...somehow it seems easier, I wish I knew why? I am very grateful...for everything!

Cottage Tails said...

That's a beautiful way to embrace gratitude.

Love Leanne

ReformingGeek said...

Ah, yes. That is so true. I do feel better when I just stop and say "thank you".

Thank YOU for your wonderful blog. Keep it coming!

Doris Sturm said...

So true! I am actually thankful every day - several times a day, because it's only through advanced age (and a few scary health issues) that I truly comprehend that live is precious and fragile and not to be taken for granted, but then, when you're 16 you live forever - right?

Hope you and your husband had a peaceful and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

With love,
Doris

e said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Amy! This is a wonderful post and so worth doing.

Jayne Martin said...

I like this a lot. There's not a night I go to sleep that I don't say "Thank you God for this day. I am bless in every way." And damned if I'm not, too! ;)

Carol............. said...

Thank you...as always you remind us of some basics. Hope you had a great holiday...

Traci said...

Wonderful post. It's amazing that when we are in a place where we feel the most thankful it awakens such passion and zeal for life within us. Flowers smell better, smiles warm our hearts just a little more, even thoughts of things and people that we are grateful for, make us smile that smile where the lines around our eyes crinkle.

wendy said...

Although Thanksgiving was hard this year, we had MUCH to be thankful for, and smile about....there were tears of joy amongst the tears of grief.

Ryan said...

Thanks for sharing this post and your thoughts! Coincidentally, I found this book by David Fox called Comfort Healing and Joy the afternoon before I found your post. Inspired by what you wrote and what I read, I've been able to look at the hardships of this year with a positive perspective. Thank you, again, for sharing.