"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.....