Today, I would like to share with you what gratitude is about and how we can impart gratitude into our daily meditation.
First, gratitude is a state of mind where one exudes the feelings of being thankful, readiness to express appreciation towards someone/something and to return kindness.
In my perspective, gratitude is a form of consciousness that is expressed through the feelings of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive responses shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, and favours towards the giver.
Hence through gratitude meditation, it will cultivate your state of mind where you’re consciously mindful and focus on all the positive that life has bestowed on us , while bringing forth the feeling of being thankful, appreciation and ready to return kindness.
Having said that, we must first be grateful for all things that life has bestowed on us, even with negative and unpleasant experiences. As for my initial journey towards self-realization, I noticed it was easy to express gratitude to all positive things that have been given to me in life.
Each time I perform my daily meditation, I visualize all the positive that I have, starting by appreciating the present i.e. home, family, and material things. In addition, when I dwell on the gratitude state of mind into my meditation, slowly my state of mind and visualization will expand to the beautiful memories of my childhood and growing up days.
In the moment of gratitude, I can never be thankful enough to my grandmother and my parents who have loved me and looked after me when I was still a child.
The memories of my beloved grandmother were the most intense when I first began gratitude meditation as I felt the intense love and care from her since I was a child.
At times, the intense energy generated from these memories through the feelings of intense gratitude made me weep but I would feel so much love and joy pouring out of my heart. And in this state of mind, I am contented, happy and blissful. I am grateful for the life experiences and the love and care that had been given to me.
Moving into the first year after I began my journey towards self-realization, I found myself being able to meditate and contemplate deeper in my life experiences – the gratitude meditation had changed me to become grateful even towards negative and painful life experiences which include failure, loss and arguments.
However, don’t get me wrong as I am not saying I want more negative experience in my life, but a state of mind where I am able to contemplate negative life experiences and turn them into wisdom and knowledge where they allow me to gain a deeper understanding of life as whole. With deeper understanding, love and compassion will naturally arise and that was when I could understand why I had gone through the negative experiences. Again, without pain and life’s challenges, I wouldn’t be able to understand what true love and compassion are.
And without the negative experiences, I will not be able to learn the wisdom of forgiving, letting go and understanding. In that sense, I am grateful for the negative life experiences bestowed on me in this journey to realize once again who I truly am.