A Short Meditation on Gratitude

Ilchi Lee sitting on wooden steps in a New Zealand forest

As a gift of thanksgiving, I offer you this message of gratitude and a short meditation to hold gratitude in your heart.

It’s harvest time and time for the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It’s a great time to be grateful for the past year and appreciate everything we have. Whether we’ve faced ups or downs and however we rate the current state of our lives, we always have something to be thankful for. In fact, gratitude, as an expression of our true selves, helps us find peace and joy in all things. A mindset of gratitude amplifies and grows whatever we have.

As a gift of thanksgiving, I would like to share the following message of gratitude with you, which comes from my book, Calligraphic Meditation for Everyday Happiness. I would also like to leave you with a short gratitude meditation to enable you to practice gratitude more deeply.

The Alchemy of Gratitude

Gratitude is a technique of the mind that anyone can learn and develop. When your experience and understanding of gratitude deepen, you’ll know that it simply means being grateful for everything, in any circumstance whatsoever. Every moment of life will be filled with gratitude, and you needn’t try hard to find it.

At first, gratitude must be looked at to be seen, must be sought to be thankful for, even if you feel it’s insignificant. We all have something to be thankful for.

If you really think you have nothing to be grateful for, then be thankful you were born a human being. Be grateful that you are still breathing and that your heart still beats. And be thankful that the sun rose today, that a new season has come, and the trees are green again.

If you have true gratitude for even one thing, at some moment thankfulness will rush over you like a wave.

When thankfulness matures, then appreciation–temporary, conditional, and calculating–gives way to unconditional, sustained gratitude.

Such gratitude takes away from our lives’ complaints and dissatisfaction, anxieties and worries, and brings in their place infinite positivity and peace.

Train yourself to be thankful, whatever your circumstances. Let gratitude fill your whole mind so that thankfulness overflows into your whole life.

If your heart is filled with gratitude, you can’t live halfheartedly. You can’t use tricks or do cowardly things for your benefit alone.

When you are grateful, you show full devotion in whatever you do and do your best no matter whom you meet.

A holy mind comes out of a grateful heart. Gratitude is an alchemy of the soul everyone should practice.

Simple Gratitude Meditation

  1. Sit or lie down with your back straight.
  2. Bring your attention to your body, particularly your breath. Feel your chest or abdomen rise and fall; feel the air filling and leaving your lungs. Let your focus on your breath gently and gradually calm your mind and emotions.
  3. Then, put both palms on the middle of your chest. Feel the center of the inside of your chest, your heart chakra. Imagine your attention going deeper and deeper into the center and notice what you sense.
  4. Keeping your awareness in the center of your heart space, bring to mind different people, situations, and possessions in your life, one by one.
  5. For each one, say in your mind or aloud, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Imagine the energy of gratitude going to it.
  6. Repeat the process of saying, “Thank you,” for everything that comes to mind. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can do a shorter meditation and simply give thanks for everything in your life.
  7. Finish with three deep breaths.
  8. Then, rub your palms together briskly, making them hot. Keep them an inch or two away from your body as you sweep your palms over your face, head, arms, torso, hips, legs, and feet.

I would like to thank you as well for all you are and all that you do.

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