I am welcoming the undercurrent of gratitude that has been a theme of recent weeks and, approaching my family’s first Thanksgiving celebration in USA, it feels especially timely to share some gentle reflections on this theme. California is moving through a very turbulent episode with wildfires devastating hundreds of thousands of acres, claiming land, lives and homes alike. The US political system is more evidently in need of foundational overall than ever.
So it is exactly here, and now where we can choose gratitude. Not for a second as a numbing or bypassing of feelings of grief, rage, loss or whatever may be moving through our system. All are welcome in ample spaciousness. Not at some future point when the world looks more in harmony; when our lives meet our expectations. But to excavate and feed gratitude as the ocean that lies beneath everything. It is our deeper and consistent “Yes!” to Spirit, to Truth, to the lessons that wake us from the sleepwalk and call us to LIVE in nothing less than full integrity.
Gratitude is a quality of the flow and alignment that is always present beneath the cementing of conditioning. Our true nature is one of Love, profound contentment, at-one-ment and appreciation. Not “because” of any “thing”. Love is not conditional. Our true nature is not conditional. Appreciation just is.
Western contemporary society is rigorously structured to defend and remove us from this state. Gratitude – if we feel it – in our over stimulated, materialistic driven modern world, is inexorably entwined with things or achievements. With the illusion of doing and the one who is doing.
But we ARE. And Here there are only rivers and rivers of rightness and appreciation for the perfection of everything – whatever form that may take in manifestation.
There can though be no sidestepping, no shortcuts for what is arising. Let us witness the ebbs and flows of feelings and thoughts – without thinking this is who we ARE. And given space we can return to deep and permeating peace, contentment and wonder at the brilliance and intelligence of the Mystery.
So practice is required. Just as many of us find a nourishing foundation in meditation practice and our sadhana, practising gratitude on a consistent basis in our day and our life is another pointer home.
Gratitude is the gatekeeper from judgement or criticism of another being or of circumstance walking us into alignment with the holy wisdom of Life itself.
In noticing that sadness and grief float gently around where an “other ” cannot be present, meet, or feel us, gratitude flows forth in realising what is actually occurring is a further dying of this one’s attachment to identification. There is no person here to hold expectations of any other “person”. Just Beings, playing in form. The temporary movement of grief is welcomed. The greater movement into freedom is welcomed.
Let us practice in meaningful ways dropping into this aspect of true nature. Not only when things are going well in the eyes of the person(ality) but recognising that every experience, every interaction and every stripping away is a Divine messenger, a holy ally created by our own Selves to illuminate the light of Truth.