Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SteveS55

Gratitude And The Spiritual Life

Recommended Posts

Gratitude isn't a word I hear a lot when people talk about religion, spirituality, or life in general. But, then again maybe I've been traveling in the wrong circles! Frankly, when I was younger, I didn't give it a thought. But, this has changed for me over the years. It's not that I sit around itemizing all of the things I'm grateful for, or making a gratitude list. I dont do any of that. I'm just aware of being grateful.

 

Quite a few years ago I was sitting and thinking about things, and I was suddenly struck with how amazing it is to exist at all. At the time, it seemed to me incomprehensible and impossible that things exist, and that I possessed the consciousness to be aware of it. I just couldn't get over it, and I'm still not over it. The experience left me with a sort of abiding sense of gratitude. It's not that I dont have tough days, and it's not that I walk around with some silly smirk on my face. It's more as if I have a kind of internal "companion" for the journey.

 

I have tried to explain this to a few people over the years, and I generally get affirmative head-nodding, but rather blank looks in return. I just couldn't understand why no one could relate to what I had "discovered". I've pretty much stopped trying because I now realize this is uniquely my spiritual journey, and no one else's. What works for me isn't going to work for others. There is no cookie cutter approach to use here. Besides, I have no idea how one develops gratitude.

 

The reason I bring it up here is just to share my experience of gratitude on this forum. Some of you might relate, but others won't. The beauty of the spiritual journey is that there are so many unique stories, and none of them are wrong.

 

Peace.

Steve

Edited by SteveS55

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I relate, Steve! I read a quote once, something like, 'we are evolution become aware of itself.' I'm always struck by the length of time that this world was turning before anyone/anything was around to see it.

 

It certainly makes the mind boggle, if you just take a moment to appreciate the fact that you can see, hear, touch, feel emotion. and you have to think to yourself - what am i going to do with that gift?

 

Jonny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can very much relate as well Steve. I've had that feeling quite a bit lately and attributed it to the fact that I'm getting older and more reflective. And while I've always been somewhat of a contemplative person and have had gratitude for existence in the big picture, what I've noticed lately is my ability to pick up on the little things and appreciate them as they happen - my daughter's laugh, a beautiful day, a new idea, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own experience has been that gratitude is virtually ALL of life, "spiritual" or otherwise. As I have said elsewhere, I am a Pure Land Buddhist and this path has found me just saying "thank you, thank you" spontaneously. I would also say that the same spontaneous gratitude should begin to arise irrespective of the experience of the moment being judged by ourselves "pleasant" or not. This is all part of the acceptance of things as they are, which - paradoxically - seems at the heart of genuine transformation of ourselves and of the world around us.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

 

I share and relate to your experience. Gratitude and the joy of being is to me is a deep experience of Life and existence itself.

 

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gratitude does not need anything on the part of the individual except innocence and simplicity. No effort is needed and it must devoid of any intellectual play or emotion. Gratitude is a surrender to God and is never on the level of thinking. If one doesn't like the word God it is just being or surrender to the higher self. I feel we need to surrender the thinking to make a mood for gratitude or surrender the thinking level of gross consciousness to achieve the bliss and gratitude of a higher awareness. It seems gratitude and joy come together as a package and is a kind of spiritual practice that can be awakened. Very nice thread thanks Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also grateful this thread was started. I've been having a rather difficult day, and it's good to be brought back to what's important: it's a wonderful blessing to be alive.

 

Annie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a fantastic point Steve, thanks for sharing. Gratefulness shouldn't stem from fear (i.e. being thankful that the vengeful God has spared us one more day), but from love. I always am inspired by people who do the right thing and feel human; but not by fear but though logic and understanding. I definitely am grateful for being who I am, being alive and knowing the people I do. I am grateful that everyone's lives are unique and that we (here on the forum and the people we know in real life) can all share and learn from each other's lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found that a regular practice of expressing gratitude leads to a more positive outlook on life in general. And when everything seems like it is falling apart, it is easier to remember to be grateful for the good things when I am regularly conscious of being thankful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...