Giving is receiving. Giving gratitude helps our energies feel loved, comforted and happy. Taking the time to read these with intention can really improve your internal landscape, which then improves your external perceptions. Share these with the people you spend time with, read them out loud before your meal perhaps? What you give out is what you get back.
Reading and saying these during the Holidays, even if they are a time of joy for you, gratitude is very effective to improve every aspect of your life – especially if you get stressed or down during this time. Bring it back to you – you choose how to feel and gratitude is a beautiful place to begin.
These are a few beautiful meditations that bring a deep sense of happiness and well-being…. its nice to do this in a group and have someone read it to you as you breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Reading it to yourself is just as good. If I am alone I read over it and then close my eyes and repeat the words – as long as the intention is there the exact words do not matter.
1. Deep Gratitude.
Cultivating loving kindness for ourselves, we hold in heart and mind this
May I be filled with loving-kindness, may I be held in loving-kindness.
May I accept myself just as I am.
May I experience the innate joy of being alive.
May my heart and mind awaken; may I be free.
Now holding in our mind’s eye, someone we have an unconditional positive
Regard for, someone for whom we find it very easy to feel unconditional
Love– a close friend, grandmother, anyone at all, we share our intention:
May you be filled with loving kindness,
May you be held in loving-kindness.
May you accept yourself just as you are.
May you experience the innate joy of being alive.
May your heart and mind awaken; may you be free.
Now envisioning all the people around you, the people of our communities
People in this country, and people in other countries:
May all beings be filled with loving-kindness.
May all beings have deep and lasting peace.
May all beings experience the innate joy of being alive.
May all beings awaken; may they all be free.
-Adapted from Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
2. Gratitude For All Beings
May all beings be happy
May all beings be joyous and live in safety
All living beings whether weak or strong
In high or middle or low realms of existence
Small or great near or far born or to be born
May all beings be happy
Let no one deceive another nor despise any being in any state
Let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another
Even as a mother at the risk of her own life
Watches over and protects her only child
So with a boundless mind should one cherish all living beings
Suffusing love over the entire world
Above below and behind without limit
So let one cultivate an infinite good will towards the entire world
Standing walking sitting or lying down
May one maintain this practice
This is to attain the blessed state in this very life.
(Soto Zen translation)
3. Gratitude For All Those Who Have Touched Our Lives
Meditation on Benefactors
Let’s take a moment to reflect on all the benefactors which have touched our lives, spiritual teachers, mentors, and perhaps someone who we met randomly, who simply wished us well- allowing ourselves to take in their wishes for our wellbeing into our whole body, opening to this kindness through our entire heart/mind.
Envisioning their faces – and recall them as sending the wish for your deepest happiness, wellbeing and joy. Join them in their wishes for your wellbeing – let us set these intentions in our heart and mind….Envisioning this wish as radiant light, a healing blessing which bathes your entire body, all the way through to your fingers and toes. Trusting this wish of love more than the limitations of our thoughts, receive it into every cell of your body.
Bathe in this; Rest in this; Heal in this.
Adapted from Lama John Makransky, Awakening Through Love