In today’s world, any action needs a reason. If I tell a small child to come near me, the child will look for some reason. If I hold up a chocolate, she will come near! Utility has taken root very deeply within us. When there is utility there is action, or else justifying the action becomes difficult.
When I tell people to live with a sense of gratitude, they immediately start looking for reasons. Real gratitude can never have a reason. It happens as a causeless flowering within you. Does the flower bloom for a reason?
No! It blooms because it is its very nature.
Gratitude is our real nature. It has been covered by layers of conditioning from society.
Society doesn’t know the language of gratitude. It knows only the language of utility. It straightaway instills greed and fear in you so that you will give it the needed results. Society doesn’t know there is a path of gratitude that will give much better results than the paths of fear and greed. That is the problem.
By its very nature our being is gratitude. If we relax into it, we can connect to it. There are endless reasons to feel gratitude.
This life itself is a gift that we have received. Did any of us work for it and receive it?
To be born with human consciousness is the first blessing we have received. Our gratitude should start right from there. Just for being we should feel grateful.
Understand, if ever you feel life is dull, that it is not as juicy as it should be, it is because gratitude has not happened in you.
Gratitude is the energy that makes your life intense and exciting every moment. When you carry causeless gratitude in you, life will be sweet all the time irrespective of external circumstances. When you miss gratitude, very often you will be gripped with the feeling that life is sour, but you won’t know the real reason for that feeling.
That is the problem.
These are the basic secrets of life.
Every morning as soon as you wake up, before getting out of bed, just try to feel deep gratitude for just being, for just living as a human being in this wonderful Existence. Bring up the understanding that you are able to enjoy all that you enjoy only because you are a human being. Try to feel grateful for it. Melt for a few moments with that gratitude.
Similarly, every night before you go to sleep, sit on your bed and honestly bring in deep gratitude for just being. Feel it in your whole body and mind. Even if you have had a bad day, it is okay. Put everything aside and feel grateful for just being. All days are not bad days. There are people who have days that are worse than the worst of our bad days. So put all judgments aside and feel gratitude. Go to sleep with this feeling. This is a very powerful meditation to nurture causeless gratitude in you.
The main reason why you miss experiencing gratitude is that you take everything for granted. You feel anything that people do for you is your birthright. Understand, people could be doing something else instead of doing things for you. So it is really a gift from them to you. You have to thank them for it.
Receive every small thing in life as a gift.
When you take your plate to eat, see the plate as a gift.
When you serve food on the plate, see the food as a gift.
When you sit down on the chair to eat, see the chair as a gift.
When you wash your hands after eating, see your fingers as a gift.
We never see these things as gifts. Everything is taken for granted. There are people who don’t have a plate on which to eat. There are people who don’t have fingers with which to eat! Have we ever thought about that? Never! We only look at those who have a diamond ring on their finger. We never look at those who don’t have fingers. That is the problem. That is why we don’t feel anything in our life is a gift. When we start feeling grateful for small things, our whole sensitivity will increase. We will become more refined. Our whole attitude towards life will move to a different plane. Remember, the person who isn’t thankful for small things will never be thankful for big things either. Even big things will be taken for granted. Currently, we feel we have a right to everything that we receive. Because of this attitude, we miss seeing the benevolence of Existence or god. We remain insensitive to the gifts showered upon us by Existence.
A small story:
A man was narrating to his friend how he got lost in a desert one day.
He told the friend, ‘In sheer despair, I knelt down and prayed that I should be guided out of the desert.’
The friend was awed by the story and asked, ‘So did god answer your prayer?’
The man replied, ‘Oh, no! Before that an explorer appeared from nowhere and showed me the way.’
This is how insensitive we are in life! We keep taking everything for granted. If we sensitized ourselves with gratitude, we would never take anything for granted, whether it is our fingers, or our wealth, or the timely benevolence of Existence. When sensitivity happens, every moment passes in deep awe of the happenings in Existence.