This time we are discussing the very important practice of gratitude. We are going to talk about why it is that important, how to practice gratitude, will it work and getting proven results. Stick with us for this short article.
Let’s start with what is expected with gratitude practice:
- we can re-discover some really good things in life;
- we recall people who did good to us (so worth it!);
- we live with increased attention to what is important to us.
We were already discussing how important it is nowadays to re-train our attention. Here is our review on why it is important to train attention with meditation practice.
How to practice gratitude
We have got two options for you, but both of them are equally effective and we recommend you use them both.
Diary: allocate 5 minutes (potentially in the morning whilst you are fresh and not obstructed) for some really freestyle writing. Simply express your thoughts and feelings about who or what are you grateful to. No need to look for grammar mistakes or style, simply offload what you think or how you feel.
Meditation: during your meditation practice simply allocate a few minutes for expressing gratitude to people, events or things. Tibetan Buddhists go an extra mile with their ‘tonglen’ practice as they send warm feeling to the recipients and try to imagine taking their bad feelings or health issues away from them. This is where gratitude is touching our compassion skill and develops it too. You can also re-visit our instructions on loving-kindness practice, as this metta meditation practice also uses a lot of gratitude in its core. During your meditation is essential to spend a bit of time expressing gratitude to people, events and things. Sometimes, if not always, it is also great not to forget ourselves and meditate on being grateful to yourself. Re-visit our materials on meditation for self-love.
Why does gratitude practice work?
If you think about what is going on during gratitude, you shift your focus from ‘you’ to others and express deep feelings of appreciation. Your mind therefore switches from ego, and you can start feeling a deep relief. With time, you might encounter some useful insights as a result of your gratitude practice. It is also a good idea to incorporate gratitude to vipasssana meditation practice. You can learn more about Vipassana here from our article or download our free pdf Vipassana meditation course here.
Proven results with gratitude practice
Gratitude deeply enhances meditation practice, but also your self-discovery and self-development. The main result occurs when you start seeing beyond ‘your self’ and open up to different people, relatives, events and the whole world. It brightens up our life and makes it richer and more colourful.
Not a bad thing to achieve if it only takes 5 minutes a day, isn’t it?
Now the word from Dimitri, our meditation couch: ‘If I write my gratitude journal at this moment of time, I’d add something like that. Personally, I am grateful to my parents for encouraging my love for writing. I am thankful to all my closest friends as they make every day of my life so much better. And I am grateful to my past mistakes and my dog Lucky (who has sadly passed away) for the many lessons learned’.
What or whom are you grateful for/to?
Can you incorporate this question and reflection to your daily meditation?