This is one emotion that fills up my senses multiple times in a day as I am home-bound just like rest of the world.
From the moment I wake up to find the milk packet right outside my house door by someone who doesn’t fails to keep it there morning after morning until I close my eyes at night to thank god for a peaceful day that passed – my day is filled with abundance of little joys that ease out my life and give me a chance to be grateful. Sometimes, I thank the other person but most of the times, I don’t get the opportunity to convey my feeling to the other person.
I am sure, it happens to many.
I will share here a simple meditation practice. I spend about 20-30 minutes sitting in Meditation of Gratitude every now and then.
How to Do Meditation of Gratitude – Sit comfortably on the mat / floor in a cross legged position or any other easy position allowing the back to be straight. Often, I choose to sit on a cushion or a bolster to keep my posture right effortlessly (One can even lie down on the floor or on the bed in #shavasana, if necessary). Close the eyes and keep the palms resting on knees preferably facing upwards. This is a way to send and receive the energy in the cosmos. If one is comfortable, any suitable mudra can also be taken. Allow the body to relax and settle into the posture. Keep the chest gently expanded and shoulders pulled back. Gently begin to become aware to the body and the breathe for a minute. This minute is sort of self check and it readies the mind for the practice. Then, exhale out through the mouth once or twice and begin to deep breathe using the abdominal muscles. A deep diaphragmatic breathing opens up the muscles and allows fuller inhalation and exhalation using 75 % of lungs capacity. After 10-15 breaths, the body and breath sync more and the mind starts tuning into this harmony. This is the time to begin meditation of gratitude. On every long inhalation – mentally say ‘Thank You’. On every exhalation – mentally say the person’s name to who one is grateful. There should be no rush from completion of one breathe of gratitude to the next. Take time, pause wherever needed to hold the stillness and then continue. There is no sequence or no particular style to follow. Simply think of someone – Inhale Thank You, Exhale Mentally Call the Person’s Name. During the practice there may be moments when many people may come to the front of the mind, who one may wish to thank for the present day or even from one’s past – some one who one couldn’t thank . There may be some breaths when not a single name may strike the minds. These blank breaths are to be just held on to and then to be let off. Upon completion, release control over breathing and relax for a few moments before coming out of the practice.
This simple meditation can be practiced anytime. Irrespective of the number of people one wishes to thank, the meditation of gratitude can be done for just two minutes or for even two hours and more. It simply depends upon the meditator’s wish.
What Do I Feel Afterwards – Immense calmness and a bubble of joy that bounces from one corner to the other inside me that elevates my mood, my state of mind and my senses. A great sense of acknowledgement touches my thought chords after I compete the practice. On the more scientific level, when one is immersed in this meditation, the breathing pattern regulates and slows down in the background, the breaths become fuller thus dropping the heart rate and the blood pressure rate, the flight and fight responses of the brain are worked upon and it augments the feelings of compassion and selflessness.