Experience the gift of gratitude through the following reflections. Many thanks to the Yasodhara Yoga Victoria teachers who delved into gratitude from several perspectives to offer this month’s practice guide.
Develop a Feeling of Gratitude
“It is necessary to develop a feeling of gratitude, so that it becomes natural and emerges on its own account. It would be wise to make a list of all in life that you have reason to be grateful for.” (Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 155)
- Take time to chant and reflect on: What am I grateful for? Write your list.
- For a week, list five reasons for gratitude as a first action of your day. At the end of the week, reflect on how this gratitude focus affected your thoughts, speech and actions.
“Every day you wake up, be grateful that you are alive because there is no guarantee that you will wake up tomorrow. You take it for granted. You don’t even think about it. But there is nothing that anybody can take for granted.” (Time To Be Holy, Swami Radha, p 130)
Take a day as though it is the last day of your life. Focus on gratitude. What do you notice as you go throughout the day?
Gratitude as an Offering
“If you bring gratitude to this work (of spiritual practice & self-development), it will be a great help. Gurudev used to say, ‘Let it be known that gratitude is one of the strongest powers and the finest emotion that a human being is capable of.'” (Time To Be Holy, Swami Radha, p 83)
Visualize yourself sitting in a shower of Light. See and feel the Light suffuse your entire being. Focus your attention on the altar of Light in your heart and offer your gratitude there.
Gratitude & the Light
“Know that the more you give, the more you receive. Be grateful. Gratitude is one of our finest feelings. If properly cultivated, gratitude will bring many blessings. As channels for the Light we are blessed as much as those to whom we give the Light. When you practise the Divine Light Invocation always express your thanks at the end, on behalf of yourself and those who have received the Light.” (The Divine Light Invocation, Swami Radha, p 60)
- Practice the Divine Light Invocation with a special focus on the words: with feelings of gratitude and the desire to share the gift of the Light with others….Reflect on your experience of gratitude when sharing the Light.
- Practice the Divine Light Invocation and place the word ‘gratitude’ in the Light. At the end, stand for a moment in stillness, ask for an image and then draw it.
- Put your image on the wall at eye level. Stand in Tadasana looking at your drawing and ask: What do I see? Write. Then stand again and listen. What does the image say to me? Write.
- At least once a day place your gratitude in the Light.
“Cultivate gratitude and never be too shy to express it.” (Seeds of Light, Swami Radha, p 35)
Take time to chant: How do I want to express my gratitude? Make a list and each day for a week, put into practice at least one of the items from this list. Reflect at the end of your day.
Gratitude & Divine Mother
Repeat the Divine Mother Prayer 5-10 times, using the hand mudras if you know them. Then write a letter expressing your gratitude to Her.
Gratitude for the Teachings & the Teachers
“The lengthy prayers and prostrations to all gurus and all Buddhas fulfill a function – the cultivation of the finer feelings and the acknowledgement to those who have paved the way and shared their hard-won experiences with us, helping us to gain insights and to travel the narrow road with faith and endurance, in humility and gratitude.” (The Yoga of Healing, Swami Radha, p 113)
Think about the teachers to whom you feel gratitude. Reflect on the learnings, insights and awareness you have gained with their support and encouragement. Write, draw, sing, dance…find a way to express your gratitude.