Meditation and Gratitude

May 11, 2010 at 10:20 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

I read an article this morning in the March 2010  issue of the Ensign by Vaughn E. Worthen, a practicing psychologist, that was a great collection of thoughts on grtatitude, what it is and what it does for us. It has several good points and I wanted to share them along with some of my own experiences.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is an experience. It is a feeling that we have when something happens that blesses our lives in some way. It can be an emotional feeling and sometimes it is accompanied by a physical sensation.

Gratitude is an attitude. It is the point of view or outlook that is willing to realize and acknowledge good things that come to us either from others, or from circumstance or as blessings.

Gratitude is a also a habit, a cultivated response that guides how we look at things. It is a way of looking at things in a positive and grateful way instead of a focus on what is missing.

Gratitude is a coping mechanism. This is very important and perhaps the hardest to use effectively. When things happen to us that are unexpected or difficult, we can focus on the things we are grateful for. This serves not just a a momentary distraction, but as a real and tangible reminder that there are usually far more positive things than negative things in our lives.

To me this all means that gratitude is a choice. In each of these meanings, we have the ability to choose to experience the feeling, to have the attitude, to cultivate the habit and to employ the coping mechanism of gratitude. We are able to choose this tool to help our lives and feelings and to bless those around us.

Meditation and Gratitude

When we meditate, it is powerful medicine for the soul to experience and fully explore things that have blessed our lives. We can use the tranquility of meditation to fully understand and explore the things, experience or people that made us feel grateful, and then deeply ingrain those feelings, choices and attitudes in our lives.

 The cultivation of habits of recognizing and acting on opportunities to express gratitude, particularly to those who have provided the kindness is a refined and uplifiting approach to our daily experience.

When we go through our day with an intentional focus on seeing the good, being grateful for the blessings, and expressing gratitude with ‘thank yous’ and smiles to those around us, we are lifted from our troubles, we are filled with positive light and we can spread goodness to those around us.

We are then in a position to be the agent of other’s gratitude. We are better able to be of service and blessing to others so that they too can experience the feelings and cultivate the habits and experience the lifting and blessing power of gratitude.

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