Meditation Matters: 8 Ways to Give Thanks
Today is Thanksgiving and I thought it might be helpful to take a deep dive into what giving thanks means. Much has been made in recent years in the spiritual community of the value of giving thanks, gratitude, and appreciation. As a way to shape a better life ad as a part of a process for creating abundance.
Whether you are talking about offering thanks, appreciation, or gratitude the act can be a natural response for a kindness done or a purposeful undertaking. This post will examine 8 ways to give thanks that might seem a little unusual. I’ll offer a few stories to illustrate. By the way one of the benefits of offering gratitude creates a vibrational state to attract good people, circumstances, and things as discussed in this sample chapter in another part of this site.
Thank You Supply Chain
Sometimes I am struck by how blessed I am, and it makes me shiver. As I sat outside recently (before it got cold) taking in the end of the day and having crackers and cheese and a little wine, a feeling of overwhelming gratitude came over me for the all of the elements of the supply chain that culminates in my being able to eat good without having to go out in the fields and cultivate it. All the people, animals, trucks, forklifts, warehouses, stores, and credit card machines enabled me to relish a bit of Swiss cheese on a Triscuit cracker, washed down with a nice Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Tears came to my eyes for the time, effort, care and attention of the forces of the Universe that coalesced to nourish my body and mind, and ultimately my Spirit as I sat there in a pool of intense thanksgiving for the moment. These nourishing things that I exchanged pieces of paper or electrons for that manifested in my presence through the unfolding of events and circumstances. “What a fortunate guy am I!” I wrote in my journal.
And as I sit here writing this, and revisiting that moment I am moved, again, at my good fortune.
Application of Gratitude, Extended
Building on thanking the Supply Chain, it is helpful to offer thanks to everything around me, all the time. I’m more and more realizing the depth of the act of offering thanks and appreciation. I am surrounded by any things surround you every day. Things I have placed in my vicinity and things that just seem to show up. Atoms cells and electrons arranged in such a way as to serve some need that I have that serves than need well. Some examples, again from my journal:
- Today my Toshiba laptop, when I opened it, went through a 20 minute routine of informing me that there was trouble when I last closed it down, and did a preliminary diagnostic, an update, a disc repair, and finally a reboot. Back to good as new. “Good computer” I said, like I say “good girl” to my dog Sasha. And I meant it. My computer is a workhorse, and a friend. It helped me write this piece.
- Or my car, whose steering wheel I pat periodically and say, “Good car”! This is the older BMW that began to fall apart in sorrow when took it off the road for a while since we didn’t need two cars. The mechanic said that this car doesn’t do well when not driven. And it even has a “smart car” system that adapts itself to my driving habits. (Which I found out had to be rebooted because of prolonged disuse.) I got it back to good working condition, but I felt like I had jilted my formerly well performing transportation mode when I was working full time.
- All of my surroundings have, in a way showed up for my benefit, and stand ready to serve me. They are part of the 3d reality that I occupy. Metaphysically, part of the 5D reality that surrounds and infuses 3d with its form and function. Today I threw away a razor and thanked it for its usefulness to me in my shaving endeavors. Make it a point to praise all things useful.
- If you do, more stuff will want to be with you. This is also true of more/better circumstance and more/better people. To hang out with you. To be liked by you. I know that sounds strange, but it isn’t from a 5D perspective. From that perspective “stuff” is a metaphor, an idea that somebody had, thought through, and many had a hand in shaping that thing for my use. It could be a lamp or a bowl or a telephone or a plant.
To quote author and speaker Jim Rohn, “There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity, for ideas and things to flow your way.”
- Take the dangly mobile that hangs over my head as I sit here writing. Some creative, artistic person dreamed up what a bit of copper could turn into. And sketched it out. Then took the materials and formed them into something striking. But there was more to be done–marketing, and selling, and shipping, and receiving, and finally getting hung up in my house. For my pleasure, which it does give. I thank the All for unfolding in this way so that at this exact moment I am sitting here writing about the All and how it unfolded.
- As I open my heart more and more, my heart center gets bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. And I see that my thanking the people, the happenings, the furnishings for my benefit. Is a way to be more loving, heartfelt, and compassionate. A way to raise my Awareness. To experience Higher consciousness more frequently and deeply.
Revere All Things/Beings
Another story comes to mind to take this point to a deeper level. Here’s what I wrote earlier this year.
This morning just before beginning my yoga routine I was nearly overwhelmed by a reverence of all the things that were in the room. All of the things we have collected to surround ourselves by in our living room—furniture, pillows, rugs, plants, an Amazon Echo which drives the wireless speaker, the ceiling, fan, and the room itself that came with the house—all of its parts. All waiting for me this morning to show up and envelop me in its embrace.
I returned the embrace by taking a deep breath and radiating love and appreciation back to my buddy atoms, cells and electrons that welcomed me into their presence. Sounds a bit strange, I know, but that’s the way of the mystic. As I breathed a bit the distinction between me and my surroundings faded a bit. I could feel my body sheath becoming more porous, blending slightly with my surroundings.
Then as a broadened out my view through my eye holes, and took everything in, including the areas outside of the windows, I encompassed the whole scene. No particular focus on one thing but pulling back into my Awareness, listening to myself breathe. And I had a flash of being One with all of what I was perceiving. I was not focused on my head, but my Awareness had broadened out until there was no distinction between me inside the body and me outside the body.
Reverence dawned for the whole thing. The complete amalgamation of all of the particles and space that danced in a unified whole. It did seem like a dance, a dance of those “things” outside of me, gathered to serve and interact with me, fusing with the “things” inside of me into a seamless Whole.
This experience reminded me, yet again, of an earlier core realization “Revere all things, revere all beings, from the ant to the spouse, for what and who they are—a part of me”.
The phrase I came up with to capture this way of seeing is “Oneness Eyes”. Using my Oneness Eyes to see the Oneness of myself in “here” with the Oneness “out there”.
Appreciation To/For The ALL
This sense of Oneness is not an unusual experience. It is the core purpose of the new meditation process I have developed. One in which I acknowledge The ALL. My words for “God”, which for me has less “charge” that my childhood religious concept of the Divine. The process, if done with a sufficient level of mindfulness and awareness, naturally takes me to an experience of Omnipresence.
This Oneness that I speak of in which I am just “being” and can say to The ALL, “Thank you, Isness (another word for The ALL) for your Beingness. For your breath, in and out of Infinity. For your Omniscience, your all knowingness of that which Is. For allowing me to participate in the dance of the stars and the microbes and sense, incomprehensively, all things, in all directions.
(I use the word “incomprehensively” because this experience cannot be comprehended by my human mind. If it could I would be able to put better words to the experience. As it is, words at best provide metaphors for approximating the experience. The writer’s dilemma.)
Practical “Application” of Appreciation
Before I float away and you stop reading this as being too “Woo Woo”, let me offer a story that is more down to earth. Several years ago, with some difficulty, we bought a house in the Bay Area. Here’s what I wrote about that.
Yesterday we crossed what might be, barring some unusual circumstance, the last hurdle to buying the house we have been trying to acquire in the last two months—we were approved to proceed by our lender. We have been working for in the past 3 years to make this happen. This has been very much an up and down journey, full of twists and turns, and some amazing synchronicities.
Today, as I used to say in North Carolina, “I bought me a house”, or, in this case, more correctly, “We bought us a house”. We went to our agent’s office to sign loan documents with a mobile notary representing the title company for the loan. Everything was pretty much as we expected, and we signed a very thick pile of papers to be presented back to the lender for final, final review. We are only days from the money from the bank being released for the sale.
Whew. Yeah. And now the fun begins, the next steps in the process of our creating—follow through on that which has unfolded itself as desired. In this case, remodeling a home in significant need of upgrades and updating. To keep the cost down we will be significantly involved in every stage and I, having a lot of experience with home remodeling projects, will do a lot of the work myself and/or supervise others in doing the work.
Often, working on a goal and having it begin to unfold as envisioned, is followed by additional work on the details required to bring the thing desired to fruition. The work needed to shepherd the project along and launch off into the mystery of the project itself. I say mystery because, as much planning as we do to manage a project, the plan seldom turns out exactly as expected. There are a lot of things that will require problem solving and creativity in order to have it all “turn out”.
We took a moment late this afternoon to go over to the house to do a walkthrough with our agent to see the condition the owner has left the house in. He brought a nice bottle of wine and we sat out on the deck, enjoyed the view, and celebrated our meeting a key milestone. I think it is important to celebrate along the way. Not only is celebrating an acknowledgement of everybody and everything that has contributed to success but celebrating is a high vibrational thing to do.
Celebrating is also a time to internally and externally thank everybody who has contributed, to acknowledge the magic that occurred along the way (if the journey has been difficult), and to offer appreciation to Spirit for Its contribution to success. For some time now, our creativity process has been about allowing/encouraging Spirit to be present in the process.
Appreciation for Spirit’s contribution to success should be/must be offered to give the proper credit to That which has contributed much to the positive outcome. Beginning the process with a sincere wish that the best possible outcome for everybody/everything involved as the process unfolds is helpful.
Offer Sincere Appreciation to Others
Another form of thankfulness is sincere appreciation for others to the contribution they have made to our lives. Something I learned years ago when I began leading my first workgroup. Frequently expressed, specific appreciation for the work that my team did to contribute to our success was part of the reason for our success. As I had learned from several excellent leaders I had been blessed with.
One of the things we did six years when we first moved to Vallejo was to join a fitness center and begin taking a Tai Chi class. I continue to do this gentle form of Chinese martial arts to this day and expect to continue indefinitely. We had a great teacher in Peter Paul, a true master of the art. My story about that:
I decided yesterday, after a particularly satisfying Tai Chi session at home, that after today’s class I would go over to Peter and thank him for being my sensei, my teacher, and to express how much I appreciated his guidance and teaching. (In alignment with my also recent deepened appreciation for the value of thanking all things in my life for their existence and support.) Lynne and I had not been to class for several weeks and there were some new people in attendance. This usually slows down the proceedings as Peter attempts to integrate the new people into the ongoing group and that can sometimes be a bit unsettling.
Today was different. I found myself in a particularly good mood. I found the warmup exercises exhilarating as I did them in a very mindful way. Something was up. When we began the day’s execution of the Competition Style (one of three we sometimes do) I could feel the ease and focus on what I was doing. And my concern with technique, and sequence, and breathing disappeared. I was just moving. Illumination came upon me. I was flying. Wow. Fabulous. For the balance of the session I remained in that state. Happy. Joyful, really. At peace. Connected to everybody around me.
When I went over to Peter he lit up. Because he could see that I was lit up. I expressed my appreciation for him as planned and then I said, “You know, 6 months ago you mentioned that flying was an experience I might have at some point in the future. I didn’t understand what you meant at the time and was determined to find out. Today I experienced it. Flying.” He replied, “I can see on your face that this is true.” “It an experience of Higher Consciousness while doing the sequence, isn’t it?” “Yes”, he replied. “Exactly right.” “I felt myself massaging the Universe, and the Universe was massaging me.” He nodded.
“Furthermore”, he went on, “The experience is even stronger when you are in a group and everybody in the group is having the same experience. There has been time when only a few of the die-hards in the group show up and we fly together.” “Ah,” I replied, excited at the thought, “The next step for me to experience. I look forward to it.” And he departed.
Now that was a magical conversation.
This One is Not Always So Easy–Bless Difficulty
Everyone has difficulties come along in their lives. Master Teacher stories are full of difficulties overcome: Buddha, Muhammed, Jesus. One desirable response to an unexpectedly high expense to fix the car that your neglect caused to require an expensive fix, is to say,” Thank you. I’ll take care of it. I created the problem., I’ll deal with it.” And to go straight to Buddha mind for the appropriate response to the situation. A Spirit stimulated response, not a human one.
Fortunately, we have an ally in our Higher Consciousness. To bring into focus the Power of the Now, and Benefit of just being Here. In the Moment. With the difficulty. As its unfolding right in front of us, and it seems that there is nothing that that we can do but be swept along. And then we remember. To say to ourselves, “Peace Be Still”. And breathe. Allow Spirit to flow thorough and go to work on our behalf. And guide our actions.
Our difficulties are of our own making. They are our children, the outgrowth of our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual makeup as it emerges into the world. It has been said that, while we can’t control all of our circumstances (an arguable premise but let’s except it for the moment) we can control our responses to those circumstances.
And if we take full, personal responsibility as being cause, creator of the situation, we can go within to our Divine Selves where a number of options emerge that can neutralize the situation:
- A Sacred Breath
- A Mediation
- Channeling our Higher Selves into present time
- Self-examination for personal patterns that cause such difficulty to forgive and transform them
- Checking our hearts and our gut for revelation
- Reasoning with trusted ones to look for clues to the answer
There are ways to work through difficulty by going Within.
Lastly, Thanking Higher Consciousness
If you have read any of my books you know that I refer to my Soul as my Higher Consciousness, especially my book Higher Consciousness Meditation: Living a Life of Inner Mastery. Affectionately, “HiC”. I have developed a strong relationship with that part of myself. It is truly my Buddy. Here is my last journal story:
Today was one of those days. A day that came along, beclouded. I woke up this morning with a low level of anxiety. Unusual for me. As the day moved along the feeling lingered. I could attribute it to a number of possibilities:
- Picking up Lynne’s energy which has been abuzz in recent
- Taking Sasha dog for a comprehensive exam to find that she was scheduled by mistake.
- Having to get her there early and not being able to meditate before I left
- Being in the midst of trying to develop my book launch strategy from the ideas contained in a variety of books I have bought on the subject, some contradicting the others. (I’m not inclined to choose just one author and trust whatever he/she has to say but need to evaluate them all and make my own choices for what suits me.)
All I know is I felt out of sorts and dealt with it thusly:
- Recognized the feeling when I awoke and immediately doing Sacred Breathing for about 15 minutes, knowing that might be all of the meditating I was going to be able to do.
- Did a bit of yoga and Breathed.
- Looked at the thoughts going by on the 20-minute drive to the vet. Recognized the welling up of thoughtforms, feeling forms and karma, perhaps. Hard to put my finger on it exactly and I realized I would probably never know all of the facets. But didn’t need to.
- During all of this I used various mindfulness exercises to try to raise my consciousness sufficiently to have contact with my HiC. I could feel Him trying to make things as easy as possible, pulling me up. It wasn’t until midafternoon after Lynne and I went for a walk that I had a breakthrough.
It came in the form of several articles I read that made sense in strategic terms. My launch tactics are coming into view based on the strategic objective of developing a plan and set of objectives to get word out about the books in a conscious way.
- I can feel HiC helping me with this, which was my specific need, by breaking though the emotional “fog” I was in to reach clarity. The still, small voice always ready, willing, and able when I am. Which I’m not, always. Witness today.
As sit here writing I can feel him bubbling through this epistle and buoying it up as the day comes to an end. Thank you HiC for flowing into my consciousness with sufficiently high vibrations that I am able to grow and evolve and receive your messages. To get these ideas and, more importantly, to open my consciousness to the broader perspective of 5D. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Some things to consider. Some options to explore. Give thanks. Offer appreciation. Practice gratitude.
What do you think? Does these ideas resonate? What’s your meditation practice like? Any concerns? Comment below.
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