Appendix C: Gratitude meditation

Sit in an upright and open posture. Take a nice deep breath in and as you breathe out, relax your shoulders and relax your belly.

Take another deep breath and breathing out, relax your eyes with your eyelids just gently touching, and all the tiny muscles around the eyes soft and relaxed.

Now allow your breathing just to flow naturally and with each out-breath, a softening... just letting go... through your body, relaxing your shoulders, and relaxing your belly...

And now bring to mind all of the material things in your life that sustain and comfort you. The food you eat, the clothes your wear, your home, your possessions. Bring to mind the material things that entertain and inspire you... your books... your garden... television, furnishings, artworks, anything at all; in your mind begin to recall and name all of those material things... and as you dwell on these things, say to yourself: thank you. Thank you for all these things that support and comfort me... that amuse and inspire... thank you very much. You do’t need to be saying thank you to anybody or anything in particular, just notice, if you can, a feeling and sense of deep appreciation and gratitude.

Breathe consciously again and direct the breath towards your heart... as you breathe out, let your heart be touched with the feeling of gratitude. Thank you.

Now bring to mind all of your teachers, mentors, and guides... all of those who have encouraged, inspired, or otherwise helped you to grow... some of your teachers ad mentors may have been kind, some more confronting... in your mind begin to recall, picture, and name those teachers who stand out... and then say to yourself... thank you. Thank you to all of my teachers, mentors and guides. Thank you for the lessons you have given me... thank you very much.

Breathe consciously. Direct the breath towards your heart and as you breathe out, let your heart be touched with the feeling of gratitude. Thank you to all my teachers.

And now bring to mind all of your friends... all of the people who have shared fun, challenges, and love with you. All of the people who have supported you. It may be a small select group or a larger group... in your mind begin to recall, picture, and name all of your friends, both current and past. Friendships which are no longer current can still be appreciated for what they offered when they were an important part of your life... and then say to yourself: thank you. Thank you to all of my friends, past and current. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you very much.

Breathe consciously... direct the breath towards your heart and as you breathe out, let your heart soften and be touched with the feeling of gratitude. Thank you to my friends.

Now bring to mind all of your family members who mean something to you, those that stand behind you, your parents, grandparents, ad ancestors, your brothers ad sisters who stand beside you... perhaps your children and grandchildren who stand in front of you... all of your family members. In your mind, begin to recall, picture, and bring to mind all of your family members who you are able to hold in care and affection. Only those... and the say to yourself: thank you. Thank you to those of my family members I care for. Thank you for all the fun, challenges, and love that we have shared. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you very much.

Breathe consciously... and direct the breath towards your heart... and as you breathe out, let your heart be touched with the feeling of gratitude. Thank you to my family.

And now bring to mind the people with whom you’ve shared intimate love... your lovers, partners, spouse, all of the people who have touched your heart as you have touched theirs. It may be a small, select group or just one person...in your mind, begin to recall, picture, and name your beloved ones... and then say to yourself: thank you. Thank you to my loved ones... thank you for the precious love that we have shared. Thank you very much.

Breathe consciously and direct the breath towards your heart... as you breathe out, let your heart soften with the feeling of gratitude.

And now bring to mind your own unique and precious self. In your mind, begin to recall times in your life — even times when you don’t picture yourself or remember yourself with any great pride or fulfilment — see yourself at various ages... and say your own name. ...and then say to yourself: thank you. Thank you to my own true self. Thank you for this precious life. Thank you very much.

Breathe consciously, direct the breath towards your heart and as you breathe out, let your heart be touched with the feeling of gratitude. Thank you to my own true self. Thank you for this precious life.

(Adapted from Paul Bedson, Gawler Foundation)

 

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