There is something that should happen to everyone. We need to acquire, or re-acquire, a sense of gratefulness for our own lives. More or less around our 5th or 6th birthday we lose the contact with how wonderful it is to be alive and we start taking things for granted. And not only that, but we also start to demand things form the world, expect that certain things SHOULD happen to me, SHOULD come to me and we completely forget about the possibility to be grateful for ‘what is’, for the very small things of everyday life.
We need to practice being aware of the miraculously nature of our own existence.
Like a little remembrance or like a little recognition that, for example, we have hands that can grasp or feet that can support us. It is quite amazing!
We need to reconnect with how much we have! We can walk, we can breathe, we can feel taste, we can hear, we can see colors; isn’t it amazing that we can see at all?
Generally we are not grateful for anything, until we lose what we have.
What happens to us adults, is that we become grey, in the sense that we lose the capacity to be surprised by how amazing is to be alive.
This is one reason why being distracted is a ’sin’. Not sin in a religious sense that you will go to hell, but sin in the original sense, that you miss the mark*. Sin, in its original meaning before it was corrupted by religion, it was simply the missing of the mark, the losing of what was important to me. In this sense, when we get distracted, we miss the possibility to be grateful.
To be grateful is, at least as a beginning practice, an activity of the mind: we need to think about how amazing is to have what we have, how rare and especial is to be able to see, to smell, to have the capacity to touch and feel, to simply be alive.
There are so many things to be amazed for! And if we do it, life is not grey but full of colors.
This being grateful is like the ABC of our lives, the opening of the door, which will allow so many other possibilities to come.
Being grateful is a practice, and depends on the availability of the mind. The more distracted we are, the least possibilities we have, but the more quiet, open and at peace the mind is, the more chances we have.
As Albert Einstein said:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
* See the note About Sin in my book ‘About Presence – A Journey into Ourselves’. Page 235