It makes Life meaningful – no matter how grave the circumstances are.
“I feel thankful only when I am feeling good. I am not always able to sustain my state of gratitude. Why is that so,” asked a young lady, with whom we had dinner the other day.
That’s an interesting question. Before I proceed to share my learnings from Life, I would just tweak her expression there slightly though – you don’t necessarily feel grateful when you feel good, yet you always feel good when you are feeling grateful!
Almost everyone is blessed with enough intelligence to know the value of being grateful for all that we have. But we miss celebrating the beauty and miracle of our creation because we are trapped in a web of debilitating emotions and because we are constantly on this earning-a-living treadmill.
I have learnt that living in the moment and gratitude go hand-in-hand. When your mind is stuck in the past, the dead past, or has raced into the unborn future, you are simply not present in the moment. When you are not immersed in the now, how will you see its magic, how will you celebrate its beauty? So, it all boils down to training the mind. You must direct your mind to not go astray and train it to stay in the present. Only then will you be able to feel grateful – and sustain that state!
No matter how grave the circumstances are, there is always something you can feel grateful for. Whenever I feel the need to invoke gratitude in me, I feel the air in my lungs. I concentrate on my breathing for a brief while. And I am quickly reassured that as long as there is Life, jab tak hai jaan, anything is possible. The other clarity I have developed is that Life happens through us, for us – and never because of us. This understanding makes me eternally grateful for this Life, for my human form and all that I have experienced and am experiencing.
People all around are searching for meaning in their Life. They are seeking happiness. And they are praying hard for grace, to be blessed and to be granted their wishes. I believe that all of this – meaning, happiness, grace – can come into anyone’s Life, the moment they learn to be grateful for what is, for what they have, instead of complaining about or pining for what isn’t.
The most profound prayer – and the only one, according to me – is to keep saying “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” to Life. This prayer has surely turned me away from religion, rituals and the popular notion of God. Yet it has granted me something precious; it has blessed me with equanimity – the ability to be centered and happy despite the circumstances.