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Gratitude Guided Meditation Podcast

February 22, 2008

Gratitude is the highest, most fulfilling, emotion we can feel.  Yet so often we’re focused on what we don’t have, what we want to be different, what we think is wrong rather than on what we can be grateful for. There’s nothing wrong with that — it’s human nature — it happens to all of us. Yet most of us would certainly prefer to feel grateful.

When feeling grateful is so rewarding, what can we do to feel it more often? We can’t manufacture gratitude. It comes on its own. But we can give it more opportunity to appear in our lives, simply by taking time to focus on what is good in our lives, to “count our blessings”.

I feel it’s important, however, not to get caught up in the feeling that we should be grateful. There’s nothing we should feel. Gratitude has become a hot topic among spiritual seekers and often when something is seen to be spiritual, it starts to get associated with being virtuous, or being a good person. I’m not interested in gratitude because it somehow makes one a good person, or because I feel we need to learn to feel only positive emotions. I’m interested in gratitude because it uplifts our spirits and feeds our hearts.

I make this point because when I led a gratitude meditation with my local guided meditation group, it wasn’t until I gave them permission not to feel grateful that they were able to relax and have a genuine experience of gratitude arise. As you listen to the Gratitude Guided Meditation podcast episode, be easy with it. If you don’t feel grateful at times while you are listening, let that be OK. Don’t try to make yourself feel anything. Next time you listen, the experience will be different, or you might find that feelings of gratitude surprise you later on during the day. The meditation is simply designed to give you an opportunity to feel gratitude by taking the time to focus on the things in your life you are thankful for. We’re just giving gratitude a chance to come up naturally. Chances are you will at least feel moments of gratitude during the meditation, and when you do, let yourself sink into that feeling. Notice the details of the experience of gratitude — how it feels in your body, how your energy feels. Let it permeate your whole being when it comes up.

We hope you enjoy this meditation, and would love to hear about your experience with the meditation and with gratitude in your lives.

Comments

17 Responses to “Gratitude Guided Meditation Podcast”

  1. Tracy on April 7th, 2008 1:52 pm

    I just started listening to your podcasts, and find them very calming…but I admit that I get the giggles when thinking of gratitude because as a survivor of domestic violence, one of my first lessons was to focus on finding five things to be thankful for. Now, I try to come up with a gratitude list on a regular basis when I feel symptoms of PTSD overwhelm me. I’ve even been grateful for something as simple as my crockpot, or the honeysuckles that are blooming in my front yard.

  2. Mary on April 8th, 2008 8:55 am

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m tickled to hear about your gratitude for your crockpot and honeysuckle. It’s amazing how many wonderful, simple things we have in our lives that we take for granted. Just this morning before reading your comment I was thinking about how grateful I am for the morning light shining in through my east facing windows and the wonderful cow who produces the delicious milk I drink.

    Focusing on things to be thankful for to help with PTSD — that makes so much sense. I’m glad you’re also finding the podcasts calming. Best wishes, Mary

  3. Gareth on April 13th, 2008 5:31 am

    Hey, I really liked this. Your guided meditations are really enjoyable.

    Thanks for providing them.

  4. Amberthyme on April 25th, 2008 9:38 pm

    I have listened to the gratitude meditation several times. The last time I found myself struggling to find something to be grateful for. I love how you gently remind us to let go of expectations and if we’re not feeling particularly grateful that it is fine to feel that way too. It always comes back to the breath — if nothing else we can be thankful that we are breathing! Those two thoughts made me smile.

    I found your meditations very helpful last October when my daughter was in the hospital. I would use the meditations to relax after she was asleep.

    Thank you,
    Amber

  5. Mary on April 26th, 2008 11:21 am

    You are welcome, Amberthyme.

    I feel that gratitude, like any feeling, can’t be manufactured. But sometimes if we take the time to think of what we can be grateful for, it will come.

    f course, we can’t feel grateful all the time. I think we get into trouble when we feel we “should” feel something like gratitude or love. I’ve come to feel the most important thing is to allow ourselves to feel whatever we are feeling at the time. If you are feeling strong grief, it wouldn’t even be appropriate to try to make yourself feel gratitude. You would need to feel the grief all the way.

    I’m so glad the meditations helped during a difficult time when your daughter was in the hospital. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Mary

  6. Pete on May 10th, 2009 11:46 am

    Hi Mary,
    We used this meditation during our online weekly online Sangha meeting. We usually start the meeting with meditation and we usually use one of yours. During our discussion, we often discuss ideas coming from the meditation. This meditaion sparked a wonderful discussion. We really appreciate what you do. You are welcome to join us any time.

  7. Mary on May 10th, 2009 1:17 pm

    Pete, I’m so glad to hear from you again. We discussed my joining you in the past and I would love to sometime. I misplaced the info you had emailed me about how to participate. If you’ll send it again, will follow up this time!

  8. Ted on May 31st, 2009 8:47 pm

    This is amazing stuff. I have been looking for a guided meditation focusing on gratitude!

    If there was a way I could download this, that would be amazing and I would be more than happy to pay for this as well!

    thank you and I am actually “grateful” I found your site!

  9. Mary on June 1st, 2009 8:59 am

    You are welcome, Ted. We’re grateful you found us!

    You should be able to download any of the podcast episodes. On most computers, you right click on the title and choose the appropriate command from the menu to download.

    All of the podcast episodes are available for free. If you feel inspired to contribute, we’re always very grateful for donations. You can also help support us by purchasing CDs or mp3 downloads from the site.

    Best wishes.

  10. Hypnotize on October 7th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Wow, that has really made some changes. I’m starting to look at things differently now. Many thanks

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  14. Georgie on June 27th, 2014 10:35 am

    Hi Mary,

    Wow! what a revealing experience!
    and strange – in a very soul-filling way!
    Not because of anything bad though
    Wondered if you could shed insight on it?

    When it got to the 5 senses
    I thought about all the things that can go amiss at a cellular level – and how incredibly lucky I am to be born healthy, and all of my life and the people and happenings in it (most of which has not been at all what is considered an easy life or functional!) – that I love for all that my soul has learned through and all that is good in this world, and that I have my 5 senses and all the souls in the world who do ‘not’ on so many levels….
    and I felt gut-clench anxiety in my body!
    where i expected to feel some warm glow type feeling!
    For it is many years of sending love from my heart in gratitude of many many even littlest things whenever I think upon it or person or ‘else’ ;)

    What sense do I make of such feeling?

    PS In writing I am sense-making too – so even if no response it doesn’t matter :)

    With kindest regards,
    Georgie

  15. Mary on June 27th, 2014 10:48 am

    Georgie, when we are so relaxed in meditation, even if focussed on gratitude, feelings that have been under the surface can come up. I am sure as you investigate this you’ll find the answer for yourself! Clearly you are very good at exploring how you feel and “sense making”…

  16. Georgie on July 1st, 2014 10:31 am

    Hi Mary,

    Thankyou for what you wrote. I wondered if you could suggest which meditation would help with feeling and releasing emotional hurt/loss of a child
    And absolute fear of this world and being in it?

    With warm, kind regard,
    georgie

  17. Mary on July 1st, 2014 1:18 pm

    Georgie, perhaps the Guided Meditation for Grief, Breath in the Heart or Emotional Ease would help with this loss. As for the fear, any of the meditations which help you feel relaxed could help, and you might try the Trust Guided Meditation and Resting in the Source. Wishing you well.

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