In Presence and Gratitude
Autumn, a time of introspection—falling away—revealing the starkness beneath the leaves, the world in its raw and unprotected state. Thanksgiving calls for us to be present to what is—the harvest, the now barren state of the soil, the resting time—and within that presence to celebrate through gratitude.
There exists between Presence and Gratitude a synergistic relationship. Presence begets gratitude as gratitude begets presence.
Practice conscious presence and conscious gratitude to experience the overlay of the two. Over time you’ll become aware of your presence in gratitude and your gratitude for presence. Practice, as practice does, will ingrain the overlay process and you’ll soon live in the light of both by simply being aware in your everyday moments.
For a moment, close your eyes. Allow your hands to rest softly, letting go on the physical level. Feel the breath as it vitalizes the body. Become aware of the life force of your body—the sustaining, life-giving breath that fills your body. Ride this wave of awareness for a few breaths. This is the awareness of life. In this moment of pure presence, we can experience the gratitude of being. Awareness of being in the moment naturally fills one with appreciation for just that: being.
Allow your body to calm; breathe deeply. Bring your awareness to a place you love, a person, an aspect of life that fills you with gratitude. If you prefer, you can gaze upon something—a tree, an autumn leaf, a child playing, the palm of your hand. As you breathe, allow gratitude for what you are thinking of or seeing to fill your heart, to saturate your being. In this moment, you are fully present to what you are grateful for.
In the reciprocal maintenance of the universe, presence and gratitude give rise to one another, sweetly intertwined, in awareness of one giving birth to the other over and over again.