The Mindfulness Blog

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Thanks A Lot

Thanks to my grandchildren for introducing me to Raffi, and a big thank you to Raffi for his tremendous song, "Thanks a lot". It really captures the essence of the holiday season, in its simplicity and its genuine directness!

Gratitude is the foundation of thankfulness, and it fits hand-in-glove with mindfulness and the practice of meditation. It's just that way-- one leads inevitably to the other. And anyone who has experienced mindfulness, or the practice of meditation, can attest to the positive power of gratitude.

Sure, there are days or moments when gratitude might not exactly work its magic, but they're in the distinct minority, and the abiding sense of optimism-- which is a close cousin to gratitude, and a powerful component of resilience-- can definitely help the off-days or off-moments, pass. Not in a Pollyannish way, but rather, in a balanced and thoughtful way.

Training ourselves to better manage or control our thoughts and emotions is what meditation is all about-- it frees up our ability to look for the "good" in the midst of the "bad". And it encourages us to respond with equanimity, rather than to react reflexively to the first notion or impulse that comes to us.

Gratitude is truly selfless, and unattached to any notion of benefit-- perceived or real, given or received (though being on the receiving end of another's gratitude is pretty cool). It's devoid of metric, or measurement. It's one of those qualities that simply is.

What a wonderful quality in an adult, and what an absolutely fantastic subject for a children's song!


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