The Grateful Heart as a Spiritual Practice

Posted on Nov 4, 2013 in From Rev. Dave

IMG_0800It’s reported that Meister Eckhart said, “Were the word ‘Thanks’ the only prayer you ever say, it would suffice.” (Wäre das Wort ›Danke‹ das einzige Gebet, das du je sprichst, so würde es genügen.)

Madison Avenue would like to convince us that if we have the right salary or the right amount of stuff (that they sell), then we’d be happy and finally we’d have something to be grateful for. But turns out that that’s exactly the opposite of how it works!

It’s through being grateful that we live a happy life.

That’s what the “Grateful Heart” meditation was about last Sunday. Some of you asked about my Grateful Heart. Sometimes it’s a moment when I was a child, sitting in the copious lap of my mother. Sometimes a life passage such as graduation, ordination, marriage, installation, or becoming a father. Sometimes listening to stories from my grandfather. Sometimes on a mountaintop of my own imagining. Sometimes the finale to Beethoven’s Fifth. Sometimes a conversation with a friend.

So if you can’t identify your own Grateful Heart, then borrow one of mine to practice on. The Grateful Heart isn’t a time or a place. It’s a state of being that is accessible through the spiritual practice of gratitude that’s designed to inspire living fully at any moment.

If you’d like to cultivate a life of happiness, practice gratitude. Here’s the “21 Day Gratitude Challenge”: discover three new(!) things every day to be grateful for; write them down; and include why you’re grateful for them. Just 21 days. Discover where the practice takes you. Grow your soul.