Gratitude practice involves pausing to acknowledge everything that supports and uplifts us. It’s important to note, though, that in doing so we’re not stuffing down, ignoring, downplaying or turning away from discomfort. In a past post, we alluded briefly to the expansive power of the word “and”, and in keeping with that idea, it can be helpful to think of Gratitude practice as “& Gratitude” practice. We’re cultivating a sense of our own ability to hold the array of life’s experiences, often simultaneously.
We can feel the pain of a medical ailment, and gratitude for the care we’re receiving. We can feel the fear of sending a child out into the world, and gratitude that they have found a passion to pursue. We can feel the disappointment of plans going awry, and gratitude as we recognize that past detours have led to new adventures, and we can even hold the grief of a loved one’s passing as we hold gratitude for the time we had with them.
Interestingly, research has shown that the subconscious mind has a tendency to focus on the optimistic while the conscious mind has a tendency to focus on the negative. As with all meditation and mindfulness practices, the effect of gratitude practice is to bring the subconscious up to the level of conscious - to bring fuller awareness to our lived experience.
So Gratitude practice, or “& Gratitude”, practice isn’t an exercise in pollyannaism, it’s developing an understanding that we are a container large enough to hold all of life.
We hope that you can join us this week as we explore “& Gratitude”.
May all beings everywhere know their strength, resilience, and capacity to hold life’s experiences,
Your friends at CMP
This Week’s Session Schedule
We hope you can join us at one of our community sits this week. All sessions are free and open to the public, suitable for new meditators and people with an established practice. There is no need to bring or wear anything special, and all sessions offered in libraries are done in chairs unless you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or meditation cushion.
Monday 12:00 PM - Trumbull Library, 33 Quality Street, Trumbull
Monday 7:30 PM- Sama Yoga, 45 Grove Street, New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM- Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford
Wednesday 12:00 PM- New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan
Thursday 12:00 PM - Waveny Park, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan**
** This session takes place outdoors, weather permitting, under the big tree to the right of the mansion. Please bring a lawn chair.
Thursday September 5th 6:15 PM: New Canaan Parent Support Group 3rd Annual Addiction Awareness Vigil, 6 South Avenue, New Canaan. CMP will provide a mindful moment between the testimonials and candlelight vigil. See here for more information.
Saturday October 5th 9AM - 3PM: Fall Silent Retreat at St. Paul's on the Green in Norwalk. More info to follow.