Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gratitude, the mind, and deeper awareness

Although this blog has been on hiatus again, I love that Thanksgiving falls during my time writing about the koshas, especially the link between the mind and the next two koshas, the meditative and Divine koshas. Today, I want to focus on how Thanksgiving, or better yet, giving thanks and feeling gratitude work within those koshas.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. By no means do I think that way because of the Pilgrims and the eventual European taking-over of the continent. No, I mean that for one day, and really the entire week, people are all in a gratitude mindset. This energy of gratitude permeates the air and our hearts. The words “thank you” leave the mind and permeate the deeper koshas.

So, this is how the koshas work. In the mind, we say thank you. It has the potential to change our body, our breath, and all the way to our deepest awareness and connection to the Divine. As we say it more and more, it permeates deeper and deeper. As we live it, and the air breathes it, we become it. For one week, we get to be grateful together, and that gratitude brings us closer to one another and the Divine essence.

The mind is where we think; it is our logic center. The  vijnamaya kosha is where we perceive. It is where we can just be. Gratitude helps take us to that place. We can worry about the future and dwell on the past in the mind, but the deeper awareness knows that life unfolds exactly as it should. Some days it is easier to accept that than others, but when we start from a place of gratitude and thanks, we can go to that place more often. As Meister Eckhart has said,
“If the only prayer you said in your whole like was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” The prayer of gratitude takes us to our deepest awareness.

So, this week of Thanksgiving, though mired in a history of destruction and despair, allows us to be together, to pray together, in the transition from mind to awareness and perception. We may move to the beat of our internal drummer, and there it never matters if that drummer is “different,” only that we are all in this together. From the 5 koshas in ourselves, we learn that our connection to each other grows as we go deeper through the koshas. And that is what leads us to the Divine because the Divine is that deepest connection we all share. I can think of no greater way to get there than through gratitude.

In that spirit, I know that I put off writing this post until Thanksgiving because this is when it needed to be written. Vijnamaya kosha needed to be about gratitude. Thank you for reading, for sharing in this community, and I hope to continue to share this journey together.

Blessings and Namaste!

© 2010 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved

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