The original impulse of all religious and spiritual traditions is gratitude for the gift of life.
However, so easily do we take this gift of life for granted, and perhaps that is why many spiritual paths begin with thanksgiving, to remind us that, despite all our problems and concerns, our very existence is not a benefit. merited.
In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, we must pause at the beginning of meditative practice and reflect on the preciousness of human life.
This is not because we humans are morally superior to other beings, but because we can "change karma".
In other words, with self-reflective awareness, we are given the ability to choose - take stock of what we are doing and change direction.
We may have relied primarily on instinct for ages of life like other forms of life, but now we finally have the ability to consider, judge and choose.
In weaving our neural circuits that are always complexifying in the miracle of self-awareness, life longed for us for the ability to know, act and speak on behalf of the greater whole.
Now the time has come when, by our own decision, we can consciously enter the dance.
- In times of turbulence and danger, gratitude helps to strengthen us. This brings us into the presence, and our total presence is perhaps the best offer we can make to our world.
In Buddhist practice, this first reflection on the preciousness of human life is immediately followed by a second, for its brevity.
“Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain. "
And this reflection awakens us to the present of the present moment - to take advantage of this unrepeatable chance to be alive - now.
That our world is in crisis - to the extent that the survival of conscious life on Earth is in question - in no way diminishes the wonder of the present moment.
For the great open secret is this: gratitude does not depend on our external circumstances.
It doesn't depend on whether we like where we are or approve of what we're up against. On the contrary, we are granted the great privilege of being present to participate, if we wish, in the Great Shift.
We can let the difficulties of this time allocate all our strength, wisdom and courage, so that life can continue.
Gratitude is politically subversive in the Industrial Growth Society. It helps to inoculate us against the consumerism on which corporate capitalism depends. It serves as a counterweight to the dissatisfaction with what we have and are, the desire and need ignited by our political economy.
Gratitude is at the center of indigenous culture on Turtle Island (North America). Among the Haudenosaunee in particular, this is seen as a sacred duty.
At the beginning of practically all meetings or ceremonies, thanks and greetings - "the words that come before everything" - are offered to everyone who gives life: from the older brother, the sun, to water, winds, plants, animals and animals.
Perhaps this practice can help us to understand the remarkable self-respect and dignity of those native peoples who have not been defeated by centuries of broken promises and cultural genocide.
It seems that gratitude - and the dignity and self-respect it generates - helped them to survive. And that is an inspiration for all of us when we face the Great Unveiling and the suffering it brings.
There is much to be done and time is very short. Of course, we can proceed with dark and angry despair.
But the tasks proceed more easily and productively from an attitude of gratitude; allows us to rest in our deepest powers.
The Practice of Gratitude in Facilitation
Gratitude begins with the warm welcome of the guide by each person.
Evoking from the beginning the love we share for life on Earth relaxes and excites us all.
It also opens up our pain for the world, because knowing what we value triggers the knowledge of how it is in danger.
In the comments and instructions, be careful not to tell people what to feel.
This is true at all stages of the spiral; at this stage, surnames of gratitude may appear pious and boring.
Allow feelings to arise and be named by the participants.
The presence through Movement, Breath, Sound and Silence
Most of us are prepared, psychically and physically, against the signs of distress that continually trap us in the news, in the streets, in the natural world.
This chronic state of tension also inhibits our vitality and gratitude. Therefore, at the beginning of a workshop, we turn to the breath, the body, the senses - as they can help us to relax and tune into the broader currents of knowledge and feeling.
Breathing is a useful friend in this work, as it connects the interior with the exterior, revealing our intimate and total dependence on the world around us.
It connects the mind to the body, paying attention to the constant flow of air, calming conversations and evasions, and making us more present in life.
Breathing also reminds us that we, as open systems, are in constant flux, not attached to any feeling or response, but dynamic and changeable as we let it pass us by.
Start by having everyone pay attention to their breathing for a few moments. You can lead the group in a brief breathing practice of your choice.
In the course of work, as we allow ourselves to experience our pain around the world, breathing continues to serve us, just as it serves a woman in childbirth.
This helps us to remain loose and open to the flow of information and the changes it can bring.
Opening through the body
All the threats that we face on this planet-time - be it toxic waste, world hunger or global warming - ultimately fall to attack the body.
Our bodies pick up signals that our minds can refuse to register.
Our unexpressed and unrecognized fears are trapped in our tissues, along with known and unknown toxins - in our muscles, in our throats and guts, in our ovaries and gonads.
Essential joys also pass through the body: tastes, images, sounds, textures and movements that connect us in a tangible way to our world.
Our faithful “Brother Ass,” as San Francisco called him, is our most basic connection to our planet and our future.
To draw attention to the body, continue the orientation that you started with breathing, using your own words to suggest something like the following:
Stretch. Stretch all the muscles and release. Slowly rotate your head, making your neck easier with all your nerve centers.
Rotate your shoulders, releasing the burdens and tensions they carry. See your hand, feel the skin. Feel the textures of the world around you, clothes, armchair, table, floor.
Your senses are real; they connect you to your world; you can trust them.
Opening through silence
Many traditions, such as Quakers, know the power of “collected silence”, where together, in stillness, we tune in to the inner and deeper knowledge.
At this time on the planet, when we face dangers too great for the mind to embrace or words to convey, silence will do.
It can be as rich as it sounds, while serving a complementary purpose: sound helps us to release planetary distress; silence helps us to hear it.
And, later in the workshop, after we have had the opportunity to specify our concerns and fears, we may have more moments to be silent.
Some guides like to start every session with a period of silence, with their eyes closed, just to settle in.
Sometimes they ask a question before silence, to encourage reflection for a dialogue to follow, suggesting that when people feel ready to speak differently.
This can take the group to a deeper level, while closing your eyes creates confidence and helps people to relax and reflect.
Open sentences are structures for spontaneous expression.
It helps people to listen with rare receptivity, as well as to express their thoughts and feelings frankly.
People sit in pairs, face to face and close enough to meet each other fully.
They avoid talking until the practice begins. One is partner A, the other partner B - this can be determined quickly by asking them to hit each other on the knee; who touched first is A.
When the guide speaks each unfinished sentence, A repeats it, completes it in his own words, addressing Partner B and continues to speak spontaneously for the expected time.
Partners can switch roles after each open sentence or at the end of the series.
The listening partner - and this should be emphasized - remains silent, saying absolutely nothing and listening in the most attentive and supportive way possible.
For each open sentence to complete, wait a few minutes.
Give a brief warning each time before it's time to move on, saying "take a minute to finish" or "thank you". A small bell can lead people to silence, where they rest a few seconds before the next opening. phrase.
Open sentences about gratitude
This is a highly enjoyable activity and you can make up your own open sentences. Or choose one of those favorites (# 5 always comes last).
1. Some of the things I love about being alive on Earth are ...
2. A place that was magical (or wonderful) for me as a child was….
3. A person who helped me to believe in me is or was…
4. Some of the things I like to do and do are ...
5. Some things I appreciate about me are…
The Mirror Walk, adapted from the familiar Trust Walk, awakens sensory awareness and a new sense of gratitude for life, in addition to providing a change of pace and focus.
Excellent training for the ecological self helps people to experience the world as their larger body - wondering when they open their eyes, at specific times, they are looking in the mirror. Hence the name.
Suitable at any point in the workshop, it develops trust between the participants and goes beyond words, to the immediacy of contact with the natural world.
An outdoor environment, with growing things, is very rewarding, but even a city street with an occasional tree has served.
Forming pairs, people take turns being guided with their eyes closed, in silence. Without vision, they use their other senses with more curiosity than usual and practice trusting the other person with their safety.
Their partners, guiding them by the hand or the arm, offer them various sensory experiences - a flower or leaf to smell, the texture of the grass or the trunk of the tree, the sound of birds or children playing - all the time speechless.
Time is relaxed, allowing time to fully record each sensory encounter.
From time to time, the guide adjusts his partner's head, as if he is pointing a camera, and says: "Open your eyes and look in the mirror".
Those being guided open their eyes for a moment or two and watch.
Demonstrate with a volunteer when giving instructions. Remind participants to remain silent, except for the periodic invitation to look in the mirror.
After a predetermined period of time, the functions are changed.
Provide a beep when changing, using a loud bell. The so-called Australian aborigine, coo-ee, works well because it reaches a great distance when people repeat the call as soon as they hear it.
When they return at the end of the second round, each pair forms a quartet with another pair to talk about the experience.
After ten minutes, you can invite a general share to the entire group. "What did you notice?" "What surprised you?" "What feelings came up when guiding or being guided?"
Translated from the website WorkThatReconnects