“Gratitude is a state of being in which we feel connected to everything in the universe. It is a fullness of the heart that recognizes the blessings of Nature within and without. Gratitude is love for the goodness of life itself.” ~Deepak Chopra
I recently returned from an inspiring trip to India where I was blessed with the opportunity to study with my beloved teacher, Lucy Roberts. If you’ve ever been to India, and even if you have not, you may be aware of the intense poverty and challenging circumstances in which many Indian people live. Yet everywhere I looked I saw beauty, contentment and grace, like the lovely woman pictured above, making a pot of chai.
She lived with her family in a small compound with rooms open to the elements, on an island in the middle of a large lake. Now I don’t know her – I didn’t even get her name. But as she lovingly made her privileged visitors Masala chai, I could see the fullness of her heart. She moved unhurriedly around her humble kitchen, tending the fire, slowing stirring the pot. Her whole being seemed rooted in gratitude and perfectly content with the goodness of her life. By our Western standards we would consider this woman poverty stricken. Yet to me she seemed blessed beyond belief. And she served me the most delicious cup of chai I have ever tasted.
Cultivating a mindfulness practice consisting of yoga, meditation, pranayama, chanting, knitting, even running(?!) can be a beautiful way to cultivate and express our gratitude.