A Guided Meditation on Gratitude

A Guided Meditation on Gratitude

Susan Frederick-Gray

I invite you, as you are willing, into this time of meditation and reflection and into this practice of gratitude. If you like to write as a way of reflection, feel free to grab a journal or piece of paper and something to write with. It’s also okay just to find a comfortable position to sit in or stand in, or whatever is most comfortable for you nd your body, to help you feel at ease.

First I invite you to take a few relaxing breaths… in and out. Feel free to close your eyes, if that is most comfortable, or to leave them gently open. Breathe in a way that feels comfortable and relaxing.

I invite you, at first, just to pay attention to your body. If there’s a place of tension or pain, imagine breathing your breath into that part of your body. Imagine the breath expanding that area of tension, and then breathing out through that pain or tightness: feeling the muscles release with the out-breath. With breathing in, expand your attention in any area of tension; breathe out through that area, letting the tension go.

Breathing in through areas of tension, and out letting go of that tension or pain if you can.

Now I invite you to bring your attention to your heart space: to your chest, maybe your abdomen if you prefer. Gentle breaths: breathing that feels natural and relaxing. Just be aware of anything that you’re feeling. If you are feeling joy, or calm and peace; if you’re feeling sadness, or grief, or anxiousness, just be aware of it. Breathe alongside that feeling. Offer yourself compassion, for whatever may be present to you right now. 

As you continue to breathe, ask yourself if there’s anything, or anyone you’re feeling grateful for. Ask yourself, in your heart: What or who are you grateful for? Is there anyone who is caring for you, showing you care, inspiring you, comforting you, anyone who you love, who you are grateful for? Hold that person, those people—visualize them. Hold them in the gratitude that you feel for them. Breathe in that feeling of gratitude. Breathe out that gratitude for those loved ones.

I invite you to take a few more breaths. And as you do so, I invite you to think about anything about this day: anything that’s happened, anything that you’re looking forward to. If you have a window nearby, maybe you can see some sky or sun or tree or rain. Just be present to that: take it in. Hold in your attention anything that you are grateful for from this day; that you’re grateful to be looking forward to in this day. Anything that’s present to you right now.

I’m giving thanks for the sunshine after so much rain. Just hold that gratitude and that attention in your heart; in your mind as you breathe in and out gently.

Take a few more breaths, and imagine opening your heart-space wide. And asking if there’s anything else you’re grateful for: your friends, community, faith, connections that you appreciate and feel, attentive to.

Open your heart to other things in your life, and this moment, that you’re feeling grateful for. Hold those in your attention; breathe in that feeling of gratitude; breathe in imagining or holding in your mind those people, those things, those connections. Breathe in that gratitude.

It’s also okay if some of our relationships are mixed with other emotions besides gratitude. Be present to that. Breathe it in.

As you continue to breathe, take a moment to hold in your attention all these connections, all these relationships, all these gifts that you are grateful for. Bring them to your attention again together.

Breathe in the gratitude you feel; breathe out gratitude across those connections.

As you are ready, as you continue to breath gently, you can bring your attention back to this time; to your body; to each other, gathered in meditation.

And as we close, and as you breathe gently, offer a word in silence or out loud or spoken: a word of gratitude for these gifts.

Blessed Be. Amen.