Gratitude Prayer, After A Spiritual Pilgrimage

Posted by Nimesh Patel on Nov 29, 2010
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A beautiful soul friend of ours, recently took a spiritual journey for 3 months, walking from France to Spain, with her main purpose of seeking and realizing the importance of Gratitude. She wrote an amazingly powerful poem paralleling her walk to our lives, and concluded with: 

"Above all, be Grateful my dear pilgrim. For Gratitude and Misery cannot co-exist".

We leave you with a beautiful prayer below on Gratitude. Semi-Translated from an extremely moving Gujarati prayer....

Grateful

The first thing in the morning, I wake up to the noise of the alarm clock. It’s so loud and annoying, I cover my entire body up from all four sides with a blanket. Damn alarm clock never lets me sleep! Every morning it eats away at me, irritates me, annoys me.  Then, all of a sudden…I lay there quiet, thinking, feeling… Dear God, even though I hate this noise I have to face every morning, I can’t help but realize the gift you have given to me. I thank you Lord for the simple fact that I can hear. In this world there are thousands upon thousands of unfortunate brothers and sisters of ours that cannot hear. I am ever so grateful to you.

As the morning continues, I’m still in bed. I’m too tired to get up. The day seems daunting, knowing I’ll have to face the many problems and stresses ahead:  My boss sucks. Maybe I’ll get fired? Still have to go get groceries and pick up the kids after school. The car breaks still need to get repaired! My wife and I have to go to counseling tonight! Too many things…But I have no option, I have to get out of bed….Ahh how I hate this moment. I finally force myself to get out of bed. Reluctantly, I stand there. Then all of a sudden my mind quiets. I feel my feet touching the ground and can’t help but realize the gift you have given to me. I thank you Lord for the simple fact that I can even get up and stand on my own two feet. That I even have two feet. For in this world, there are thousands of less fortunate brothers and sisters of mine that don’t even have feet to stand on. That cannot get out of bed due to some illness or life-threatening injury. But you dear Lord have given me this gift. How I am ever so grateful for this.

As soon as I am up ready to start the day, my mornings are instantly filled with disturbances. I need to get in the bathroom to wash up and get ready, but the children, too slow and too childish, won’t get out. My breakfast is never ready on time. My wife is always yelling at me. My mom and dad constantly ensure I have a headache before I leave the house. Sometimes I feel like I have been given all of life’s problems. Then all of a sudden my mind quiets …And I suddenly have a strong pain in my body, as I feel what it would be like to live without a family. To have no one in my life. To be all by myself in this cold, dark world…and i stand there grateful, thanking you Dear Lord for giving me a family to have by my side. In this world, there are thousands of beautiful souls who don’t even have a family. A homeless man on the street who no one will even take into their home as their brother or father.  They are left stranded in this vast and dangerous ocean without a boat, a paddle or anyone to share their struggles and or joys with. How do they continue on Lord? How do they continue swimming? But you Lord, you have given me this beautiful gift. May I constantly keep this understanding close to my heart and be ever so thankful.

As I look around my apartment, I realize how common, how basic, how below standard it is. Its nowhere close to the houses I see on TV or in the magazines or at some of my friends’ homes. My furniture is used and old, my TV is still that big box type – everyone else seems to have flat screens, the kitchen feels cramped and rusty and my AC doesn’t always work.  Many times I feel this stress of, ‘will life get better?’ ‘will I make enough money to get a better home?’, ‘will I be able to eventually get a flat screen tv?’. And it is this stress that drives me to want more, to work harder, to make more money, to try to keep up with the Jones’….And then all of a sudden my mind goes quiet… I stand there in my home, awakened. Awakened to the fact that I even have a place I can call home. I can’t help but thank you Dear Lord for giving me an apartment to live in. Thousands upon thousands of our brothers and sisters in this world don’t even have a place to call home, let alone a small safe place to even sleep in.  But you Lord have given me this amazing gift which I constantly overlook.  I am humbled and ever so grateful to you.

The food at home is not so great. I guess its okay, but nothing compared to the restaurants and friends’ houses I’ve been to where there are rich and tasty varieties, daily, on the dinner table. We’re able to afford the basics, of rice, vegetables, bread and soup. But I constantly dream of enjoying greater variety at home and experiences at delicious restaurants and hotels, which seems like a time that may never come. As I think of this situation I’m in, my mind begins to quiet. And it is there, where I realize how lucky I am to even have something to eat. Thousands of unfortunate souls go to sleep hungry every night. They wake up with stomach acid burning in their body, to the point where their body gets immuned to that pain. I truly don’t understand how they survive. They go through their daily life, feeling extreme joy if someone just hands them a piece of bread or a slice of fruit. This simple offering is a gift from God, for them. And, I, am here complaining about having this daily provision of rice, bread, soup and vegetables. Wow. Forgive me Dear Lord and thank you. Thank you for this daily gift of nutrients and variety of basic foods you constantly provide me with.  I am humbled and ever so grateful to you.

My day to day work life is extremely monotonous and dry. I wish I could’ve been an actor, a successful businessman, or doctor. But then, I’m blessed, because my mind quiets, once again. And I realize and sit, grateful to you Lord, for the fact that I even have a job to make a living by.

Dear Lord, when I was younger, I had a dream of how my life would be. I used to see this poster that had a great mansion and expensive cars near a beautiful river, and wished for this to be my life. But Lord, I’m constantly missing the point and as my mind quiets right here, in the present, I am just thankful that I am living.

Dear Lord as my mind quiets, I sit down and pray. To me, prayer has become a sacred space of humility and gratitude. A space for developing strength to understand myself better and a place to plant seeds to become better. It has been through this space that I have come to the realization that I cannot thank you enough. I realize, now, that I can’t even count all that you have given me. And when I do sit and count all that you have blessed me with, I finally realize, Oh Dear Lord, that you have given me everything I can ever want.

Thank you Lord.

Your Grateful Child.

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Comments (1)

  • Erle Pieratt wrote ...

    thank you so very much for thoughts and feelings about gratitude. What a positive and wonderful way of looking at our life. It is just what I needed to hear.