• Sampriya

In many traditions the cultivation of gratitude is considered a spiritual practice. It is easy to see why, when we study what happens as we practice gratitude.

Our attention usually rests with the thoughts in our head. We know that thoughts come and go without our inviting them. They randomly pop in and out and they usually are focused on our needs and wants, or on how we can make the day unfold according to our preferences. When we practice gratitude, our attention shifts from the projection of what we want in the near of far future to what is right now. It reorients itself away from the story in our head to the present moment - to what is, as it is.

The power of gratitude lies in this shift. Our attention is no longer consumed with thoughts; it is now aligned with the Space in which the thoughts come and go. This is the same infinite Space we become aware of in Meditation - the Space that is the Source of all thoughts and also the Source of all that is in manifestation. Our lives, our bodies, the circumstances we experience personally and collectively are manifested forms of this unchanging Space of the Self in which they appear.

The deepest practice of gratitude is to tune in to the fact that the Self is our Source and that we are never separate from it. This form of gratitude is a gift to ourselves that reveals our unchanging True Nature as the Self.

When our human lives are confronted with many hardships and when it seems that everything goes against our preferences, the practice of gratitude can become a guiding light. It gives us a chance to remember that we are not the sum of our circumstances or preferences, but the pure Light of the Self in a human form. Shining that Light with love and awareness is the highest form of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US.

With much love and infinite gratitude to all of you


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In this unprecedented time, we are facing great challenges, collectively and individually. Wherever we turn, we are bombarded with disquieting news about the pandemic, the election in the US, political polarisation and strife or environmental disasters. There is a general sense of urgency that creates feelings of worry and anxiety. We experience the weight of our individual mind as well as the collective mind like a heavy cloud hanging over us.

When we don't know the functioning of the human mind, every thought about these issues enters our system and is treated as real. We then add our own interpretations and conclusions to the information and thus "feed the beast" of worry, fear and agitation. As our mind gets more and more anxious, the body gets more stressed and our general wellbeing is jeopardised.

As Meditators we have not just a different vision, but we have a choice. Being able to watch our minds and knowing that we are not its content, we have the possibility to withdraw our attention from the worrisome thoughts. More importantly we know where to direct our attention. The Watcher or Knower of the mind and its movement is the source of attention. When we draw the attention back from being lost in the thoughts to watching them, we are that Knower. As the Knower or Self, we are aware of the presence of thoughts and their meaning, yet we are not affected by them. Being free from the weight of the thoughts and their offspring in the form feelings, we can take action or refrain from acting. We can get involved or not. Our action or absence thereof will not spring from fear or anxiety, but from the freedom of knowing what is best for everybody, including ourselves.

The ability to draw our attention inward, to identify with the Self and its inherent Peace and Stillness is one of the great gifts of Meditation. In a situation as distressing as the current one, we can use this gift to rise above the heavy clouds of fear and worry. Every time we see distressing information become a story in our mind, we can use it to shift our attention to the Self. We can make this challenging situation into an opportunity to supercharge our practice of knowing who we truly are. If at every unsettling thought we take a deep breath and redirect our attention to the Self (I use the mantr Amaram Hum Madhuram Hum to do that) we will quickly notice that we are no longer in the space of agitation of the mind, but we actually enter the peaceful dimension of the Self. The abundance of difficult information will become and abundance of moments of Peace. The more we do it, the more continuous the sense of Peace will be.

The gift of Meditation allows us to see that even the most dire situation can be transformed into something that is in our favour; it can become our ally in knowing and remembering our True Nature, the Self, Pure, Free Forever.

Contact Sampriya for a free half hour introduction to private Online Meditation Mentoring

#meditationmentoring #meditationmentor #nonduality #yogaphilosophy #freedom #riseup

All relationships are subject to fluctuations. Be it family relations, friendships or intimate relationships, they go through cycles of harmony and disharmony, peace and conflict. Sometimes the disagreements are such that we'd rather move on to a different relationship than deal with the challenge in front of us. We believe that somewhere else the grass is greener and therefore a new relationship will be easier and more peaceful.

In this equation we forget that the difficulty does not stem from a person or from our relationship with them. It comes from the fact that our mind is filled with many years of memories as well as with our common story. We bring these memories and all the misunderstandings, judgments, conclusions and negative feelings with us every time we meet. If we believe the stories our mind tells, then these thoughts and feelings colour every aspect of our communications and interactions. Thus it is no wonder that it feels heavy at times to be with someone we have known for a long time...

Our encounters with a new person are free from all that memory baggage. We meet them with fresh eyes and a light heart. No negative undercurrents and memories influence our behaviour. The absence of a common history makes us believe that a relationship with this person is more peaceful - that this person is easier to get along with. However, if we stick around long enough, we will notice that the pattern of the previous relationship will repeat itself. If we believe the stories and memories in our mind to be true, then we bring them into every meeting with the new person and thus, the conflicts and difficulties will seem to repeat themselves.

The problem is not the person or the relationship. It is the fact that we meet the story in our mind about the person and not the person her/himself. Our encounters are coloured by chain-reactions to previous situations and memories instead of being meetings rooted in the Presence of the Self.

Meditation and the knowledge of Oneness have opened another Vision in us. Having studied the mind's mechanism, we know that thoughts, memories and conclusions are inevitable movements of the mind. As the Self, they are not the reality and they don't define us or our relationships. As the Self, we are free from the movements and One with all beings. That doesn't mean we are not aware of who we are dealing with and what the level of awareness of another person is. It just means we are meeting each and every person, including ourselves, as the Self; free from a story, free from opinions and judgments. That's how we remain free and offer freedom in return. And that's how we can meet old and new relationships in that same flow of Freedom.

Contact Sampriya for a free half hour introduction to private Online Meditation Mentoring

#meditationmentoring #meditationmentor #nonduality #yogaphilosophy #freedom #relationships

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