Meister Eckhart, a German Catholic theologian, philosopher and mystic is quoted as saying, “If the only prayer you say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
I recently heard a talk by Robin Wall Kimmerer, who describes herself as a “mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation,” and is the author of the beautiful book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.
While listening, I experienced what I characterized as an embodied gratitude that she expresses – I think it’s due to her upbringing in indigenous ways. I don’t know if what I just said is true and it’s merely to give you background of my experience and “where I’m coming from.”
I felt pulled – as I often am – to want to live that way, experience that way – a natural I-don’t-have-to-think-about-it sense of thankfulness.
No matter what wisdom or knowledge I explore, one message is true for each: we must be what it is we say we want. We must align with the emotions and energy that are those of what we want.
If we want clarity in our work, for example, we must feel clarity as we ask for guidance.
If we want to feel love for another, we bring our emotions and energy into alignment with that love as we express that and live that.
That’s not always easy of course, because we have been conditioned for the most part to seek those experiences in circumstances. That is, find a person who makes you happy. Find a job that makes you happy.
Or maybe our thoughts and feelings aren’t so happy.
However, if we want to be happy in a relationship or in our work, we begin by being happy.
As we deeply experience thank-you, then we will bring that to our conversations, relationships and activities.
And through natural law, as we do so, those experiences for the most part will be ones where we say thank you. That is, the outer experience will align with our inner one.
So, I decided that I would pursue embodying that experience.
As I walked my morning path the first day, I thought of the prayer, and began with sort of a rapid-fire, “thank you, thank you, thank you,” realized what I was doing and slowed it down. “Thank you,” pause, “thank you,” pause, “thank you.” Next, I began saying to myself, “thank you for the tree,” “thank you for the concrete,” “thank you for … the sidewalk, the mailbox, the car, the person across the street, the dog, the sky, the sun, and so on.”
I recognized that I was experiencing a peaceful experience, yet also a sense of separation by saying thank you FOR this or that.
I changed my mantra, to merely saying “thank you” as I saw objects, people, nature, animals.
I started saying thank you with no word added to it to create that separation. I said, “thank you tree,” “thank you person walking the dog,” “thank you dog,” “thank you sky.”
As I continued this way, I actually “saw” more and experienced a deeper sense of thank you.
The experience went deeper into my body, from thinking, to my heart, to my gut, experiencing thank you throughout my body, my being, the spirit I am. The relationship was altered; I was in communion, I experienced a deeper connection, reduced sense of separation. Maybe over time I will regularly experience the Oneness that is the reality.