Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students
Salil Wilson • Canberra, Australia

The gift of gratitude

My most recent experience of gratitude occurred in a spiritual dream. We were at Aspiration-Ground, the meditation garden were we all meet in New York, as a very important play was about to begin. There were a lot of disciples there, as well as quite a few guests. Guru was standing next to the guests for a photo, and the media gallery was huge, with sixty to seventy videographers and photographers.

Guru then asked me about getting into Pilgrim-Dream-Museum, the house next to Aspiration-Ground where he hosted distinguished guests. I looked up and saw that it was already open. I told Guru, who began walking up there. I was behind Guru, watching him as he moved through the crowd and noticing the surprise and devotion of people as they saw him approach.

When we arrived at Pilgrim-Dream-Museum, I was overcome with a beautiful sense of gratitude at being given the opportunity to serve Guru in this simple but important way. Guru did not go inside but just moved around, giving me time to fully immerse myself in this powerful feeling of gratitude. I awoke with tears streaming down my face, knowing that this awesome experience was gratitude.

I realised that the experience of gratitude is purely a gift. It almost seems counter-intuitive because I always thought that gratitude was something that a person offered to someone else. But no, true gratitude is a beautiful, fulfilling experience that God just gives. There seems to be very little a person can do to earn it—at least as far as I can figure out. I am just hoping that if I value it, then it will come more frequently.

On the other hand, the experience of gratitude was so powerful that I am not sure if my outer awareness could deal with it. For me, it has only fully happened either when I have been in trance (once) or in a spiritual dream (twice). In each case, it felt like I was being inundated in the blast from a fire hose—it was absolutely overwhelming.

If you have gratitude,
You must realise
That your gratitude has come
From God Himself.

Sri Chinmoy 1

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