Words by Harmony Sunshine
Pictures by Carlos Oberhauser
Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.- Steve Maraboli
Life is like one great big meditation, in which the human mind is continuously challenged with coming back to the omnipresent now. What better way to reenter these sought after moments than with an inhale of gratified presence. We all have a biological family and find ourselves immersed in a sort of society, yet none of us share the same family experience or societal reality. Which suggests that every human being is at the center of their own universe. It’s easy to think that our personally perceptible encounters should be the scale by which we determine the amount of gratitude something is worth. However, when we dig below the surface of this misrepresentation, we find that gratitude is immeasurable. What if nothing deserves more or less gratefulness because all that is given to us is in fact an eternal blessing? Yes, some blessings are disguised as unpleasant misfortunes, but what if that experience is just the wrapping paper? And when we unwrap these carefully costumed obstacles, we find that they too are genuine gifts. There’s an old Zen saying; “the obstacle is the path”. In bringing awareness to this idea that our divine paths are built of obstacles, it becomes much easier to give thanks. It becomes much easier to take a deep breath and to exhale knowing we’re exactly where we are meant to be, especially when times are tough. When we find thankful light within the depthful darkness, and remember the “obstacle” is merely a stepping stone, we are practicing the meditation of life.
There is an abundance of attainable gratitude within the human collective. Plenty to go around with plenty more left over, but only if we as individuals, deeply feel that all that is, is already good enough. When we come from a place of lack we are approaching the world with a limiting belief of gratitude. We can not respect something that we are not grateful for, nor can we find authentic humility in the presence of something that we dont give thanks to. So perhaps the virtue of gratitude is more of a parent to other virtues, and a foundational necessity in building a virtuous collective.
Every day more and more people come to experience the tangible essence of Zūnya. Each time someone witnesses and integrates into the space, they express curiosity regarding the collective contentment within the air. As an integrated member of Zūnya, I believe this blissful collective existence has more to do with the cultivation of gratitude within each individual here, and less to do with the community's external exquisiteness. Eternal gratitude is one of the core values that built this remarkable place. As a matter of fact, we come together every week to drop into a collective state of deep intentional gratefulness. Eternal Gratitude is a core value for the Zūnya team because it allows us to find our flow in ways that are lighter and brighter and invites us to work together from a starting point of genuine appreciation for all that may unfold within the co-creation process. Living in a state of gratitude is a a easier, less sticky way of existing than living in a state of lack. I invite you to join us, in the flesh or in the essence, to practice present moment gratitude and watch as your soul flower blossoms.
Eager to experience this meditation of life?
Next time there is something that doesn't quite reach an expectation or an intention you’ve set, invite yourself to take a deep breath of gratitude for what you already have, then watch as peaceful abundance flows freely.