Skill Level Beginner
- [Narrator 1] This is an audio course. No need to watch just listen. (ominous music) - [Narrator 2] SoundsTrue presents guided meditation the central practices to cultivate love, awareness and wisdom with the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Jack Kornfield. - [Instructor] "If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties what good is our spiritual practice?" says Maha Ghosananda, Gandhi of Cambodia. Buddhist monks begin each day with a chant of gratitude for the blessings of their life. Native American elders begin each ceremony with grateful prayers to Mother Earth and Father Sky, to the four directions, to the animal, plant and mineral brothers and sisters who share our Earth and support our life. In Tibet, the monks and nuns even offer prayers of gratitude for the suffering they've been given "Grant that I might have enough suffering to awaken in me the deepest possible compassion and wisdom". The aim of spiritual life is to awaken a joyful freedom, a benevolent and compassionate heart in the midst of all things. Gratitude awakens us in this way. It is a gracious acknowledgement of all that sustains us. A bow to our blessings great and small. An appreciation of the movements of good fortune that sustain our life. We have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is confidence in life itself. In it we feel how the force that pushes grass through the cracks in the sidewalk invigorates our own heart. Gratitude carries us. It is not sentimental, not jealous, not judgmental. Gratitude doesn't envy or compare. It receives the myriad offerings of the rain of the Earth of the care that each being around us contributes to the support of all life and as gratitude grows, it gives rise to joy. We find the courage to rejoice in our own good fortune and the good fortune of others. Joy is natural when the heart is open. In it, we are not afraid of pleasure. We do not mistakenly feel disloyal to the suffering of the world to allow ourselves to feel happiness. Instead like gratitude, joy gladdens the heart. We can be joyful for people we love for moments of goodness for sunlight and trees and the breath within our breast and as our joy grows, we finally discover a happiness with no cause like an innocent child who does not have to do anything to be happy. We can rejoice in life itself being alive.