A 12-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Gratitude for Small Things

We can uncover the wisdom of gratitude by noticing small things to be grateful for, then opening our awareness to the truth that everything and everyone—no matter how small—is interconnected.

Adobe Stock/ Maria Sbytova

We often find ourselves focusing primarily on what we want but don’t have, which cultivates a negative state of mind, striving for something else. What would it be like to let go of needing anything to be any different in this moment, and to open up to what’s actually here that may bring joy? 

One aspect of wisdom is understanding the complexity of a situation—appreciating how every event arises interdependently with every other event, how a whole sequence of causes and conditions have gone into creating this moment. When we practice gratitude, we’re acknowledging the many factors, large and small, that contribute to this moment. Part of the joy that arises when we practice gratitude is that we feel freedom from the illusion of separateness, a sense of the common humanity that we share but often forget. 

Might it be possible to follow the words of the poet Mark Nepo, when he said, “One key to knowing joy is being easily pleased”? We can engage this joy with the following practice from the Mindful Self-Compassion Program, developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. 

A 12-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Gratitude for Small Things …