Head of School Blog

Gratitude for Silence

Jill Singleton
This Tuesday, we devoted our Sacred Silence meditation session to the idea of gratitude. To begin, we read a wonderful article about this concept that is at once so simple yet so complex. The reading stated, in part, The words ‘gratitude’ and ‘grace’ share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning ‘pleasing’ or ‘thankful.’ When you are in a deep state of gratitude, you will often spontaneously feel the presence of grace… “Our discussion at the end of the meditation session focused on this notion of grace." Rev. Curtiss offered that grace is “unconditional love that has not been earned but has been given as a gift from God.”

I recall a moment in my life, when I was about 12, when I first felt overcome with a feeling that I now understand as being “in a state of grace.” It was a sunny fall day, and the light had that magical quality that seems to put the world in a state of suspended animation. My parents were getting divorced, and I had fallen into a depressive funk, spending most of my days feeling sorry for myself, as though my world was unfairly coming undone. But something happened that day that truly changed my outlook forever. My mom left me in the car to go into a store to run an errand, and as I sat in our red Volkswagen bus, I realized that everything was perfect just the way it is. That the warts and the flaws and the difficulties of life are just as much a part of the miracle as the joys and the highs and the wonderful times are. The article captured my awareness back then so perfectly: “You, with all your flaws, have been chosen for this opportunity to consciously taste life, to know it for what it is, and to make of it what you are able… However you find life to be – cruel or kind, sorrowful or joyous, bland or stimulating, indifferent or filled with love – you get the privilege of knowing it firsthand.”

It was an amazing feeling. I remember not wanting my mom to come back into the car, as I longed to savor the moment for as long as possible. I have been lucky enough to revisit this feeling on many occasions since, particularly at times when I fall into feeling that I am suffering some injustice at the hand of the universe. I give thanks for this wonderful knowledge that lies deep within, that can be accessed at times when it is most needed. So, among the many things I am grateful for this year, I place our Tuesday Sacred Silence sessions at the top of the list. Why not join us some morning at 7:30 am and spend a half hour before you get your day started? You might just be delighted at what you discover. Happy Thanksgiving!

To read the full article on Gratitude referenced above: http://www.breakoutofthebox.com/mindfulnessgratitude.htm

Question, comments, thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Email me jsingleton@allsaintshoboken.com