From the moment you are capable of feeling grateful for both pain and pleasure alike, without any distinction, without making any choice, simply feeling grateful for whatever one is receiving, feeling…..because if God is giving it, he must be having a reason for it. We may or may not like it, but if God is giving it, we have to accept the fact that it is for our own growth!
In nature, both winter and summer are needed for growth. Observe how flora and fauna behave in different seasons — learn from nature. Once we accept the idea on our heart that both winter and summer are needed for growth, then each moment of our life is of gratitude. Let this become both our meditation as well as prayer: Thank God every moment — for laughter, for tears, for everything. Once you do that you will observe a silence arising in your heart, a silence you have not experienced before — this is bliss.
Once you learn to accept life as it happens, desires disappear, tensions disappear, discontent disappears and one starts feeling joyous for no reason at all! When you feel joy because of something, that joy does not last because as soon as the reason ceases to exist, so does the joy! When joy happens without any reason it lasts forever.
On the spiritual path once you learn to accept, your transformation begins. Learning acceptance is a test of passing through fire, you will never be the same again. All that is negative in you gets burnt and you come out afresh with a completely new perspective on life. You learn to accept, you become a witness and just by observing life you will start being filled with gratefulness for the bounty that God has given.
Be grateful to everyone. This is because everyone is creating a space for you to be transformed — even those people who you know are obstructing you, even those whom you think are your enemies. Your friends, your enemies, good people, bad people, favorable circumstances, unfavorable circumstances — together they are creating the formula for your transformation, for your becoming still within your own being. Be grateful to all for their contribution towards your transformation.
When you are meditative, you feel blissful, when you feel compassion, you are ecstatic. In this state, gratitude arises not towards anyone in particular, it simply arises. You feel so grateful for your existence, for your ability to be meditative, to feel compassion — you simply feel grateful. This gratefulness is not towards anybody, it is towards the whole!