Hands over Heart

Gratitude: A Doorway to Higher Consciousness

by: Chopra Center University

Gratitude is something all of us understand. For instance, saying “thank you” when we receive a gift takes hardly any thought or effort. It just seems to come forth naturally. In the same way, when someone thanks us for something we did for them, this too feels natural and welcome. In fact, giving and receiving gratitude is so familiar that we can easily overlook some of its deeper significance.

However, gratitude is not just an expression of good manners; it’s a doorway to higher consciousness. This is because gratitude is closely connected to several other key dynamics that are also associated with higher states of being. Here we’ll explore a just a few of these connections:

  • How gratitude relates to love
  • How gratitude relates to higher truth
  • How gratitude relates to the consciousness of oneness
  • How gratitude relates to the consciousness of perfection

How gratitude relates to love

When we show gratitude for something, we are expressing appreciation. We are signifying that this is something we value. By valuing and appreciating something, we are also expressing love towards it. For part of loving something is to esteem it highly. Therefore, when we express genuine gratitude we are also expressing love. Love always raises our vibration and consciousness. Because of its close relationship to love, gratitude does the same.

How gratitude relates to higher truth

The deepest truths of our being are elegant and compelling, and they automatically evoke gratitude once we begin opening to them. At root we are all expressions of infinite potential, unlimited abundance, and unconditional love. Because our true reality is so wonderful – even awesome – we naturally feel gratitude as we catch even a glimpse of it. 

But it works the other way as well. Expressing gratitude for the higher truths that are revealed to us opens us even further to those truths. For example, repeatedly thanking the universe for the fact that we are infinitely abundant awakens us even more to the experience of that abundance. In this way, the practice of gratitude can help foster greater experience of the higher truths that emerge within us.

How gratitude relates to the consciousness of oneness

Because of the oneness underlying the universe, whenever we give something out, we will also receive something back. When we give something of value to another person and then receive their gratitude in return, this is a manifestation of the dynamic oneness of the universe at work in our experience, reflecting a portion of our own giving back to us. As we learn to recognize acts of gratitude as expressions of universal oneness, our consciousness of the underlying unity of all things becomes more pronounced.

How gratitude relates to the consciousness of perfection

Though we most often express gratitude for things we perceive and interpret as positive, we can also apply gratitude for things we don’t. Extending gratitude even to the darker areas of our life will cause these dark spots to be transformed. They will eventually show forth blessings in some way or another, blessings that were completely hidden before our gratitude was given to them.

This process of extending gratitude to all things and circumstances will open our awareness to the inherent perfection in all experiences. The absolute perfection underlying all reality justifies our attitude of gratitude in all situations. Likewise, our extension of gratitude to all things will open us more completely to the actual experience of that perfection. In this way the practice of gratitude fuses with the consciousness of perfection and brings us to an expanded state of awareness.

Teaching as an expression of gratitude

For some people, teaching is a deeply authentic way to express gratitude. It is a way to offer thanks for one’s own growth and expansion by sharing it with others. At Chopra Center University, we have trained and certified more than 1,800 teachers worldwide and offer comprehensive teacher certification programs in Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle.

If you feel that teaching or sharing with others about yoga, meditation, higher consciousness, or healthy living might be part of your own path of gratitude and self expression, then you may want to explore one of our teacher certification programs. If you’d like to learn more, then please visit Chopra Center University.

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