On Practicing Gratitude – Don’t do it.

If I hear one more person saying that they are practicing gratitude, or telling someone to do so, I am going to lose my shit.

It only seems logical to me, that genuinely grateful people don’t have to practice it.

Also it doesn’t work. It is like trying to be humble. You can not do it.

And then there is think about all the people who are suffering, think about all the good things that you have. Well, that is essentially feeling good about yourself by comparison. And inevitable you’re going to feel bad whenever you come across someone measurably better than you. That is not gratitude.

“Be grateful for what you have” is a dumb advice. Often it is given by people who are against others trying new things, taking risks and wanting more. That is just them enjoying the security and comfort of their little bubble.

Practicing gratefulness is a reaction of not being grateful, that you are trying to be grateful. That will backfire and you will end up more miserable.

Although, I have done it in the past, creating a gratitude list certainly made me feel good about myself. Though it is only superficial, like chanting a mantra. Or repeating something again and again. Like trying to convince one of something that is not true. It works momentarily, but very superficially.

I don’t think there is any value for gratitude in our lives. The real value I think, is to be with the ingratitude that we feel. And not running away from it through gimmicks.

Learn the art of not naming your experiences. Which is just to not move away from experience, or be aware of that movement. How does ingratitude feel like? Don’t call it ingratitude. Or be aware of the sensation that you call ingratitude. There is no gratefulness or ingratitude when you are attentive. It is only when you are inattentive, that you start to compare and feel ungrateful, or grateful.

Measurement is good in the physical world, not so helpful in the psychological world.

More often than not, we consider ourselves ungrateful because, maybe someone mentioned it, a parent, or a friend. These are just little tricks they themselves to control others. Don’t give a lot of value to those comments.

All kind of practice is a means to an end. The same is true with practicing gratitude. The practice becomes more important than the actual feeling. Plus, we don’t really care about being grateful. It is another way to get to where we want to get to currently practicing gratitude. And it seems rather easy practicing gratitude and being comfortable thinking that happiness, the riches will come at some point in the future. That kind of practice becomes rather silly.

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5 Comments

  1. Brian Wrexler 15th June 2020 at 2:32 pm

    If there is value in not naming experiences, does that not also apply to gratitude and those who practice it? For instance, is it not worth exploring why it bothers you so much? Your points and arguments are good, and making them from a place of emptiness rather than anger I believe would be even more healthy.

    Reply
    1. Hashin Panakkaparambil 16th June 2020 at 2:30 am

      exploring why it bothers you through more thinking will be just being caught in it. If there is attention, when there is no naming, it doesn’t bother you, so no need to explore it, why explore something that did not exist in the first place? What we do is, we invent something and then try to explore the invention.

      Reply
      1. Brian Wrexler 16th June 2020 at 9:31 pm

        Clear discernment is an important principle though. We’re going to think anyways, you could not post if you didn’t think of how to login and make this post. Unless we do nothing but meditate in a cave, there will be thoughts. Being the master of them is more important than pretending they don’t exist.

        Reply
        1. Hashin Panakkaparambil 17th June 2020 at 7:22 am

          I agree with the part of being able to write, without thinking you can’t do it. The point is not about trying to stop thoughts, it’s again the same thing as more thinking. you would only think about stopping the thought because you have a certain prejudice about thinking. Do you see where this is going? And that’s what is real pretense is, pretending without knowing that we are. My point is that naming/word is what gets you in the loop. There is no becoming master of them, that is again, one thought trying to control another one. Also, mediation is not about retreating to a cave, it is about understanding our delusions.

          Reply
  2. Brian Wrexler 17th June 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I appreciate your message and what you’re saying brother. Words can’t do much except act as a finger pointing to the moon. I just believe some people do practice gratitude in this way. You can embody gratitude without acting out an intellectual exercise. It takes words, and judgements, and thoughts to say “I don’t like it when people do this”, but those who engage in gratitude and feel good about it, will only feel threatened by the notion and simply shut down. For the record, I agree with you, and I don’t practice gratitude either. I could just recognize how this text would simply put me off if it was an important practice to me, and if it wasn’t, then you’re preaching to the choir.

    Reply

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