Gratitude Kritajna - May The Gratitude In My Heart Kiss All The Universe Hafiz


I love this quote…

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne, from Winnie-the-Pooh 

The Miriam-Webster dictionary describes gratitude as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The feeling of appreciation”.

In my search for understanding I found the Sanskrit word for gratitude to be kritajna. 
krita meaning cultivated
jna the root word for a state of consciousness, awareness.
Kritajna allowed me to uncover a deeper meaning for my felt experience and gave me an insight into why I have always found it difficult to put words to my own felt experience of gratitude.  

Gratitude is cultivated, it is something that takes time to grow and to bring life to. It is a cultivated knowing; a knowing that is more than a mind event. It comes from a deeper place than simply seeing, saying, doing….although this is a good place to start. Gratitude is something that, when practiced, will bring our awareness from the gross to the subtle.  As with any good practice YS 1:14 shows us that a practice that is done over a sustained period of time with dedication and faith in the process establishes a firm foundation and allows for sustainable change to happen.

Practices in gratitude abound these days, but how do we really translate the theory of gratitude into a tangible living practice; it’s not easy sometimes. To be grateful for the good stuff is easy but what about those dark areas and all the greys in between. How do we get the concept of gratitude out of our head and into a deep sense of understanding, acceptance, and of knowing that all that comes into our life is an experience…

How do we allow gratitude to bring us to a place of santosha; a place of contentment where we are wanting no more or no less from our moment to moment experience  

As I was researching for ways to explain the concept of gratitude and how it fits my felt experience of the practice of yoga and the art of living peacefully in this world I came across this little research paper Giving thanks can make you happier published by Harvard Medical School through Harvard Health Publishing.
Have a read you’ll find it here in the link: 

Gratitude & appreciation

Is there a difference between gratitude and appreciation? 

In the past I have had conversations with others around both the words of gratitude & appreciation, with ensuing discussions often having different points of view.

We can listen to others about their experiences and interpretations to make up our minds, yet what is it that you feel about your experience of gratitude. I love the words and work of Krishnamurti. “we are the result of all kinds of influences and there is nothing original in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves; nothing original, pristine, clear”. What I have gleaned from his discourses is that he asks his listeners/readers to take what is said and have their own experience, what is it that they feel, what is their understanding, their truth. To listen without judgement of another and see how it is for each one who listens, encouraging each person to come to their own understanding

As in the introduction the dictionary describes gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Appreciation is defined as “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”

When noting the definition of both words they appear to be very similar, yet there seems to be a subtle difference. With gratitude appreciation is found within its definition, yet in the definition of appreciation gratitude was not required. Is then gratitude the feeling and appreciation an opportunity for action? These are my ponderings and I guess what it offers is a chance to explore for our self what gratitude may mean for each of us….

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

Kritajna - on and off the mat

How do we cultivate this deeper knowing through all of life’s experiences?

Off the mat. 

It takes practice….

When life seams easy gratitude is easier. When life throws a curve ball then it gets harder. 

For me, my first felt experience of true gratitude came through the practice of all aspects of yoga, not simply by practicing asana but through a deep desire to understand myself better using the myriad of tools that yoga has to offer. With the guidance and mentorship of my teacher Barbara Brian and commitment to practice over a long period of time I was able to access a place inside that I hadn’t been before. A place where talk therapy alone hadn’t seemed to be able to touch or bring understanding to. Svadhyaya (inner reflection) allowed me to understand that the deep gratitude I felt was not for the life changing experience of my past but for the gift of being taken back into that experience without anything other than a knowing that bought with it understanding and a steadiness and ease to be there. This allowed me to “see” all aspects of that experience and what followed was an appreciation for each player involved, why others behaviours were what they were and why things would not have been any different. It also allowed me to touch a place of depth in myself that laid the foundation for the next step in my healing practice. 
For me appreciation grows outwards from gratitude. If I was to paint a picture it would be represented by an open hand where gratitude lays comfortably nestled in the palm. Each finger is the growth of appreciation flowing out from the palm through outstretched finger into all aspects of our interactions. 
Open hands giving and receiving….of honouring of what comes and what goes.

On the mat. 

It takes practice…

Before you start take time to connect with were you are at today.

Set your intention.

Link body, breath and mind. 

Be aware of each place of stillness, the transition, the breath and each thought. Every part of the practice is a gift that brings us closer to our goal.

Bhuvana, look for the light…the positive

Allow one’s self to smile at the challenges…understand our capacity and don’t want for more.

Have compassion for yourself.

Be content with how things are; be in that place of stira sukham; steadiness and ease.

Always bring closure to your practice, give thanks, offer the essence of your practice outwards to be of benefit to more than your self.



Hello my friend

It has been a while
It is good to see you again

I noticed you had gone

I’m not sure where or when
I wasn’t really watching
You simply slipped away

I have missed you in my life

I have missed the lightness that you bring
And the way acceptance wonders in

I have missed the music of my heart
That plays when you’re around

I have missed the joy that fills my soul
Each time I think of you

I have missed the stillness of my mind
That fled when in forgetfulness you left 

I have missed the thankfulness I feel
When I bring my thoughts to the little things

I have missed you and your simple ways
That shines with blessings every day 

I welcome you my friend

With arms open wide
I wrap them around you
I draw you to my self

By grace you come
To fill those long time empty rooms
To fill those spaces of my heart

And grace will have you stay. 


May 2012.   

Kritajna namah - a bhuvana practice

Wear Gratitude Like A Cloak And It Will Feed Every Corner Of Your Life”  


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