One of my favorite little meditations is a spiral of thankfulness. Pick an object near you – a coffee cup, say, or a book. First, give thanks for the object itself, how it provides utility and improves your day.
Now take one spiral out. Think of how that object came to be before you right now. The person who bought it, the store that sold it, the driver who carried it, the group who created it…
Now spiral a bit further… the clay that was dug, the minerals for the glazing… just a few layers of exploration, and we are already realizing the cup is not an “it,” it’s part of the living earth.
And if we’re thankful for the earth, we are thankful for the stars, for the galactic explosions that formed our planet. That boring coffee cup, brought to me through a giant web of human cooperation, is a pile of stardust.
With just one or two spirals it is easy to be overwhelmed by good fortune, by the beauty and power of the universe.
It’s no coincidence that we have a holiday for thankfulness as the days are getting darker. The gratitude, along with the harvest, can fill us up for the long winter ahead.
In the dark and in the cold, we are surrounded by stars.