I was thinking about gratitude yesterday – it being Thanksgiving Day and all – and feeling particularly appreciative of all those teachers who I have received from over the past 52 years. My Beloved wife pointed out something to me the other day: That it's not enough to offer gratitude to those teachers who I naturally respect and appreciate. I also need to be grateful to those teachers who I may have had a less than completely positive experience with.
There is a wise old saying that "gratitude is the open door to abundance" and I've found that to be very true. For instance, the more gratitude I have felt toward my ancestors, the more I have been able to receive their blessings and the gifts of this life. The same is true when we look at those teachings that we have received – which could be anything from the multiplication tables to meditation techniques. If we look with gratitude upon those who have passed these teachings on to us, then it makes us more capable of receiving them and putting them to use in our lives.
In my mind, I've been retracing the steps of my life, offering gratitude to all those teachers who have impacted the journey so far. From teachers in grade school and high school to martial arts instructors and the fellow who taught me hypnosis, way back in 1978 – it is quite a list. I imagine I will be filling in the blanks for many years to come, and adding new ones from the present as well. It is a strangely uplifting process, which I would recommend to anyone who desires to be a more effective and grateful student of life.