One of the main keys to open both the heart and the third eye chakras (and keep them open!), is definitely gratitude. Nothing reaches God’s ears faster than a sincere prayer of thanks –especially in times when life is less than perfect! Those of you who’ve read Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment) will know I use Sufi stories that have benefited my spiritual understanding. Here’s one I love which illustrates the true meaning of gratitude:
Jannaid was a mystic who had many followers who travelled with him wherever he went and had become accustomed to his morning, afternoon and evening prayers. Morning, noon and night, they were exactly the same and full of tender emotion, as his voice rang out in gratitude.
Tears rolling down his cheeks as he bowed repeatedly to the ground, he would say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your compassion, love and gifts to me are so great I have no way of repaying you, but please accept my humble gratitude for all that you do for us each day.’
The disciples would listen with heartfelt thankfulness, because wherever they wandered they always found shelter and food, and considered Jannaid’s devotion, fitting. However, on one occasion it came to pass that they were travelling through some desert villages where fanatical Mohammedans lived. The Mohammedans despised Jannaid and his teachings, and not only wouldn’t they offer them shelter, they wouldn’t even offer them a glass of water.
The first and second day, when Jannaid began reciting his prayers, the disciples said nothing. They were very thirsty and had been burned by the desert sun, but respectfully held their tongues. By the end of the third day, tummies aching with hunger and with parched, cracked lips, they began to lose patience. It was one thing to pray and show gratitude, when they were being provided for, but thanking the universe so profusely when its ears were closed to their plight, seemed pointless as far as they were concerned.
So the disciples gathered round Jannaid and spoke their minds, to which Jannaid said. ‘It’s easy to show gratitude when we have all that we’ve asked for, but the proof of true gratitude is whether we still feel it whatever we have, otherwise how can the universe know our offerings are heartfelt and not a symptom of the ego? We must aspire to perfection even when circumstances seem less than perfect, always trusting that God is listening’.
The disciples sat down to join Jannaid and raised their hands towards heaven as he had done. From the dusty barrenness it began to rain and the first plump raindrops fell in their palms. Openmouthed, they smiled at Jannaid as he began the evening prayer. ‘We thank you for your compassion, love and endless mercy.’
Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The Seven Steps to Enlightenment) www.jaylengrace.com