Is blissfulness an expression of gratitude towards existence?
It is just the reverse. Blissfulness is not an expression of gratitude; on the contrary, gratitude is an expression of blissfulness. First comes the experience of bliss. First you attain to the state of consciousness where ecstasy is natural, where your potential blossoms to its ultimate expression. A great dance arises in you, a tremendous peace and a deep silence – but it is not the silence of the graveyard, it is a silence fully alive, throbbing with a heartbeat. This whole experience is bliss. And because of this bliss that existence makes available to you, a feeling of gratitude, a thankfulness arises.
To me, this is the only authentic prayer. Not the prayers that are being done in the churches, in the synagogues, in the temples, before stone statues of God – those prayers are full of greed. They are asking for something; in other words they are complaining about something. Something is wrong in life and God should put it right. There is no gratitude in those prayers; on the contrary, they are absolute indicators of ungratefulness.
All this vast universe is enough unto itself. It needs no God – God is only a consolation for the ignorant. The meditator encounters existence itself. His own being becomes the experience of godliness. He knows that in his own inner being he is part of eternal life. There is no death, there has never been any death. Experiencing this, there arises a dance so subtle…there arises a deep gratitude, not addressed to anybody in particular but simply addressed to the whole cosmos. To the stars, to the trees, to the earth, to the moon, to the animals, to people…it is an unaddressed gratefulness.
And unless you experience an unaddressed gratefulness, you don’t know exactly the meaning of prayer. The word prayer gives a wrong connotation; it should be changed into prayerfulness, just as I am changing God into godliness.
From Om Mani Padme Hum: The Sound of Silence, the Diamond in the Lotus, Discourse #2
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