An exercise (or challenge) in state-embodiment: Gratitude.
To those who are open to the experience, do this, if you will. This is an attempt at invoking a mind-body state of gratitude from the Gospel narrative of Jesus Christ. Narratives are key to experiencing and shifting mental states, and the mental state of gratitude can have profound effects on the brain-heart-body connection.
So for this exercise, I wish to challenge believers and non-believers alike to invoke and embody a state of emotional gratitude from the Gospel narrative.
Set aside your rational mind for a moment, and think of the narrative of Jesus Christ, who is the Word incarnate, and Son of God. This is an exercise in mental flexibility; the ability to temporarily and nonjudgmentally experience a belief, which you may or may not personally hold. You unconsciously do this anytime get absorbed into a good movie or book. Our aim here is to consciously exercise this ability.
Take a moment, sit down, slow your breathing to a comfortable pace. Breath in and out the nose. Take all the time you need to enter a more restful state.
Now, when your ready, with a nonjudgmental attitude of curiocity, call to mind Jesus and His message: To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Think of how mutually empowering that message might have been to the children of Israel, and how threatening it was to the scribes and Pharisees, and all powers beyond them.
Remember the liberation and healing that Jesus spread, and remember the conspiracy that was formulated against Him.
Remember the innocent man who was put to death on the cross, and the false sense of victory that the conspirators shared.
Realize now that as Jesus was dying, our sins...your sins pierced His flesh and He took them away. In the process, we become entangled with Him, and can rise again with Him from our spiritual death, by faith, if we so choose to believe unto the Son of God.
He did just as He promised. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt in three days (His resurrection).
When you consider the details of this narrative, from a nonjudgmental attitude, what emotions do you feel? What sensations do they stir in your body?
Do you feel a sense of gratitude? If not, can you simply call it up and patiently see if it arises?