The feeling of gratitude, when we tune into the sensation that it evokes in the body, may start out as an outwardly verbal or inwardly spoken “Thank You!” to someone or something that triggers the gratitude response. If we take deep notice of what we feel within, it may perhaps be likened to feelings of joy and love. It might also be said that joy and love triggers gratitude and that gratitude triggers joy and love.
Gratitude, joy, love have certain sensations that can be reproduced in the body without any associated outer circumstance or “cause.” It seems to require just being aware of the feelings and corresponding sensations that occur in the body (especially the spine). When experiencing any degree of gratitude, love, or joy that arises for whatever reason it is a matter of allowing ourselves to feel/experience without attaching any story or narrative to the experience…just being with the sensations.
When we learn to “capture” the sensations of love, joy, gratitude in our bodies, I think of the sensations as an experience of Bliss, that when followed deeper and deeper into the body, is felt as a kind of nectar-like substance that can be luxuriated in, pushed/pulled/squeezed through the spine and body.
Gratitude, love, joy all become a play and dance of subtlety in the spine, enjoyed without need of any outer cause. It is a way of living always in Gratitude!