gratitude

The practice of gratitude

The practice of gratitude is a wonderful means of cultivating positive emotion. By beginning to practice feeling gratitude for what you currently have in your life, you free up a tremendous amount of energy that is normally dissipated in worry, anxiety, and fear. A positive feeling state, with an inspired heart and a clear mind, is the perfect starting place for moving toward creating a higher level of well-being in your life.

~ James Strohecker in PEAK VITALITY

Only one response can maintain us

To pray is to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the Divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living. It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live... It is so embarrassing to live. How strange we are in the world and how presumptuous our doings. Only one response can maintain us: Gratefulness for witnessing the wonder: for the gift of our unearned right to live, to adore, to fulfill. It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.

~ from I ASKED FOR WONDER by Abraham Heschel

The very act of giving thanks

The very act of giving thanks
Draws the best out of you,
Helps to keep your heart and mind open;
Helps to keep your awareness expanding.
The more blessings you count,
The more they increase.

~ Adapted from a poem by Eileen Caddy

Only a few of us in each generation

We are all wanderers in the earth, but only a few of us in each generation have discovered the life of charity, the living from day to day, receiving gifts gratefully through grace, and rendering them, multiplied through grace, to the Giver...the grateful rendering, the gratitude and giving.

~ from MOGADOR’S BOOK by Robert Lox

All that matters is that we can bow

People often ask me how Buddhists answer the question: ‘Does God exist?’ The other day I was walking along the river...I was suddenly aware of the sun, shining through the bare trees. Its warmth, its brightness, and all this completely free, completely gratuitous. Simply there for us to enjoy. And without my knowing it, completely spontaneously, my two hands came together, and I realized that I was making gassho. And it occurred to me that this is all that matters: that we can bow, take a deep bow. Just that. Just that.

~ Rev. Eido Tai Shimano

October 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 9)

Another month has rolled around, dear Friends of Silence, and how grateful I am for another opportunity to "visit” with all of you! It is good to be reminded occasionally to be consciously grateful for all our many blessings. How often do we really stop to think about them intentionally? We receive so many, large and small, obvious and subtle. We all "get” the big ones: when we or a loved one has a close call, for example, and comes through whole and healthy instead of hurt or ill. But what of those everyday, business-as-usual blessings? A shower after a long dry spell . . . having a free morning to relax and read . . . even finding our glasses when we've mislaid them! And what about the things that don't feel so positive when they happen? That's when we must recall that all is gift—sometimes, perhaps, even the more difficult moments. Let us strive be conscious of and grateful for all that is so freely given.

Our courage to turn aside in gratitude

One day builds on another. Our lives accumulate in increments of moments, hours, and days. Everything depends on this present moment and our courage to turn aside in delight, wonder, and gratitude.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv & Nancy Hiles

The gratitude that we encounter helps us believe

The gratitude that we encounter helps us believe in the goodness of the world, and strengthens us thereby to do what's good.

~ Albert Schweitzer, thanks to Liz Stewart
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