We all belong to the world in concentric circles of relationship; some more distant and others close, some with people different from us and others more similar. Living within this web of connectedness can bring us the greatest of joys and the deepest challenges. We are prone to preferences and patterns, fears and habits of behavior which can build bridges to other people, and also tear them down. And much of how we operate in our relationships is unconscious and beneath our awareness. Always, the domain of relationship offers fertile ground in which we can learn the most about ourselves, one another and life as a whole. And our capacity for connectedness matters a lot, as our future as a species will depend mightily on our ability to collaborate and cooperate for the common good.
Grateful Living is “interactive mindfulness,” Brother David says. This means that we have the opportunity, when we practice, to bring our full attention to HOW we relate to others. Gratefulness can open our hearts to one another in ways that break down barriers and facilitate connection. We can more easily respond rather than react, inquire rather than opinionate. Compassion is awakened in living gratefully. As the Dalai Lama says, “When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.”
(2016) We talk a lot about each other, but never with each other. With that thought in mind two filmmakers traveled to the Greek island of Lesvos. Here they invited European tourists and Syrian refugees to talk with one another about life. On a little bench looking out over the sea…
How lucky I was
The cheap, unremarkable pension
Its creaky bedsprings
The untroubled sleep of a young woman in Provence…
(February, 2016) This excerpt of A Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. The result is this moving and powerful monologue by Carl Sagan, delightfully illustrated by Order Productions, Ltd.
(September, 2010) A powerful and inspiring video in which volunteers talk about how giving impacts them, and the world – “Listening deeply is an amazing act of generosity,” “A shift from isolation to community. When you give you’re actually very connected,” “There is nothing you need that you don’t have to be generous…”
(February, 2016) An inspiring 60 second film on the importance of motherhood. Meet Ibu Robin Lim, midwife and founder of a health clinic which offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to women in Indonesia.
Aren’t you glad at least that the earthworms Under the grass are ignorant, as they…
A grateful living practice which acknowledges our interdependence and honors the often overlooked contributions of others. Cultivating this kind of awareness can contribute to a sense of connection and inspire us to honor and support the well-being of our sisters and brothers around the globe.
Awe stops us in our tracks and opens us up to gratitude, and then to generosity. A new study finds that “feeling small” in the face of something much larger than ourselves – makes us more generous and more helpful.
Imagine training female prison inmates in stand-up comedy. How would this heal them or bring feelings of gratitude to light? To learn more, check out this short film from the Gratitude Revealed Project.
I awaken before dawn, go into the kitchen and fix a cup of tea. I…
(Brain Pickings, March 2015) Maria Popova reviews “Sidewalk Flowers” which tells the wordless story of a little girl on her way home with her device-distracted father, a contemporary Little Red Riding Hood walking through the urban forest. Along the way, she collects wildflowers and leaves them as silent gifts for her fellow participants in this pulsating mystery we call life…
Gratitude, it seems, is a key—perhaps the key—to feeling more satisfied with your life. It improves your relationships with loved ones. It’s even good for your heart. Learn more about these and many other cutting-edge findings in The Science of Gratitude. The program combines scientific research with personal stories illustrating the benefits and obstacles to feeling truly grateful.
Gratitude is, above all, a social emotion. It’s possible to be happy or miserable and…
(February, 2012) What is the relationship between gratitude and happiness? Why is gratitude so important? And, what does religion have to say about it? Does Judaism say anything unexpected? Written, drawn, and animated by Hanan Harchol.
(November, 2015) Each of us carries within the gift of infinite worth. Find out what that means for us to walk in relationship with others with a new sense of interconnectedness.
(July, 2011) Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk for which we are grateful.
An extensive oral history / testimony project documenting the role of spiritual experience inside and outside of formal religion, expected and unexpected, told in people’s own words, and brought to life with video and photography. “I was–we were (as several folks in the office crowded ’round)–completely blown away. By its power and dignity, its implicit compassion and yet unblinking eye.” – Ken Burns
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man’s ingratitude; Thy tooth…
(Massage Magazine, November 2015) How might we cultivate gratefulness as a way of being rather than settling for gratitude as an intermittent way of feeling? Gratefulness surfaces whenever we remember that life itself is a precious gift that is irrefutably impermanent; this paradox allows the vulnerability and potency of gratefulness to become the lens through which we experience the fullness of our lives.
Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere; Turning to face my fear, I meet…
This site is brought to you by A Network for Grateful Living, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations are fully tax deductible in the U.S.A.
© 2015 Gratefulness.org, A Network for Grateful Living