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.”
(November, 2013) Musicians Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod brought together dozens of people from around the world to create this beautiful, heart-opening melody. This soul-stirring music video, created within a week by a team of volunteers, shines the light on all the small things that make up the beautiful fabric of our lives.
(May, 2014) “Sharing has elements of inter-connectedness, of a village-like community, of a transformative altruism. But ‘economy’ puts us squarely in a transactional mindset and culture of convenience,” writes Nipun Mehta in his article which explores the potential for generosity rather than “economy” to lead the “sharing” revolution.
I am tired of my dreams’ dark interiors and the family ghosts who inhabit them….
(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.
One small gift from the universe an unintended consequence benefiting the giver, taker one momentary…
(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.
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