Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. ~ Joanna Macy

Benedictine monk, Br. David Steindl-Rast, suggests that two qualities belong in our basic definition of gratitude. The first is appreciation: You recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth. The second quality Br. David mentions is that gratitude is gratis: freely given to you.

Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, also argues that gratitude has two key components: “First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.”

In the second part of gratitude, he explains, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people…gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”


In her book, Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, Angeles Arrien writes: “Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience.” She goes on to say: “Gratitude is a feeling that spontaneously emerges from within. However, it is not simply an emotional response; it is also a choice we make. We can choose to be grateful, or we can choose to be ungrateful—to take our gifts and blessings for granted. As a choice, gratitude is an attitude or disposition.” Read more…

What is Gratefulness?

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

In her blog, “It’s All About the Glass,” Kristi Nelson writes: “Gratefulness is about being able to notice and appreciate the gift of the glass itself, amidst the ups and downs. It is about knowing in our molecules that life is a gift, no matter how empty we may feel.” Read more…

How Do We Practice Gratefulness?

We cannot be grateful for all that a given moment brings us; yet, in any given moment, we can be grateful for something. The gift within the gift of any given moment is opportunity. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

In order to practice gratefulness, “we have to put little stop signs into our daily life,” says Br. David. The following is a delightful short (2:44) film of un-hurried, un-plugged summer days, which beautifully illustrates Br. David’s simple “Stop. Look. Go.” grateful living practice…


What is Grateful Living?

Grateful living is important in the world because in our constant pursuit of more and better we can easily lose sight of the riches that lay right in front of us and within us. ~ Guri Mehta

Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings – and in so doing, to take nothing for granted. We can learn to focus our attention on, and acknowledge, that life is a gift. Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of, and available to, the opportunities that are always available; opportunities to learn and grow, and to extend ourselves with care and compassion to others.

Grateful Living is supported by daily practices, tools, habits of mind and behaviors that can be learned, translated and applied to many aspects of our lives. It is also nourished in community and in relationship.

Small, grateful acts every day can uplift us, make a difference for others, and help change the world.

Our website is filled with inspiration and guidance to support experiencing gratitude and living a grateful life. We hope you will enjoy exploring, learning, and growing ever more grateful!