A 16 Guidelines view on

Gratitude

Gratitude celebrates our connections with other beings and our capacity to offer mutual support. It is a form of openness and generosity that strengthens relationships and heals tension, resentment and anger. Gratitude calls us to strip away unnecessary complexities, and to be simple and natural with each other. It brings peace and harmony.

To receive gratitude from others is to strengthen our confidence that we have a positive role to play in the world. It makes us feel recognized, encouraged and inspired. When we are able to offer gratitude sincerely to someone else, notice how it brings a pleasant taste in the mouth, a warm feeling in the heart and a surge of energy. Appreciation feels good.

Gratitude is grounded in the wisdom which accepts that we are neither independent nor self-sufficient, but part of an extraordinary continuum of events and beings on this planet. It encourages us to welcome reality, rather than to fight it – both what seems good, and what seems bad. Learning to appreciate every single thing that happens as a potential source of insight and growth is one of the key ingredients for a happy life.

Gratitude

To acknowledge and repay the kindness of others

A reflection on 

Gratitude

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The benefits of

Gratitude

  • strengthen our awareness of our interdependence with people, animals and the environment

  • function as an antidote to isolation and loneliness, hurt and resentment

  • bring the transformative practice of appreciation and warm-heartedness into our daily life

Did you know?

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. An experiment at University of Pennsylvania, found that participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores when they wrote and personally delivered a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness.

‘In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.’

Brother David Steindl-Rast

‘The essence of all great art, of all beautiful art, is gratitude’

Friedrich Nietszche