22 November 2012

Thanksgiving; A Spiritual Practice

Thanksgiving, November, this time of year, in general, is probably my favorite. The holidays, the chill in the air, the turn of the weather, the leaves floating and falling.... a season of gratitude.

And it just doesn't feel like there can ever be too much gratitude....

In her article The Seven Best Gratitude Quotes, (published November 23, 2011 in The Mindful Self-Express) Melanie A. Greenberg writes...

Gratitude is an integral part of a spiritual practice. 
Develop a gratitude practice to open your heart and rewire your brain. 

Gratitude Quotes 
  • "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust 
  • "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder 
  • As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy 
  • At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer 
  • The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
-- William James 
  • "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
-- Oprah Winfrey 
  • He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus 

How to Bring Gratitude into Your Life 

To begin bringing gratitude into your life, you can deliberately meditate on all the things in your own life that help you or give you pleasure. You can also write a gratitude diary, posting pictures and writing about the things you feel grateful for each day. The holidays are a great time to express your gratitude to friends and family by writing cards and exchanging thoughtful, personal gifts. Baking cookies for neighbors or sharing food with the poor are other ways to express appreciation for the abundance of food that we have in this country. Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity and compassion, which further open our hearts and help rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.

The Seven Best Gratitude Quotes; by Melanie A. Greenburg 
Published November 23, 2011 in The Mindful Self-Express

And because I find searching for quotes on gratitude to be a bit addictive, 
here are a few more from www.quotegarden.com/gratitude

The struggle ends when the gratitude begins. 
Neale Donald Walsch

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. 
G.B. Stern

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.
Gerald Good

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought.  
G.K. Chesterton

Praise the bridge that carried you over. 
George Colman

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. 
Robert Brault

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live. 

Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. 

W.T. Purkiser

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. 

Terri Guillemets

When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.

~ Chinese Proverb

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

~ William Arthur Ward

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. 

~ Aldous Huxley

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. 

~ Meister Eckhart

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  

Henry Ward Beecher

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  

H.U. Westermayer

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not take anything for granted — not one smile or one person or one rainbow or one breath, or one night in your cozy bed. 
Terri Guillemets

There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people. 

R.H. Blyth

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Cynthia Ozick

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. 

John E. Southard

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. 

~ Estonian Proverb

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. 

~ William Faulkner

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.  

~ G.K. Chesterton

Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give. 

Edwin Arlington Robinson

With arms outstretched I thank. With heart beating gratefully I love. With body in health I jump for joy. With spirit full I live.

~Terri Guillemets

Saying thank you is more than good manners. 
 It is good spirituality. 
~ Alfred Painter