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Interfaith - Gratitude...

Grat-i-tude

-noun

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

 

-synonyms

thanks, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness

 

How do you see and apply “gratitude as a part of your belief system?  Is gratitude seen universally as a way to lift consciousness?  Do you believe that gratitude is a transformative force in the cosmos?  

 

How do you express gratitude for your blessings, or do you?  Does it make a difference in your life if you are expressing gratitude, giving thanks for the goodness?  Is it all good? Can you maintain an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis regardless of life’s circumstances?  Are we to give thanks in all circumstances?  How do you feel about “abundance” versus “lack” consciousness and the effect that gratitude has upon these states of being?

 

Please share your insights, comments, gratitude prayers, or links that can contribute to all members gleaning an insight into “gratitude” on a multi-cultural, interfaith basis.

Giving thanks in advance for all comments added to this thread!

 

40 Days of Gratitude... Lifelong Journal

On a daily basis I keep a “gratitude journal” and list at least five things for which I am grateful.  I believe that in giving thanks for all things, the big and the seemingly insignificant, that I open to more blessings while raising my consciousness to a higher way of living and being.  However, giving thanks is a joy that is best experienced in the moment of  “the receiving”, not with any expectation of receiving anything in return.  Still, in keeping a “gratitude journal”, recalling the day’s goodness is a wonderful way to reflect on the significance of the day that I oft travel too quickly through.

 

Sometimes giving thanks when situations appear to be challenging, it is harder for me to see the good.  Yet, it is during the tough times that by expressing my heart in an affirmative way that I renew my faith, which allows me to move through the event.  I look for what I can appreciate, have experienced and/or learned,  and/or can hang on to (such as the special memories of a loved one who has passed).  Even when I can’t see the blessing, I know that it exists.

 

A daily practice of gratitude has been a gift for me.  And, as some of our members approach Thanksgiving in  the U.S., and for all members of this group, I’d like to invite everyone to join in a “40 Days of Gratitude” journey, beginning October 15 through November 27.  If you’re not in the habit of consciously noting your blessings, perhaps this can serve as a way to anchor a habit that could contribute greatly to your spiritual growth.  It’s as simple as grabbing a pad of paper/journal and a pen/pencil, then beginning a daily review of your blessings.  This should also heighten your awareness of these blessings as you pass through them.

 

If you have children (works for a family as well), you might like to invite them into the experience.  Consider using a long strip of paper such as a cash register tape.  Write each gratitude on a post-it and attach post-its to the tape over the next 40 days.  A representative picture could be drawn, or the words “thanksgiving” written and posted above the “gratitude tape(s)”.  Doing this as a family in and of itself should be a blessing.

 

In this moment I am grateful for…

*  The Care2 site and the expansive network of friends that it affords me, those willing to share their hearts and passions.

*  Green Road A for creating this specific site, and all the love, support, insight, openness to differences/oneness, safety, and energy that he shares with us though it.

*  The opportunity to have a wonderful place to share my beliefs.

*  My spiritual basis for living, with openness for Spirit to move in and through and as me.

*  Being “me” and knowing that I Am enough; allowing you to be you and knowing that you are enough.

 

 

 

On Gratitude...

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”

                                      -  Johannes A. Gaertner

 

Gratitude as an emotion...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions,[1] and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers such as Adam Smith.[2] The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology has traditionally been focused more on understanding distress rather than understanding positive emotions. However, with the advent of the positive psychology movement,[3] gratitude has become a mainstream focus of psychological research.[4] The study of gratitude within psychology has focused on the understanding of the short term experience of the emotion of gratitude (state gratitude), individual differences in how frequently people feel gratitude (trait gratitude), and the relationship between these two aspects.[5][6]
Gratitude as an emotion, pt 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gratitude as an emotion

Gratitude is an emotion that occurs after people receive help, depending on how they interpret the situation. Specifically, gratitude is experienced if people perceive the help they receive as (a) valuable to them, (b) costly to their benefactor, and (c) given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions (rather than ulterior motives).[5][7] When faced with identical situations where they have been given help, different people view the situation very differently in terms of value, cost, and benevolent intentions, and this explains why people feel differing levels of gratitude after they have been helped.[5][8] People who generally experience more gratitude in life habitually interpret help as more costly, more beneficial, and more beneficially intended; and this habitual bias explains why some people feel more gratitude than others.[5]

[edit] Gratitude and indebtedness

Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness. While both emotions occur following help, indebtedness occurs when a person perceives that they are under an obligation to make some repayment of compensation for the aid.[9] The emotions lead to different actions; indebtedness motivates the recipient of the aid to avoid the person who has helped them, whereas gratitude motivates the recipient to seek out their benefactor and to improve their relationship with them.[10][11]

[edit] Gratitude as a motivator of behavior

Gratitude may also serve to reinforce future prosocial behavior in benefactors. For example, one experiment found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were thanked and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all did not show an increase.[12] In another study, regular patrons of a restaurant gave bigger tips when servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks.[13]

Major theoretical approaches to gratitude
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The link between spirituality and gratitude has recently become a popular subject of study. While these two characteristics are certainly not dependant on each other, studies have found that spirituality is capable of enhancing a person’s ability to be grateful and therefore, those who regularly attend religious services or engage in religious activities are more likely to have a greater sense of gratitude in all areas of life.[14][15] Gratitude is viewed as a prized human propensity in the Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu traditions.[16] Worship with gratitude to God is a common theme in such religions and therefore, the concept of gratitude permeates religious texts, teachings, and traditions. For this reason, it is one of the most common emotions that religions aim to provoke and maintain in followers and is regarded as a universal religious sentiment [17]
Hebraic conceptions of gratitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

In Judaism, gratitude is an essential part of the act of worship and a part of every aspect of a worshiper’s life. According to the Hebrew worldview, all things come from God and because of this, gratitude is extremely important to the followers of Judaism. The Hebrew Scriptures are filled with the idea of gratitude. Two examples included in the psalms are “O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever,” and “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart” (Ps. 30:12; Ps. 9:1). The Jewish prayers also often incorporate gratitude beginning with the Shema, where the worshiper states that out of gratitude, “You shall love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). The concluding prayer, the Alenu, also speaks of gratitude by thanking God for the particular destiny of the Jewish people. Along with these prayers, faithful worshipers recite more than one hundred blessings called berakhots throughout the day.[18]

 
 
Christian conceptions of gratitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Gratitude has been said to mold and shape the entire Christian life. Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, referred to gratitude as “The basic Christian attitude” and today it is still referred to as “the heart of the gospel.”[17] As each Christian believes they were created by a personal God, Christians are strongly encouraged to praise and give gratitude to their creator. In Christian gratitude, God is seen as the selfless giver of all good things and because of this, there is a great sense of indebtedness that enables Christians to share a common bond, shaping all aspects of a follower’s life. Gratitude in Christianity is an acknowledgment of God’s generosity that inspires Christians to shape their own thoughts and actions around such ideals.[19] Instead of simply a sentimental feeling, Christian gratitude is regarded as a virtue that shapes not only emotions and thoughts but actions and deeds as well.[17] According to 17th century revivalist preacher and theologian, Johnathan Edwards, in his A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections Love, Gratitude, and thankfulness toward God are among the signs of true religion. Because of this interpretation, modern measures of religious spirituality include assessments of thankfulness and gratitude towards God. Allport (1950) suggested that mature religious intentions come from feelings of profound gratitude and Edwards (1746/1959) claimed that the “affection” of gratitude is one of the most accurate ways of finding the presence of God in a person’s life. In a study done by Samuels and Lester (1985) it was contended that in a small sample of Catholic nuns and priests, out of 50 emotions, love and gratitude were the most experienced emotion towards God.[18]

Islamic conceptions of gratitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The Islamic Holy book, The Quran, is filled with the idea of gratitude. Similar to the traditions of Judaism and Christianity, Islam encourages its followers to be grateful and express thanks to God in all circumstances. Islamic teaching emphasizes the idea that those who are grateful will be rewarded. A traditional Islamic saying states that, “The first who will be summoned to paradise are those who have praised God in every circumstance”[20] In the Quran it is also stated in Sura 14 that those who are grateful will be given more by God. The prophet Mohammad also said, “Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that the abundance will continue.” Many essential practices of the Islamic faith also encourage gratitude. The Pillar of Islam calling for daily prayer encourages believers to pray to God five times a day in order to thank him for his goodness. The pillar of fasting during the month of Ramadan is for the purpose of putting the believer in a state of gratitude.[18]

Individual differences in gratitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Much of the recent work psychological research into gratitude has focused on the nature of individual difference in gratitude, and the consequences of being a more or less grateful person.[4] Three scales have been developed to measure individual differences in gratitude, each of which assesses somewhat different conceptions.[21] The GQ6[22] measures individual differences in how frequently and intensely people feel gratitude. The Appreciation Scale[23] measures 8 different aspects of gratitude: appreciation of people, possessions, the present moment, rituals, feeling of awe, social comparisons, existential concerns, and behaviour which expresses gratitude. The GRAT[24] assesses gratitude towards other people, gratitude towards the world in general, and a lack of resentment for what you do not have. A recent study showed that each of these scales are actually all measuring the same way of approaching life; this suggests that individual differences in gratitude include all of these components.[21]

Empirical findings - Gratitude and well-being

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gratitude and well-being

A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships[22][25][26] Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance.[27] Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpreted and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem.[28] Grateful people also have less negative coping strategies, being less likely to try to avoid the problem, deny there is a problem, blame themselves, or cope through substance use.[28] Grateful people sleep better, and this seems to be because they think less negative and more positive thoughts just before going to sleep[29].

Gratitude has been said to have one of the strongest links with mental health of any character trait. Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.[30][31] In one study concerning gratitude, participants were randomly assigned to one of six therapeutic intervention conditions designed to improve the participant’s overall quality of life (Seligman et. all., 2005).[32] Out of these conditions, it was found that the biggest short-term effects came from a “gratitude visit” where participants wrote and delivered a letter of gratitude to someone in their life. This condition showed a rise in happiness scores by 10 percent and a significant fall in depression scores, results which lasted up to one month after the visit. Out of the six conditions, the longest lasting effects were caused by the act of writing “gratitude journals” where participants were asked to write down three things they were grateful for every day. These participants’ happiness scores also increased and continued to increase each time they were tested periodically after the experiment. In fact, the greatest benefits were usually found to occur around six months after treatment began. This exercise was so successful that although participants were only asked to continue the journal for a week, many participants continued to keep the journal long after the study was over. Similar results have been found from studies conducted by Emmons and McCullough (2003)[33] and Lyubomirsky et. all. (2005).[31]

Whilst many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. First, a longitudinal study showed that people who were more grateful coped better with a life transition. Specifically, people who were more grateful before the transition were less stressed, less depressed, and more satisfied with their relationships three months later.[34] Second, two recent studies have suggested that gratitude may have a unique relationship with well-being, and can explain aspects of well-being that other personality traits cannot. Both studies showed that gratitude was able to explain more well-being than the

Cicero - gratitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

According to Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” Multiple studies have shown the correlation between gratitude and increased wellbeing not only for the individual but for all people involved.[39][40] The positive psychology movement has embraced these studies and in an effort to increase overall wellbeing, has begun to make an effort to incorporate exercises to increase gratitude into the movement. Although in the past gratitude has been neglected by psychology, in recent years much progress has been made in studying gratitude and its positive effects.

 

Gratitude is a feeling and beleive for expressing thanks to every thing done, or given to the person.

 

Daily , personally I express my thanking feeling faith and beleives  for ALLAH ( GOD) in manny forms or ways for the endless gifts provided all the creatures with to facilitate their living.

Gratitude can be expressed by words, expressions, gestures ,doing seperately or combined.

Expressing gratitude by words and gestures ,expressions ( facial) are more pleasent and expressive act for a ggod thing done.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

 

I express the feeling of gratitude and thanks to ALLAH for both good things I like and to things I do not like which happens... and this is a believe on ALLAH glorious and ability...

Thank you Open Heart for this gratitude thread and posts.

and this is an expression of gratitude expresses interest , and likes.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

 

Giving thanks before meals

The idea of saying of grace at the table before meals has it's origin in the idea of the power of increase through giving thanks.  Does being thankful for what you have increase the inflow?

 

Metaphysicians have found this to be true.  Gratitude is a great mind magnet, and when it is expressed from the spiritual standpoint it is powerfully magnified, increased, or multiplied.  Gratitude and thanksgiving are both considered to be necessary in demonstrating propserity through divine law. 

 

What has your experience been as regards thanksgiving and increase?  Are there other ideas about the origin or "why" of giving thanks for meals?

 

 

Thanks - Giving

Tomorrow will mark 40 days since this wonderful interfaith group was invited into holding conscious awareness of gratitude on a daily basis.  "Forty" days metaphysically represents "how ever long it takes".  It is hoped that your "40" has been a blessing, and that you are increasing in your blessings.  

 

Please feel free to share what your 40 days of gratitude was like.  Did it make a difference?  Was it hard to get into the habit?  Do you plan to continue the practice?  Do you live from this frequency all the time?  What suggestions would you make for others that would enhance life and faith through gratitude?  Is gratitude revered in your faith?

 

If you are smiling, give thanks.  If you are sad or in tears, give thanks.  If you are thriving, give thanks.  If you are feeling like you are shriveling up and just making it, give thanks.  If you are healthy, give thanks.  If you are dealing with physical challenges, give thanks.  Give thanks for it "ALL" as it "ALL" serves and moves us along our path in the right and perfect way.  Do you see it differently?

 

Today an Open Heart gives special thanks for each unique and special person in this community.  Enjoy your day with your family and friends if you are celebrating Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your day with your family and friends if you are not.  May your heart do a "happy dance" - enjoy!

 

Let us remain in thanks - giving!

 

For "knew views of gratitude" and a symbol for gratitude, please explore the link below.  It invites you into a 42 day "gratitude experiment".  A flash video is quite impressive as it reflects back the symbol... :

 www.GiveMeTheMasterKey.com 

This site offers a universally unique adventure, experimenting with intentionally
using the Master Key of Gratitude to unleash this source force within, giving life to your dreams, power to your passions, and prosperity to your pursuits!


Anonymous
Gratitude

Thank you for the videos and links.  I enjoyed the videos very much.  In my Prayers of Thankfulness each day, I Hope that my Gratitude for all that God has Given are Reflected.  Thank you, Open Heart for these videos and the underlying concept!

 

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