In 1971, Ram Das put out the book, Be Here Now. A cornerstone principle of Mindfulness, this imperative is the foundation of my gratitude practice. Try taking a pause or two in the course of a day and practice noticing, even mentally cataloging, what you see and what you feel in the moment. Then ask yourself if anything in front of you reminds you of something you love or value. Think about the connection. Not only are you practicing being in the moment. You’re developing what could become an automatic response for returning to a grateful state.

Thinking BIG is Thinking Small

As I’ve considered what I want for myself in the coming year, I asked myself what I’d like to see everyone in the world have (or have more of).  I realized that a way to discover what I value, what would fill me with gratitude, is often the same thing as what I’d wish for those I love.  What would you wish or pray for — for someone you love? For the world?

There Ought to Be an App

It’s hard to believe how connected, how dependent, many people are to their computers or smart phones to organize their schedules or remind them about things. If you were to create an app just for you — that would remind you what types of things you felt grateful for — how would the app work? How can an app really get you in touch with the essence of what you feel grateful for?


A Bigger Piece of the Pie: A Mindfulness Exercise.

Before you go to sleep tonight, think of what types of things you spent most of your day thinking about. Maybe you can conjure up a pie chart in your mind. Maybe you spent 25% of your time that day thinking about family obligations (or exchanges of affection). Maybe you spent 10% learning something new. Maybe you spent 15% of your time thinking about a neighbor or co-worker that annoys you. Think graphically about the proportions of time your mind was focused a particular way. Did you spend more of your day engaging your mind in unpleasant thoughts than positive ones? Rather than trying not to think about something you don’t like, when you notice your mind drifting to an unfullfilling thought, try to think of something you know makes you feel happy or productive.