“Between the dark sky and the dark earth
we hang a light in a dark tree
and sing of our wonder together.”
— Pir Elias Amidon
As our daily realities continue to shift in the face of Covid-19, A Network for Grateful Living remains committed to exploring how gratefulness can support us in these times. The hardships we face may feel amplified by our increasing need to stay home, isolating ourselves from others in service of the common good. Discovering ways to foster ease, belonging, kindness, and well-being under these circumstances may feel challenging, yet opportunities for nourishment can find their way into our worlds. The gifts of technology can offer us meaningful connection and support as many of us find increasing comfort in even the simple sound of another person’s voice over phone or video. Perhaps we find ourselves more drawn to reading inspirational voices, exploring poetry, and/or deepening our gratefulness practices.
Every month we assemble resources, practices, and reflection questions for our Gratefulness Gatherings hosts to share with their groups. In our second year now, and in the unexpected times we are in, we are providing a special, expanded set of offerings this month and making these resources available to our whole community.
We invite you to explore these supportive offerings with others on virtual platforms. Included in the resources below are tips and suggestions for hosting your own virtual gathering should you feel moved by that opportunity.
Or you may simply explore these resources on your own. Approach them gently. Take your time with them. Savor them.
Living Gratefully in the Time of the Coronavirus (2:30): This offering from the Gratefulness Team suggests possibilities for responding to the moment at-hand with great fullness of heart, building capacity to face the challenges before us.
Gratefulness as Support: Community Voices (4:00): In this collection of voices, board members, staff, and international partners at A Network for Grateful Living respond to the question, how are you finding gratefulness a source of support during this challenging time? This check-in of sorts is an opportunity to connect through our shared interest in gratefulness and our grateful care for one another.
Grateful in a Crisis (2:00): In this response to a question about how we can find opportunity in crisis, Br. David Steindl-Rast invites us to methodically approach the situation with attentive action and courageous trust.
Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty (2:00): In this essay, Kristi Nelson reminds us of the liberating opportunity that comes with letting go of our need to know.
Healing the Mind: This collection of resources on gratefulness.org can offer inspiration and support for managing our emotional health, especially during challenging times.
Facing Difficulty with Gratitude (4:40): In this video, Jack Kornfield talks with Br. David about how we might find gratitude for the invitation that comes with the challenges before us.
Lockdown, Richard Hendrick
We Look with Uncertainty, Anne Hillman
Disruption, Edda Hackl
The Patience of Ordinary Things, Pat Schneider
From Which It All Began, Bernadette Miller
Handwashing: A Grateful Practice: As we endeavor to wash our hands more frequently and with more intention, this practice offers several ideas for embracing the opportunity that comes with what could feel like an obligation.
Metta Meditation by Sylvia Boorstein (7:30): This meditation, offered as a resource through On Being, invites us to cultivate loving-kindness toward ourselves and others. This simple practice can profoundly impact the way we orient toward ourselves and others, especially during this time of hardship.
Practicing Faith in Life: Using the foundation of Stop. Look. Go., this practice helps us let go of our need to control life, inspiring us instead to be with the unknown.
Karuna Virus: Make a practice of reading uplifting news stories. Our partners at Service Space have created the Karuna Virus site to catalogue stories of “everyday heroism” amidst this worldwide crisis.
Questions for Reflection
How might gratefulness impact what we do, how we do it, and who we are during this time?
What reminders and practices help you navigate moments of difficulty?
How might you be more compassionate with yourself and others now and in the weeks ahead? What areas of your life can you approach with more gentleness?
What opportunities might be beckoning you as a result of this crisis?
What gifts feel apparent in your life amidst the challenges?
How could you show up gratefully for yourself and others during this time?
How to Gather Virtually
Suggested Flow for Virtual Gatherings: This sample flow is completely optional. For a gathering with family and friends, you may opt for a more informal approach. Participants may also find value in a gathering with more structure. Use this suggested flow only insofar as it supports you to connect meaningfully with others.
Facilitation Tips: These facilitation tips are intended to support our Gratefulness Gatherings hosts in creating safe space. Use them if/however they feel relevant and meaningful to you, tailoring as needed for a virtual gathering.