Welcome. We invite you to take a few slow, deep breaths before you begin. Please allow yourself uninterrupted time to fully experience this video (10:32), and respond to the questions for reflection. May you find this exploration both illuminating and beneficial.

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We have as a consumer culture, as a monetized culture in this world today…a set of what I call unconscious, unexamined assumptions that are, what I call, a mythology.

Lynne Twist

Topics for Contemplation, Discussion, or Journaling

Feel free to reflect on as many of the following questions as you like. You might come to a question for which you do not have an immediate answer. We encourage you to simply hold the question without knowing, and trust that an answer or insight may arise at an unexpected time.

  • What are the cultural messages that most make you forget what is true, valuable, and/or whole in your life?
  • Consider what Br. David said about true gratefulness vs. learned politeness: “Joy is already gratefulness.” When have you experienced “polite” gratitude, and how is that distinct from the joy of true gratefulness?
  • The first Toxic Myth:  “…there’s not enough to go around, and someone somewhere is always going to be left out and you have to be terrified that it’s not you and yours. And that creates a sort of us-and-them world.”  How do you see this alive in your life and/or the world today?
  • The second Toxic Myth: “More is better…We’re just swimming in a sea of stuff that doesn’t make us happy, that doesn’t give us any satisfaction…because we’re always trying to get the next thing.” What is the impact of this mindset on your life and/or the world?
  • The third Toxic Myth: “That’s just the way that it is, there’s nothing we can do about it.” How do you break out of paralysis and into action when you feel powerless because of the belief that there is no way to change something?

Suggested Inspiration

Read the poem Renunciation by Jennifer Welwood


Additional Resources

Listening for Opportunity – Br. David offers an answer to the question, “How can I be grateful, if I’ve got nothing but trouble?”

I Will Be a Hummingbird (2:00) – Wangari Maathai tells an inspiring tale of doing the best we can with the opportunities we have, under seemingly interminable odds.

Sufficiency: Reclaiming the Power of What is There – An excerpt from The Soul of Money introducing us to concepts of sufficiency.


Practicing

To be aware that what is given to you, freely given to you at this present moment, is the greatest gift that you can ever receive. Life gives you the opportunity of another moment. We cannot bring another moment about. It’s a total gift. And to realize this moment, with all its opportunities, is given, freely given, it makes you so overjoyed.

Br. David Steindl-Rast
  • Throughout the week, begin to look for the opportunities in each moment.  How can you practice being open to opportunity?  Notice the things that are “given” to you in each moment. What opens up once you start noticing these?
  • Lynne Twist says, “We all have to really work to remember that we’re whole and complete, that we’re fine just the way we are.”  Where are your sanctuaries, what are your practices, or who are the people that help you remember this?

From Session Two of the free eCourse, The Transformative Power of Sufficiency & Gratefulness. Click on the button below to access all six sessions in our community space. You will need a free grateful.org profile to log in and access this eCourse.


Br. David Steindl-Rast#Peace
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Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author
Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.