Several days ago we attended the Cultural Awareness Program at Mt. Madonna School where our grandson is in first grade. His grade of ten adorable students reenacted a Buddhist story from Cambodia. In this story a single mother has three grown sons. She is very concerned that her sons do not help her or anyone else, and care only about money...
In a world immersed in urgency, with alarm bells ringing left and right and dire predictions for our future, how dare I come up with a banner marked, “Yes, so many good things are happening”? Simply because how we
As you set your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, consider a resolution to help others, says an expert on motivation.
Giving is good for you. For years, researchers have been finding that people who support charities or volunteer for causes can benefit from being generous.
The most difficult act of bravery is often kindness. There are a hundred reasons not to help a stranger passed out in a parking lot. It’s potentially dangerous. The person might be “crazy,” have a communicable disease, or smell. The situation isn’t our problem, we’re busy and don’t have time, and so on.
The less we know about what is expected of us in a given situation, the more likely we are to act selfishly, researchers report.
For me, being of service means working on behalf of and thus taking a stand for a cause or causes that we believe in and which are dear to our hearts, and where we feel we can make some kind of positive contribution towards a healthier world.
Vietnam was a clear success story of the COVID-19 pandemic by May 2020, recording very low infection rates and being widely praised for locking down early to prevent serious outbreaks. But on July 25, the virus mysteriously resurfaced after 99 days of no infections.
I know you're carrying a lot right now. In your life, in your mind, inside your emotional body, too. The load is heavy. I just want you to know, I feel you. Today, I want to send you some tender love. It won't solve everything, but it might lighten the load for just a moment or two.
Every day, everyone we meet can be assisted by simply our changing our attitude and our focus. We can all change the world today. On passing people in the street, on the bus, in places of work and play, bless them...
There are many virtues appropriate to our present circumstances that are extolled in the wisdom of Sanskrit: Abhayam (अभयम्) fearlessness; Balam (बलम्) strength; Buddhi (बुद्धि) reason, Kshamā (क्षमा) patience and forbearance, and so on.
The offering of food and material goods to monks is an essential part of the daily practice of Buddhism in Thailand. The belief is that through the act of giving, lay Buddhists – followers of the faith who have not been ordained – receive, or make, merit.
Our five senses, our fantastic curiosity, our exhilarating emotional capacity are just a few of our avenues to gladness. Even when headlines clamor, or life deals tough challenges, we can find numberless reasons to feel grateful and hopeful.
During this pandemic, so much has been taken from us. Everyone is missing something important for them. For us, the fact that we cannot do our workshops, work that we have done for the past 45 years and we dearly love, causes hurt to our hearts.
Low-wage service workers increasingly are facing new physical and emotional hazards in the workplace as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to interviews with workers we conducted in April.
A few years ago, I discovered with wonder a new form of magic: expressing appreciation to others for something they had done. And modern life offers us a thousand different opportunities to manifest that magic.
We have all suffered, and will suffer, our own falls. The fall from youthful ideals, the waning of physical strength, the failure of a cherished hope, the loss of our near and dear, the fall into injury or sickness, and late or soon, the fall to our certain ends. We have no choice but to fall, and little say as to the time or the means.
After asking more than 3,000 students about kindness, I’ve learned a lot about just how children and adolescents understand and enact kindness, especially at school. The results might surprise parents and educators.
And in this period of sheltering at home, 33 years ago, this is the most important lesson I learned. The practice of gratitude is powerful and can bring us through even the hardest times.
Like millions of people across Europe, I had. My London street had come alive – despite lockdown – with people cheering from their doorsteps or pavements, and children’s faces appearing at open bedroom windows.
A lot of books have been written about gratitude. I think it is a well-received idea that gratitude is a nice thing to do. But I want to address the use of gratitude in our most vulnerable times, when it is not about being polite, nice or wanting to be liked.
To recognize and appreciate blessings we must develop an "awareness" of them. We must develop the habit of seeing that which is the norm, rather than that which is the exception.
Most of us were taught that saying “thank you” is simply the polite thing to do. But recent research in social psychology suggests that saying “thank you” goes beyond good manners
Christmas can be a stressful time of year. You will blow your budget, your relatives will annoy you, and you’ll receive gifts that go straight to Vinnies...
This year we expect that sales will break all records! However, we cannot help but think that this anniversary celebrates the coming to earth of one of humanity’s greatest avatars – who, additionally, lived in total poverty according to his own words.
As a physician, I have helped to care for many patients and families whose lives have been turned upside down by serious illnesses and injuries.
We can’t wait until everything is OK—with us or with the rest of the world—to feel thankful, or we will never experience it at all. “The world is too bent for unshadowed joy,” Lewis Smedes points out, and so we must catch and kiss our joy as it flies by, even in the midst of sorrow or suffering.
When I heard this story, I stopped in my tracks. What a powerful model for compassion in action! I pray that I might be so sensitive to support others in their sense of well-being and transform potentially painful situations with a stroke of kindness.
Here are some questions and answers about caretaking and speaking up with those we serve, from a cancer diagnosis to dementia and all stops in-between.
Workshops for elder care clinicians significantly improved their comfort and ability in identifying and helping address spiritual needs in their patients, research shows.
A time comes in our personal development when we realize that we are not isolated, independent individuals, but rather that we are all interdependent. We then experience genuine care and concern for others, become more aware of the larger whole and feel a deep desire to share our riches, whatever they may be, with others.
For the Ancient Greeks, virtue wasn’t a goal in and of itself, but rather a route to a life well lived. By being honest and generous, embodying diligence and fortitude, showing restraint and kindness, a person would flourish
As I was reflecting the other day on love -- loving ourselves, loving our neighbor, loving the world itself -- it came to me that with all the "stigma" attached to the word love, sometimes we may be at a loss as to what it really means.
The phrase “loving out loud” refers to a way to live openly and without regret. It’s moving from rapid-fire emoticons to thoughtfully emoting. It’s recognizing the power of a gentler, spoken word infused with a generous spirit.
Nature is full of animals helping each other out. A classic example is meerkat cooperation.
Life can be stressful. It can and does present challenges. It also brings pleasures and laughter, as well as sadness and tears. Some of these experiences we accept with joy, others we want to run from and hide, others just plain aggravate us or bore us 'to death'...
On May 22 2017, my home city of Manchester suffered a terrorist attack killing 22 people and injuring several hundred. But in the midst of the senseless savagery of the attack, there were many stories of heroism and selflessness.
To be 'in service' in today's world is regarded as demeaning no matter whether the service is given freely, or for hire and reward. A misconception exists that by the very act of serving someone you are placing yourself in a position of subservience to the person that is being served. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Long-time “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
"There is a gift behind each disappointment and sadness." These are words my mother spoke to me countless times growing up. But we need to trust that a gift will come. This trusting can be difficult though, especially when it appears over time that no gift is coming.
Whoever truly understands and deeply feels an inner relationship with and a shared responsibility for fellow creatures can never subscribe to the cult of indifference. In a world crisis like the present one...
I bless the amazing divine order in nature, from the tiniest molecule to the rolling of the galaxies in our stupendous universe. I bless the divine order in my life and that of my neighbor, even when to the human sense of things this order is all but apparent …
No matter how stressful the day might be with six children running around, my mother's always exhibited an optimistic outlook on life. Her spirit lives in me. Her attitude of gratitude is also ingrained within her namesake, my oldest daughter, Sara Malka, who taught me a valuable tool for living an inspired life.
One of the most powerful ways to pray is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude as a form of prayer is very easy and is immediately rewarding. All you need to do is acknowledge and thank the Universe for all your blessings, whether they are...
Every creative venture has its moments when it would be easy to say, This is too much, it's hopeless. The person with will and determination says, This is challenging, and I will find a way to make it work. The first person is saying, I give up; the second, I will make it happen.
In indigenous gift-sharing and kinship societies, individuals do not “win” at the expense of society but rather consider society’s win as theirs. Futurist Riane Eisler referred to this as “linking rather than ranking,” typical of the partnership paradigm, and the antithesis to the dominator paradigm. “Empowerment of self and others” characterizes the partnership model.
The spiritual journey is full of unexpected and wondrous inner shifts. I recently realized that a change has gradually occurred in my outlook. I am appreciating the moment-by-moment experiences in my life in a happier way than I have since childhood...
While the happiness we feel after an activity diminishes each time we experience it, a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation, giving to others may be the exception to this rule.
‘Tis the season when the conversation shifts to what you’re thankful for. Gathered with family and friends around a holiday feast, for instance, people may recount some of the biggies – like their health or their children – or smaller things that enhance everyday life – like happening upon a great movie while channel-surfing or enjoying a favorite seasonal food.
When Lynn Grabhorn was asked, “What is one simple thing I can do now to help prepare for the Shift?” her reply was, “Learn to be grateful”. She suggested the practice of extending gratitude for all the little things we take for granted and of developing an “attitude of gratitude.”
Gratitude is noticing the good things that are happening all around you. Feeling gratitude when life is stormy can be difficult; it’s during times of hardship that our gratitude is most tested. Seeing the silver lining during those times is easier when we focus on the power of our gratitude.
Being unappreciative in general and focusing on the half empty is a core attitude that Attitude Reconstruction associates with the emotion of anger. These qualities block our ability to experience the emotion of love. With the holidays approaching, it’s time to reverse your old tendency.
I think it is obvious that our planet Earth and its inhabitants are not all feeling the same amount of blessings of God and of the Universe. Some of us seem to be getting a bigger share of the blessings than others.
A woman Zen master named Sono taught one very simple method of enlightenment. She advised everyone who came to her to adopt an affirmation to be said many times a day, under all conditions. The affirmation was, 'Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.'
When it comes to offering your expertise, it’s better to keep it to yourself or wait until you’re asked, according to new research. Building upon previous findings that showed how helping colleagues slows one’s success, management professor Russell Johnson looked more closely at the different kinds of help in which people engage at work—and how that help was received.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”--Rabindranath Tagore. Babaji encouraged people to serve others on a daily, even hourly basis. He also taught that no act of service is beneath a person. Just because a person has an advanced degree or a very important job, they can still do the smallest act of service like digging ditches, washing dishes, scrubbing floors.
Think about the last time you helped someone out. Maybe you sent a supportive text to a stressed-out friend or gave directions to a lost stranger. How did it make you feel?
The US Open championship tennis tournament is well and truly underway. Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are all expected to compete at the National Tennis Centre in New York over the next few weeks.
When you dwell on frustration, the focus on negative thoughts can make daily tasks more challenging. It is not unusual to experience tension. And tension could put you into a negative state before there is real difficulty. If the suggestions offered here don’t fit your situation, use them as a starting place to do your own brainstorming. Changing the atmosphere may be a work in progress...
Have you ever thought you were in love only to be told by the one you admire that he or she wants to break up with you? Have you ever applied for a job and been told the organization or company chose someone else? Have you ever applied to a school or program and been declined entry?
Who is the most generous person in the world today? Ask folks in the West, and the most popular answer would probably be Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
Children as young as 5 have a nuanced understanding of fairness, according to a new study.
There are so many things to be grateful for! Birds singing, sunshine, trees and the shade they provide, the love of our friends, the comforts of modern living, etc. etc. Yet, surrounded by this beauty and love, we often rush through our busy-busy day...
I’ve learned that acts of kindness provide me deep contentment. Knowing I helped brighten someone’s day makes my heart feel full long after the event itself has passed. Thoughtfulness is the action that emotionally connects me to the people I know and also to people I may never meet.
Even the most terrible events always contain hidden blessings. The masters know this great truth and remain undisturbed by events... Others swing from elation to depression as they move through positive and...
The Native American perspective was that we don’t own anything but we are stewards of everything. That could be described in a single word: responsibility. Ownership is onerous.
Everybody can appreciate acts of kindness. But when it comes to explaining why we do them, people often take one of two extreme positions. Some think kindness is something completely selfless that we do out of love and care, while others believe it is just a tool that we cunningly use to become more popular and reap the benefits.
It’s a new year, which means that it’s also time to imagine new beginnings and better futures. It’s time, in short, for New Year’s resolutions. Gratitude, in particular, has become a popular resolution. For many of us, living gratefully seems to promise more happiness in our lives. But what if we’ve got gratitude all wrong?
The relationship with your guides is equivalent in many ways to your relationships with other people. It is very important to express your gratitude daily. These two points are so important, I want to drive them home by sharing a not-so-comfortable experience of mine from a few years ago, when I had a major meltdown about money.
Have you ever heard the saying “You get what you give”? This short saying is true. When you do nice things for others for unselfish reasons, the Universe will reward you tenfold.
Can you recall the last time you complimented your spouse? What if compliments aren’t flowing in your relationship? If that’s true, expressing appreciation may feel awkward at first. Accept the feeling and do it anyway!
For the most part, I live happily in a large life, with my energies and joys in so many areas of my personal and professional lives, yet I have worked for decades, non-stop, both through my own inner exploration and my formal academic education, to create my current inner and outer worlds.
The practice of giving thanks for your body is particularly difficult for women, because our relationships with our bodies are fraught with so much difficulty and dissatisfaction. The media reinforces such an impossible and singular image for young girls and women to live up to, and places so much emphasis on appearance, that virtually none of us—even if we happen to match the ideal—comes out unscathed.
Beloved author and founder of Hay House Publishing, Louise Hay, transitioned this morning, August 30, 2017 of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate.
The work I do isn’t “my” work. These are ideas whose time has come and they need capable scribes. Our true wages in life consist of the satisfaction we get from a job well done. Aside from that, well, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.
Health-care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide compassion — in the midst of growing patient workloads, paperwork, institutional demands and workplace stress. They run the risk of depleting their compassion “gas tanks” in the process...
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Make a list of the things that might give you pause or make you groan or recoil. Express your appreciation for these things in your life. Welcome them like old friends...
People who find ways to incorporate their gifts into their lives are happier, more satisfied, more confident, more creative, more engaged in their work, and learn faster. Don’t build your life around your weaknesses, hoping that you’ll improve...
Being grateful seems like something you do for others, but it is a wonderfully selfish act as well. So although saying thanks has positive effects on those who hear it, it turns out that those who are thankful have lots to gain.
Are you suffering from what I call the ‘never good enough’ syndrome? Are you always wanting more than what is? And are you beating yourself up because you don’t have it? Are you convinced that what you have now is not as good as what your neighbors have or what your best friend has.
We are living in extraordinary times. Like many people, I’ve been riding the waves of personal and collective fear, grief, shock, chaos, hope, vulnerability, and openhearted tenderness as the reality around me in my country and in the world continues to shift.
Feeling deep gratitude is wonderfully addictive; the more we do it, the more we want to do it, and so we begin looking even more deeply to reflect on things for which we’re grateful. I first learned about the amazing power of gratitude during a time when my financial situation was quite bleak...
How can we remain stress-free in the face of cultural pressures to react instantly to communications and demands? Giving of ourselves is a stress reliever that yields immediate emotional benefits, bringing meaning to our lives.
Each year, the average American family donates approximately 3.4 percent of its discretionary income to charity. So what inspires individuals to donate to charity?
As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of the day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative...
We want to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. This year, with all that is happening in our country, it seems more important than ever to take a break from the news and focus on gratitude and loving.
Would you be more grateful for a trendy new sofa or for a relaxing family vacation?
The desire to create a more humane business often coincides with the desire to be a force for good in the world. This reflects the higher purpose we feel emerging inside us as a result of greater self-awareness. Such increased self-awareness eventually expands to include the surrounding community and the world as a whole...
I've been holding back. I've been biting my tongue until I can process the current events and search inside myself for my personal truth before I add to the noise. I've been wanting to transform this whole thing into something positive and I wasn't having much luck...
"Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened." Those nine words by Ted Geisel (Dr.Seuss), one of our country’s favorite storytellers, contain so much wisdom. They apply to many different aspects of life, but I would like to focus on the area of relationships.
Philanthropy watchers such as Forbes, Business Insider and the Chronicle of Philanthropy regularly produce rankings of the most generous philanthropists in the United States.
Ah, yes! Gratitude is magical. Once you get into the groove of it, you will know why. There is nothing so freeing and so exhilarating as pouring out gratitude, not just for what we can easily see as benefits, or enjoyable things and situations, but for every moment of existence and for whatever happens.
God knows that we are artists of life. One day He gives us a chisel, another we may receive brushes and a canvas, and still another day He gives us a pen to write. But we will never use a chisel on canvas, or pens on sculptures. Each day has its own miracle.
“Is it possible I could have steeled my purse against him?” the Romantic essayist Charles Lamb asked in 1822, writing about a man who sat each day by the road begging alms. “Give, and ask no questions.” Today, charities must answer plenty of questions before they can persuade an often wary public to untie their purse strings.
What if the things you hate most about your current situation are your greatest blessings in disguise? What if everything that’s ever unfolded in your entire life has been the precisely necessary thing to bring you to this mysteriously perfect moment? If that...
"It's very surprising and disappointing to find such low rates of people helping each other and that African-American patients and those in poorer counties are left to wait longer for help," says Erin York Cornwell.
Generally, people consider life to be a natural phenomenon in which one profits without giving anything in exchange. But the miracle requires an exchange: what we were given, we must share with others. If we are not united, we cannot grasp the miracle.
When we recognize the impact we have, purely by being responsible for our state of mind – and how that affects the electromagnetic field that surrounds us, we realize that every moment sets in motion an incremental modification of such import that its trajectory could create a global shift in consciousness.
Look at the lives of some of the wealthiest people in the world, and you see lives full of misery, because so many of them haven’t learned the simple secret of a life well lived, a life of happiness and inner peace, a life of purpose, a sacred and miraculous life...
Gratitude is not a magic trick, yet it can make a half-empty glass appear half full. It can transform difficult moments because it has a way of making the littlest things more significant and meaningful.