Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

691st Week: Return to Gratitude

As I pondered what this week’s practice in conscious living might be, I came across an article I saved a while back about research that’s been done on gratitude. This research demonstrates the powerful health-giving effects of what David Steindl-Rast calls gratefulness. Then I ran across another note I saved about a Buddhist practice that focuses on “finding the hidden people”… Read More “691st Week: Return to Gratitude”

Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

688th Week: The Dynamic Impact of Blessing

One of the great gifts of my life is my relationship with gratitude. As I move through New York City, and most especially in Central Park each morning, I find myself full of gratitude much of the time. Each morning, I fill up with it as I encounter the beautiful trees, birds, and other animals, rock outcroppings, and plants I pass by on the way to my office. Also, when I’m out and about on the busy streets of New York, I find myself feeling gratitude for the fact that such a diverse array of people manages to move through this city with relative grace and I’m always moved to hear so many languages spoken as I walk from here to there.

One of the companions of gratitude has become, for me, another of the great gifts to my life—the ability to offer blessings as I move through the world… Read More “688th Week: The Dynamic Impact of Blessing”

Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

684th Week: Celebrating Synchronicity

Walking through Central Park the other day, I had an encounter with synchronicity that has stayed with me because of the delight of the moment. Whenever I have an opportunity to do so, I go off the regular pathways in the park and find my way in amongst the trees. There’s a small footpath that I often take in the morning, lined by tall evergreens and old, stately deciduous trees. When I’m there, it feels as though I’m in the midst of towering spires of a cathedral and the quiet of this place always touches me.

On this particular morning as I walked along, a bright red cardinal landed on a tree just to the right of me and a bit ahead on the path… Read More “684th Week: Celebrating Synchronicity”

Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

674th Week: Cultivating Gratitude for Greater Well-Being

Brain research offers many new insights into the impact of our everyday attitudes and ways of being affect us as we move through our daily lives. Recently, I heard an interview on NPR where a neuroscientist talked about recent research in gratitude and its effects on neurotransmitters. The upshot of the interview was that focusing on gratitude automatically generates increased dopamine and serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters are part of our “feel good” chemistry.

What was both intriguing and encouraging about the information offered in the interview was that it didn’t take an enormous amount of effort to elicit this neurochemical change in the brain. It got me to thinking about… Read More “674th Week: Cultivating Gratitude for Greater Well-Being”