Beginning your day with gratitude and compassion

Vic Shayne
13 Pillars of Enlightenment: How to realize your true nature and end suffering

Brother David Steindl-Rast

No one needs to be reminded of what love is, but far too often we seem to be disconnected from it. While love never fades or disappears, it is our attention that makes it evident. When we are in the throes of anger , depression, or suffering, this is where our attention is; we are attending to our emotions. Or if we are sitting at our computers and trying to figure out a problem, the attention is not usually on love.

Because of our psychological conditioning, most of us tend not to react to stressful situations by exuding love and compassion. We are therefore loving beings who seem not to know how to love except on occasion. By not meeting life’s struggles with love we are causing the perpetuation of stress and conflict. In love, there is no conflict, there is only flow and happiness.

What can we do to bring ourselves back into alignment? How can we attend more to love? One way is to immerse ourselves in gratitude, or feeling appreciation for what life has to offer. Catholic Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast reminds us of how rarely we take time to reflect on the beauty all around us — the clouds, flowers, smiles on people’s faces, acts of kindness, the way the air feels, and so on. So, perhaps you may want to listen to Steindl-Rast every morning before you start your day and then see whether you find a shift in your attitude after a couple of weeks or so. The video posted below is a beautiful presentation on how to have a grateful day.

To balance out the stress and emotions that we tend to experience as a matter of default, it’s possible to turn ourselves around by immersing ourselves in messages and acts of love, devotion, compassion, and gratitude. We need to bring ourselves back to a baseline of unalloyed relationships, recognizing ourselves in others and seeing the beauty that is ever-present. There are plenty of wonderful ideas on which meditate, from the words of Rumi to the youtube videos of Thoraya Maronesy.

How do you bring more gratitude, compassion, and love into your life? By opening up to it.

Rumi wrote, “Be certain in the religion of Love there are no believers or unbelievers. Love embraces all.”



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Vic Shayne

…writer for 40+ years, mind/body practitioner, self-enquiry meditation, NY Times best selling author (, consultant, researcher.