May 18, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Downtown Mindfulness
67 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002

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Gratitude is a wonderful way to connect with all that is right in our lives. It also opens the way to shift focus to our gifts and sharing them with the world. In the next Downtown Mindfulness meeting we will watch this beautiful video on Gratitude narrated by Brother David, a Benedictine monk who has participated in the Buddhist-Christian dialog and studied with Zen teachers like Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. A recent Time article also offers scientific reasons to be grateful for the little things in our life – gratitude is associated with more patience and self-control.

After our regular open awareness meditation, we will read Gratitude by David Whyte and explore gratitude practices.

Gratitude by David Whyte

Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.

Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.

To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face in the mountains, of a son’s outline against the sky, is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.

Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative might mean we are simply not paying attention.

©2014 David Whyte

from ‘GRATITUDE’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

Why practice together?

Practicing mindfulness together deepens the practice and makes it more enjoyable.

It provides a forum to discuss your challenges and ask questions related to your home practice.

Join us on the first and third Wednesdays every month to be part of this community committed to living mindfully.

Who can participate?

This group is for people who have taken an MBSR class before. If you have not taken the eight week mindfulness class before, please check out the Downtown Mindfulness calendar for upcoming free intro classes and the full eight week classes.

What is the cost?

Please make a donation based on what makes your heart sing. Every dollar helps to keep this center going.

What will the format be?

We will practice mindfulness meditation for the first 30 to 40 minutes. After a short break the remaining time will be used for discussing a topic relating to practicing mindfulness. You can come for the full session or leave after the meditation during the break.

Because of limited space, Please RSVP by email if you plan to attend

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If you would like to get reminders about mindfulness gatherings and events at Downtown Mindfulness, please join the Downtown Mindfulness meet up group or email me to include you in the newsletters.

How to be mindful in the real world

Mindfulness is a super power that empowers us to see clearly and act intentionally . 

Join me to receive insights and disoveries to be mindful in politics, work, relationships, and in the community

Thank you for your interest in mindfulness!