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From the PublisherGratitude, Cicero observed, is more than just a virtue; it is the parent of all the other virtues. In Seasons of Grace: The Life-giving Practice of Gratitude, Alan Jones and John O’Neil explore the spiritual practice of gratitude, which can be expressed in acts as simple as writing a thank-you note, cleaning the house or meditating in the garden. Although the authors do not draw explicitly on Naikan Buddhism, their approach is astoundingly similar to Naikan, which emphasizes gratitude as the key to compassionate living. The book is beautifully organized into sections around the four seasons: spring is a time to appreciate the gift of a renewed creation; summer a season of frolicking in nature and enjoying some rest; autumn a contemplative period of introspection; and winter an interval of gathering with loved ones. Each chapter closes with “gratitude practices,” offering concrete ideas of ways to cultivate and express gratitude. (Publishers Weekly, January 27, 2003)
"What do you say?"
Maybe it's because we're always reminding our children to say it, or because our parents kept reminding us to say it, but we rarely stop and think about those two little words we use all the time.
Don't just say it. Feel it. Try this. Close your eyes. Sit up straight. Take deep breath. As you exhale think . . . thank you.
Do it again, please.
Who were you thanking? God? The Universe? Yourself? No one in particular? It doesn't really matter. It feels good no matter who you're thanking — especially when it's for nothing, or everything.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
Cicero said that and so do the Rev. Alan Jones, the dean of Grace Cathedral, and John O'Neil, the president of the Center for Leadership Renewel, in a simple and wise new book called "Seasons of Grace — The Life-Giving Practice of Gratitude". (SF Chronicle, January 26, 2003)