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From the PublisherGratitude, Cicero observed, is more than just a virtue; it is theparent of all the other virtues. In Seasons of Grace: TheLife-giving Practice of Gratitude, Alan Jones and JohnO’Neil explore the spiritual practice of gratitude, which canbe expressed in acts as simple as writing a thank-you note,cleaning the house or meditating in the garden. Although theauthors do not draw explicitly on Naikan Buddhism, their approachis astoundingly similar to Naikan, which emphasizes gratitude asthe key to compassionate living. The book is beautifullyorganized into sections around the four seasons: spring is a timeto appreciate the gift of a renewed creation; summer a season offrolicking in nature and enjoying some rest; autumn a contemplativeperiod of introspection; and winter an interval of gathering withloved ones. Each chapter closes with “gratitudepractices,” offering concrete ideas of ways to cultivate andexpress 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 rarelystop and think about those two little words we use all thetime.
Don't just say it. Feel it. Try this. Close your eyes. Sit upstraight. Take deep breath. As you exhale think . . . thankyou.
Do it again, please.
Who were you thanking? God? The Universe? Yourself? No one inparticular? It doesn't really matter. It feels good no matter whoyou're thanking — especially when it's for nothing, oreverything.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent ofall the others."
Cicero said that and so do the Rev. Alan Jones, the dean of GraceCathedral, and John O'Neil, the president of the Center forLeadership Renewel, in a simple and wise new book called "Seasonsof Grace — The Life-Giving Practice of Gratitude". (SFChronicle, January 26, 2003)