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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Today I can smile because ________.

I'm so glad

Friday, June 29, 2007

I am so glad that __________.

What's growing?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What we feel thankful for grows.
What's growing in your life that you can say thank you to?

Let me count the ways

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I found something really cool: A list of how many different (and appropriate) words and phrases can be made with the letters in the word gratitude.

... from the letters ...
..... revealing .....




Interesting, isn't it?

After I saw this, I started wondering how many different ways can I think of to say thank you to the person I say thank you to least often (in my case, that would be me). How about you guys? How many different ways can you think of to express gratitude to the person you are least often grateful for?

Thanks for...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Something beautiful
that I am truly grateful for is ____________ .

Still smiling....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happily, I can still __________________!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thank Goodness for __________!

Thank You #1

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Welcome to day one of "Project Gratitude". Each day I will be posting a sentence or a phrase for us all to answer. I'm hoping this will make for a simple and yet interesting daily journey into thankfulness. Here is our first one:

Today, I am deeply appreciative that ____________.

Mapping Happiness

Friday, June 22, 2007

Here is the "First Ever World Map of Happiness",
(if you click on the image it will enlarge).
For all the details you can follow this link.

What I found interesting is this, it appears that:
Healthy + Wealthy + Wise = Happiness.
It surprised the researchers too.

How about let's rate our own personal happiness on a scale of 1 to 5, (5 being really happy, 1 being really unhappy) and use this post to list those things that we would very much like to be happy about and grateful for by the end of this 30 day project. This will give us a good way to verify our results.

Our next project: Being Grateful

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Does gratitude work? We are going to find out. Starting on Saturday, June 23rd, the Prosperity Project will be practicing gratitude every day for 30 days. We would love it if you would join us on the journey.

Here's how it works:

Every day (for 30 days) an opportunity to be grateful about something will be posted. If you want to participate, just visit this site each day, take advantage of the opportunity, and then comment on the results, the process, your insights and inspirations, or whatever else you wish to comment on.

An easy way to access the daily post is to subscribe to via email. It's easy, and free, and you won't get spammed, I promise. All that will happen is that each new post will show up in your inbox - which I think is nice, and makes it easy to stay caught up with what's going on.

If you find that you do not have the time to check in every day, but you do want to try the gratitude concept, it is perfectly acceptable to work on your own. Any comments, insights or experiences that you then decide to share are always greatly appreciated.

Not sure if you want to participate or not? Check out these highlights from a scientific research study on Gratitude.

I am really looking forward to this project, and I hope to see you there. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Gratitude - Why do it?

Here are some highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness:

In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.

A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.

A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).

There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.

Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.

In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.

Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.

Prosociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.

Spirituality: Those who regularly attend religious services and engage in religious activities such as prayer reading religious material score are more likely to be grateful. Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.

Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of wealthy persons; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.

Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis
Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami

This project is supported by a grant from
the John Templeton Foundation of Radnor, PA.

Putting God First - an overview

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Let us go to God for the joy of experiencing God and then see what God does."

Here is an overview of our 30 day project of going to our "source" by Putting God First .

The prayer that propelled this project into action is from Practicing the Presence with Joel Goldsmith and can be found here.

If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can start on Day 1, and then continue on through Day 30: posting your thoughts, ideas, results, joys, and disappointments as you go. This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply.. and give you the benefit of our own experience and our support if it seems pertinent or appropriate.

You can find complete listing of the day by day links at the bottom of this post.

The basic summary of our results by each participant is posted here: Wrapping Things Up

We do have a recommended reading list inclusive of all of our projects. If you are interested in expanding your understanding, you can find it here: Recommended reading.

Because I enjoyed this project so much, I created a small blog featuring beautiful photographs and inspirational poetry and quotes. As Within is updated irregularly, and eventually all of the posts here will also be found there as well. So, if you enjoy the images and the quotes, you might want to visit As Within to see what else I may have found to share.

Here is the complete listing of the daily posts for the God First 30 day project:

Day 1: Say quietly to God...
Day 2: The same stream of life...
Day 3: Within man...
Day 4: Self is everywhere...
Day 5: Are you looking for me...
Day 6: Every one is looking...
Day 7: Holy Spirit...
Day 8: All that matters...
Day 9: Let your thoughts flow...
Day 10: A billion stars...
Day 11: We need to find God...
Day 12: With your feet I walk...
Day 13: Oh love...
Day 14: Oh my beloved Adonai...
Day 15: God deposited within human beings...
Day 16: In the morning...
Day 17: If you are seeking closeness...
Day 18: Oh Friend...
Day 19: You do not have to struggle...
Day 20: Wherever I go...
Day 21: A human being is...
Day 22: I see now...
Day 23: Worn out garments...
Day 24: I go amoung the trees...
Day 25: Zen Story
Day 26: Between the conscious and the unconscious...
Day 27: Unnameable God...
Day 28: Here I am Father...
Day 29: The Golden God...
Day 30: The peace of God...

Money isn't everything!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here is something clever and funny to enjoy while I spend some time getting the results of our recently completed project tabulated. Soon we will be starting our next project. It has been suggested that we spend 30 days working on "Gratitude"... how does that sound to everyone?

In the mean time.... here is this:

Wrapping things up

Sunday, June 17, 2007

We just spent 30 days putting God first, now it's feedback time:
  1. Did you find this project to be easy? hard? indifferent?
  2. What was your favorite part?
  3. Your least favorite part?
  4. Did your life change as a result of spending 30 days putting God First?
  5. Did your finances improve?
  6. What (if anything) did you learn?
  7. Would you recommend this practice to others?
  8. Anything else you would like to say?


          Saturday, June 16, 2007

          Today the peace of God envelops me,
          And I forget all things except His Love.

          ~A Course in Miracles

          The image is a solar eclipse
          as seen from the moon.
          (click on it to enlarge it)

          The Golden God

          Friday, June 15, 2007

          The Golden God, the Self, the immortal Swan
          leaves the small nest of the body, goes where He wants.

          He moves through the realm of dreams; makes numberless forms;
          delights in sex; eats, drinks, laughs with His friends;
          frightens Himself with scenes of heart-chilling terror.

          But He is not attached to anything that He sees;
          and after He has wandered in the realms of dream and awakeness,
          has tasted pleasures and experienced good and evil,
          He returns to the blissful state from which He began.

          As a fish swims forward to one riverbank then the other,
          Self alternates between awakeness and dreaming.

          As an eagle, weary from long flight, folds its wings,
          gliding down to its nest, Self hurries to the realm
          of dreamless sleep, free of desires, fear, pain.

          As a man in sexual union with his beloved
          is unaware of anything outside or inside,
          so a man in union with Self knows nothing, wants nothing,
          has found his heart's fulfillment and is free of sorrow.

          Father disappears, mother disappears, murderer,
          rich man, beggar disappear, world disappears,
          good and evil disappear; he has passed beyond sorrow.

          ~The Upanishads

          Here I am

          Thursday, June 14, 2007

          Here I am, Father, listening for Your voice. My inner ears are open. I have no requests, no demands, no hopes, no ambitions. I do not ask You to do anything You are not already doing. I await Your word of grace.
          ~Joel Goldsmith

          Unnameable God

          Wednesday, June 13, 2007

          Unnameable God, you are fathomless;
          I praise you with endless awe.

          You are wrapped in light like a cloak;
          you stretch out the sky like a curtain.

          You make the clouds your chariot;
          you walk on the wings of the wind.

          You use the winds as your messengers,
          thunder and lightening as your servants.

          You look at the earth - it trembles;
          you touch the hills and they smoke.

          You laid the earth's foundations
          so that they would never be destroyed.

          You covered the land with ocean;
          the waters rose over the mountains.

          They fled at the sound of your voice;
          you thundered and they ran away.

          They rushed down into the valleys,
          to the place you appointed for them.

          You bounded them, so that they would never
          return to inundate the earth.

          You send streams into the valleys,
          and they flow out among the hills.

          All the animals drink from them;
          the wild asses quench their thirst.

          Beside them the birds of the sky dwell,
          singing among the branches.

          You water the hills from the sky;
          by your care the whole earth is nourished.

          You make grass grow for the cattle
          and grains for the service of mankind,
          to bring forth food from the earth
          and bread that strengthens the body,
          oil that makes the face shine,
          and wine that gladdens the heart.

          You plant the trees that grow tall
          pines, and cedars of Lebanon,
          where many birds build their nests,
          and the stork on the topmost branches.

          The mountains shelter the wild goats;
          the cliffs are a shelter for the rock squirrels.

          You created the moon to count months;
          the sun knows when it must set.

          You make darkness, it is night,
          the forest animals emerge.

          The young lions roar for their prey,
          seeking their food from God.

          The sun rises, they withdraw,
          and lie down together in their dens.

          Humans go out to their labor
          and work until it is evening.

          How manifold are your creatures, Lord!
          With wisdom you made them all;
          the whole earth is filled with your riches.

          Here is the sea in its vastness,
          where innumerable creatures live,
          fish both tiny and huge.

          Here sharks swim, and the whale
          that you created to play with.

          All these depend on you
          to give them food in due time.

          You open your hands - they gather it:
          you give it - they are filled with gladness.

          You hide your face - they are stricken;
          you take back their breath - they die
          and return their bodies to the dust.

          You send forth your breath - they are born,
          and with them you replenish the earth.

          Your grandeur will last forever;
          eternally you rejoice in your works.

          I will sing to you every moment;
          I will praise you with every breath.

          May all selfishness disappear from me,
          and may you always shine from my heart.

          Psalm 104


          Tuesday, June 12, 2007

          Between the conscious and the unconscious,
          the mind has put up a swing:
          all earth creatures, even the supernovas,
          sway between these two trees,
          and it never winds down.

          Angels, animals, humans, insects by the million,
          also the wheeling sun and moon;
          ages go by, and it goes on.

          Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire,
          and the secret one slowly growing a body.

          Kabir saw that for fifteen seconds,
          and it made him a servant for life.


          A Zen Story

          Monday, June 11, 2007

          Here is a zen story:

          A master once described the journey to enlightenment as "like filling a sieve with water". When a woman questioned this master on his meaning, he gave her a sieve and a cup and they went to the sea, where he asked her to fill the sieve with water. She poured a cupful of water into the sieve. It was instantly gone.

          "Spiritual practice is the same," the master explained, "if we stand on the rock of 'I', and try to ladle the divine realization in. That's not the way to fill the sieve with water nor the self with divine life."

          He took the sieve and threw it into the sea, where it sank. "Now it's full of water, and will remain so. That's spiritual practice. It is not ladling little cupfuls into the individuality, but becoming totally immersed in the sea of divine life."

          I go amoung the trees

          Sunday, June 10, 2007

          I go amoung the trees and sit still.
          All my stirring becomes quiet
          Around me like circles on water.
          My tasks lie in their places
          Where I left them, asleep like cattle.
          Then what I am afraid of comes.
          I live for a while in its sight.
          And the fear of it leaves me.
          It sings, and I hear its song.

          ~Wendell Berry

          Worn-out garments

          Saturday, June 09, 2007

          Worn-out garments are shed by the body, worn-out bodies are shed by the dweller within the body, new bodies are donned by the dweller, like garments. Not wounded by weapons, not burned by fire, not dried by the wind, not wetted by water, such is the one.

          Not dried, not wetted, not burned, not wounded, innermost essence, everywhere, always, being of beings, changeless, eternal, for ever and ever.

          ~Bhagavad-Gita 2:22

          I see now

          Friday, June 08, 2007

          I see now that all creatures have perfect enlightenment
          - but they do not know it.


          Day 21

          Thursday, June 07, 2007

          A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe". He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is kind of a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

          Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

          Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

          ~Albert Einstein

          Wherever I go

          Wednesday, June 06, 2007

          Wherever I go, only Thou!
          Wherever I stand, only Thou
          Just Thou, again Thou! always Thou!
          Thou, Thou, Thou!

          When things are good, Thou!
          When things are bad,
          Thou!Thou, Thou, Thou!

          ~Hasidic song
          photo by Don Paulson

          You do not..

          Tuesday, June 05, 2007

          (this is a Sandhill Crane hatching)

          You do not have to struggle to reach God, but you do have to struggle to tear away the self-created veil that hides him from you.

          ~Paramahansa Yogananda

          O, friend!

          Monday, June 04, 2007

          O, friend! Nobody veils you, but yourself. In your path there is no thorn or weed, but yourself. You asked: shall I reach the beloved or not? Between you and the beloved there is nobody, but yourself.

          ~Awhadoddin Kermani

          If you are seeking

          Sunday, June 03, 2007

          Stock Photo of  iceland poppy field papaver nudicaule champagne bubbles copyright robert wojtowicz

          If you are seeking closeness to the Beloved, love everyone.whether in their presence or absence, see only their good. If you want to be as clear and refreshing as the breath of the morning breeze, like the sun have nothing but warmth and light for everyone.

          ~Shaikh Abu-Said Abil-Khair

          In the morning

          Saturday, June 02, 2007

          In the morning, the one who does not understand will consider what he will do, while the one who understands will consider what the one will do with him.

          ~Ibn 'ata 'illah

          God deposited within human beings

          Friday, June 01, 2007

          God deposited within human beings knowledge of all things, and then blocked them from perceiving it; this is one of the divine mysteries that reason denies totally and thinks impossible.

          The nearness of the the mystery to those who do not know it is like God's nearness to His servant, as proclaimed in His words, "We are nearer to Him than you, but you do not see"(Koran 56:83) and His words, "We are nearer to Him than His jugular vein" (Koran 50:16).

          Despite this nearness, the servant does not perceive or know anything; no one can know what is within himself until it is revealed to him moment by moment.

          ~Ibn Arabi

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