Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

A Pledge For Grateful Living

--by Brother David Steindl-Rast (Nov 24, 2014)

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome the illusion of entitlement
by reminding myself that everything is gift
and, thus, to live gratefully.

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome my greed
that confuses wants with needs,
by trusting that enough for all our needs is given to us
and to share generously
what i so generously receive.

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome apathy
by waking up to the opportunities 
that a given moment offers me
and so to respond creatively to every situation.

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome violence
by observing that fighting violence by violence 
leads to more violence and death
and, thus, to foster life by acting non-violently.

In thanksgiving to life, i pledge
to overcome fear which is the root of all violence
by looking at whatever i fear as an opportunity
and, thus, courageously to lay the foundation 
for a peaceful future.

Brother David Steindl-Rast became a Benedictine monk in 1953 and got a PhD from Cornell. â€‹After a dozen years of monastic training, his abbot sent him to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, for which he received Vatican approval. He has received many awards and authored numerous books, but the core of his message centers around gratefulness.  You can read more about him in this profile: Lessons From a Benedictine Monk

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On Nov 24, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Pledge for Thanksgiving
I pledge to be Grateful and to share appreciation to all those who have assisted on the journey.
To be giving and caring through sharing my gifts and skill set with others.
To be content knowing I have enough, I am enough. I give enough.
To be vocally thankful.
Gratitude has mad a huge difference in my life; it reminds me of all the ways people and the universe have responded. When you give, you receive. This is not why we give, it is simply the law of nature. (I believe)
Being grateful and saying this to people in your life brings about positive energy in yourself and in others. It feels good to be appreciated. We all want to feel like we matter to someone. So sharing gratitude helps us all to rise up and feel good.
(apologies that my words may be very simple today, but my heart understands.)
HUGS to all of us on this Thanksgiving week. May we truly be grateful and may we express it outwardly.

On Nov 24, 2014 Amy wrote:

Amen, with a capital "A" Kritin!  Amen!  

On Nov 24, 2014 Amy wrote:

 In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to pursue/keep God and His truth #1 in my life.  As in doing this, all other GOOD and  TRUE gifts flow;)

On Nov 24, 2014 david doane wrote:

My prayer that I say every morning at least is "All that is, animate and inanimate, is one and is sacred, and that includes me.  For that I am grateful.  And I respect and honor the oneness and sacredness that each of us is."  That prayer is an expression of my growth in realization that we are one and sacred, and helps me be mindful of that.  That awareness and prayer also help me to overcome my illusion of entitlement, help me to realize that everything is a gift, help me be grateful like I never was years ago, help me lessen my greed and to share at least more generously, help me to care more and be more creative, help me be all the more non-violent in my ways, help me be less fearful and more courageous.  My pledge is to continue on this path.  As far as fear being the root of violence, I believe that violence arises from a position of feeling powerless in an attempt to gain power, and we are often full of fear when feeling powerless.  I know that violence only begets more violence.  I've come to often be in a state of gratitude, which seems to generate more compassion and peace for me, so gratitude makes a big difference in my life.  Thank you for this reading from Brother David Steindl-Rast -- I appreciate it.

On Nov 24, 2014 Always wrote:

 In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to better respect and honor myself as God's son . . . In this, sacred.  To acknowledge myself in any other way would be to dishonor my Father in Heaven.  (Thinking of you, David, in writing this.)  We are His.  
Love your thoughts!  Amen.

On Nov 24, 2014 Bradley wrote:

 In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to overcome judgment, which is the root of all "isms".

On Nov 25, 2014 Mish wrote:

 I pledge to keep improving myself so I can always be the best me I can be , and thus be a better "giver".
wishing everyone a positive & joy-full holiday season.  Grateful for this beautiful community.

On Nov 25, 2014 Paashi wrote:

 My thanksgiving pledge for LIFE, to AWAKEN  to the sacred in the mundane moments of life flow along with the awe and wonder of the COSMOS by accepting moment to moment grace of existence.  

On Nov 25, 2014 PIUS THEKEMURY wrote:


On Nov 25, 2014 A chosen ant wrote:

 AMEN!  (Every summer I step one countless ants without thought or knowledge of my action.  They are so small, I do not "look" for them and thus I DO NOT SEE them.  By virtue of this, many lose their lives.  I think the same often happens to people.) 
That we may better SEE, I pray with you Pius.

On Nov 25, 2014 Bev wrote:

 This Thanksgiving I should try to be more thankful for all the good things I have been given in this life and not dwell on the "bad." And I need more Patience - I  should try to think about Patience and be Thankful when I am more patient! 

On Nov 25, 2014 Blessed wrote:

No surprise that patience is considered a virtue!  (As It is sooooo difficult to be such!).  When trying to have a second child year after year without success,  it is difficult  to wait and hope Gracefully!  Takes A LOT of  faith  . . . (Not my will but Yours be done while on earth.) when I wanted to hold "the reigns ."

On Nov 25, 2014 Pius Thekemury wrote:

 I found a  wounded water-bird shivering in a very cold pond. I brought her to my room,gave her some food and kept her warm for a day. Miraculously she recovered  and I took and released her into her natural habitat. Her partner was searching for her. What a joy in their reunion!!!!!. How deeply  related  and grateful I feel for this participation in Life.... 

On Nov 26, 2014 Mish wrote:

 How beautiful!!  Brought tears.  Bless you for being you. x

On Nov 26, 2014 Syd wrote:

In my appreciation for life I am thankful for learning to surrender to the value of faith without reference to anyone. I need to say this faith feels empty.  Because of my beliefs and my identity within my beliefs this faith feels like nothingness.  Therefore, to counteract the terror and despair this faith is a leap into the unknown.  There is no accomplishment or a particular achievement, as this faith is Divine awareness.  This faith is its own value, an unshakable confidence, where its Essence cannot be lost or harmed, even within the void.  The IS emerges beyond beliefs and what is learned.  Faith centers in Essence, like Divine awareness, and is a still point.  This faith falls into being nothing, empty, and paradoxically everything.  Faith can do no other, is its own support, and makes everything already here the Supreme Being.      

On Nov 26, 2014 Thanks giving wrote:

 Back at you, brother!

On Nov 27, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving to all! wrote:

 In appreciation for Syd's life, I pray for Fullness (to cup overflowing) of Faith this "Thanks Giving".  Thank you, in advance Lord for changing his empty, nothingness, terror, despair and unknown into (appropriate) FULLNESS, SOMETHINGNESS, FEARLESSNESS, CONFIDENT ASSURANCE  that You ARE in control.  
in You we live, love and have a reason to be grateful.  I LOVE YOU BROTHER!  

On Nov 28, 2014 Abhishek wrote:

 Touched by its simplicity and profoundness....every day deserves to be a thanks giving day! :)

On Jan 17, 2015 Kaz58 wrote:

Br David, a very wise and wonderful human. This pledge is thought map for grateful living.

On Feb 10, 2015 Allin wrote:

 When we place what we want to over come first, in sentence or mind. It holds a place, the first place. Then we place something which needs to overcome the first place, and there is an effort to come to equal, balance with, then overcome the thing we placed first in sentence of mind. 
When we simple place gratitude, generosity, creativity, non-violence, and courage in our sentence, or our mind, they fill the space just by themselves. Then we feel them, without another thought to over come. Then they fill, and over flow, and become the thought which is easy to realize just by itself, and as it fills the space of mind and being.