Br.David SeindlRast a Benedictine monk now in his eighties says that as a teenager in Austria during the Nazi occupation he had never expected to reach the age of twenty.
Food wes scarce, his family often lived on little more than soup made from weeds and he was sure he'd be drafted and killed in combat.He remained happy despite all the dangers and difficulties, because against the backdrop of impending death,he had seen life as the gift it was.
That deep sense of appreciation has never left him. To Br.David greatfulness means experiencing ' great fullness,' feeling full in every moment, appreciating exactly what is. He says 'happiness is not what makes us gratefull; it is gratefullness that makes us happy.'
Here is an example of Br. David's exercises for increasing feelings of gratefulness in life. Each day he picks a 'theme for the day' to focus on. If it's water, for example,every time he washes his hands, waters the plants or brushes his teeth, he notices and appreciates the water and uses it as a reminder to be present in the moment in pure gratefulness.
Gratefulness.org is his website.