Readings and exercises from Rainbow Path on Gratitude 18.6.2020

Opening and Closing Words by Karl

We join in this place where many will have given thanks for the sacred steps which have brought them here.

We join in this place where all are welcome every body, being, creed and colour are welcome here. Gratitude is the heart’s gift.

This is our sacred home together, we give thanks here we love here, we give gratitude here all that has been, all that shall be. And all that has to be.

Welcome in thanks as we all join in taking our sacred steps. Those that we may hear in the whisper of the wind under the moon and stars, in the rain and sun. We are in gratitude for all that is day and night. And in the sun and rain.

May we give thanks for the meal of riches we have shared, all that is the hearts own song, for all we lament. May we walk our sacred ways from this sanctuary, into this journey home and take with us the peace of our epilogue, together in gratitude.


Exercises led by Mark

Reading from

“Gratitude is the act of feeling and communicating appreciation for the people, circumstances and material possessions in our lives. It allows us to cherish our present in ways that make us feel in abundance rather than deprived. As a result, we become more motivated, less fatigued and, ultimately, better off.

Scientifically, gratitude boosts the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin and the hormone oxytocin, all associated with wellbeing and having a positive outlook on life. Clinical studies prove the positive effects of gratitude on the recovery of patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic heart failure, supporting what many religions and spiritual traditions have been predicating for millennia: gratitude does good.

The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning “pleasing; welcome; agreeable.” Gratus is also the root of related terms such as grace, gratuity and gratis, all signifying positive moods, actions and ideas.

This is because of its Proto-Indo-European root, gwere, meaning “to praise, to celebrate; to be in contact with the Divine.” In other words, being grateful is equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. It is the same as being in a state of bliss. It allows us to see value, virtue and benefit in everything. In this regard, gratitude can be considered the antidote to many forms of suffering.”

Why should we be grateful?

E.M Forster Room with a View Quote

Mr Emerson “by the side of the everlasting Why there is a Yes--a transitory Yes if you like, but a Yes”

Victoria Wood ‘Attitude is Gratitude’ - Audio clip

Exercise 1

Everyone name 5 things in their immediate environment, and why e.g. I’m grateful for this chair because it means I don’t have to sit on the floor

Chance to note these down first

Exercise 2

Spirals of Gratitude – Systems Thinking – The interdependent web of all existence

Think about things we use or rely on in every day life, and the paths or spirals of gratitude which lead us back

Systems thinking diagrams – all gather ideas on the white board.

“Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system's constituent parts interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems”

Grateful for bread

Think about different things that go into bread which you can be thankful for:

Earth - soil

Air - wind

Fire - sun

Water – rain



Factory worker

Packaging maker

Shop keeper

Delivery driver


People around people

All their family,


support systems,





Town councils and governments













Other examples

Exercise 3

Love thy enemies: being grateful for difficult, frustrating or even painful things

From Rumi’s Guest House

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
still treat each guest honorably.

Why should we be thankful for these? Think of one painful or frustrating thing and why we could be grateful for it?

Traffic jam – chance to listen to a good podcast - red light – chance to take a deep breath, supermarket running out of your favourite food – save a few calories, reminder of those who really don’t have enough to eat.

Thankful for difficult things as a way to develop empathy.

Exercise 4

The what’s and the what not’s

Thankful for one thing that didn’t happen

Thankful for one thing that did - ‘sudden gift of fate’.