Beliefnet

For the first few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, most Americans felt a heightened sense of gratitude. As a New Yorker, I found myself suddenly grateful for things ordinary -- water, a roof over my head, and electricity -- and extraordinary, such as the flood of calls and e-mails from friends and family making sure I was okay.

But, I keep wondering, can I possibly make this feeling last? Can the country as a whole? To do so will require us to think radically anew about gratitude, making it a notion far more central to our lives. We'll need a "gratitude revolution."

As a nation, we've designated one day each year to give thanks for our blessings. But the world's faiths and spiritual traditions have long emphasized the value of creating small, regular, frequent rituals to make us continually conscious of what we have. Here are eight ways -- some plucked from the world's religions, others from spiritually-creative people of today -- to help keep us on a heightened state of gratefulness alert.

Eight Ways to Stay Grateful Always
Click on any of the suggestions below:
One:Start Your Day Gratefully
Two:End Your Day Gratefully -- No Matter How Rotten the Day Was
Three:Say Grace Before Meals
Four:Keep a Gratitude Journal
Five:Go Crazy With Post-It Notes
Six:Set a Daily Compliment Quota
Seven:Resurrect the Thank-You Note
Eight:Give Something Away
Bonus:Bless Everything Always



One: Start Your Day Gratefully

"When we first wake up, our minds are very subtle and delicate," says Tibetan Buddhist teacher Thubten Chodron. "If we set a strong positive motivation at this time, there is a greater chance of it staying with us and influencing us throughout the day."

There's a Jewish prayer, the shechechiyanu

, whose exuberant spirit of praise and gratitude makes it a beautiful way of beginning the day:

Blessed art Thou, Lord our God,

Ruler of the Universe,

For keeping us alive and preserving us and

Permitting us to behold this day.

A Shinto morning prayer states:

"I pray that this day, the whole day, as a child of God, I may not be taken hold of by my own desire, but show forth the divine glory by living a life of creativeness, which shows forth the true individual."

Here are Christian, Ethiopian, Suffi and other morning prayers.

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