Spiritual Tools - Gratitude List

"I have all that I require."

What I can enjoy is so much greater than what I lack. In the past, when I got what I once lacked, it was not enough. It was not the car I wanted, but the absence of desire for the car. The Buddha revealed that desire is the root of all suffering.

Jesus said it is easier for the rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. I have heard the "needle" referred to was a narrow entrance into a walled city. Difficult but not impossible. It is not the wealth or the stuff that blocks me off from the sunlight of the spirit, but rather the delusion that anything outside of me can make me happy or joyous. If I earn wealth to better fit me to be of service, then it is spiritually motivated.

Somehow, counting my blessings and seeing them in writing has a power to dim desire if not actually remove it. In truth, life as we know it, is not happening anywhere near us in the universe. It is a great gift of what once was the stuff of stars to realize its own existence. Is that not enough? Or as one translation of the Tao Te Ching states "The Universe is benevolent and giving. Perfect in its design. I have all that I require."



  1. Gratitude
  2. Faith
  3. Patience
  4. Self-Discipline


  1. Get a small notebook or open a document or spreadsheet on your computer.
  2. List five things that you are grateful for now
  3. Close your eyes, pause thinking using meditative breathing
  4. Imagine images, smells, tastes and/or the touch of things associated with each item on the list
  5. Open your eyes and examine the Now in its completeness. Name three good things about your Now.


I have a close friend who keeps a gratitude list on his computer. He has been adding to it for over five years. He has one rule: no repeats. Five items added every day for over five years and no item is listed more than once. That comes to over 9000 items in five years. He is a teacher and has his elementary school kids doing the same exercise in class. The kids have taken it home to their parents. I bet you could if they can.