David's Desk Archives

     From J.M. about David's Desk: "David, I always look forward to your monthly pieces, and always feel a lifting in my heart/soul on those days when I see the subject line in my email box. I have enjoyed all of them, often pondering on them for days or weeks or more afterwards."

     Thanks, David, for the magnificent teachings and observations you gave us, the amazing exercises you set for us, and for all the varied and profound discussion that all the forum-ites were willing to bring to all of it! Thank you, thank you all." —RR, Program Participant

     David, your work is valuable, and I am delighted to support it and you in this way. And the forums – even when I haven't had the time to engage with them as fully as I would like – are always rich, full, evolutionary experiences. Thank you for continuing to offer this subscription series." —HB, Views from the Borderland subscriber

     Thank you, David, once again for your amazing thoughts. I just adore the idea of 'Fingerprints of Love.' It really struck a cord with me, you promote love and respect in most of your thoughts, and I really work toward that goal on a daily basis." —DE, about “David’s Desk”

Books by David Spangler

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Views from the Borderlands

Beginning each June, Lorian offers an annual subscription program for
Views from the Borderlands. This quarterly includes these benefits:
 Views from the Borderlands, a printed journal of David Spangler’s perceptions of the subtle worlds, mailed four times a year at the equinoxes and solstices.
 Two online forums a year, one in the spring, one in the fall, where David Spangler will be available to discuss material from the quarterly journals and answer questions.

Click here for further information. The subscription cost is $100 annually.
Incarnational Thoughts

Water Spirit Message

by David Spangler I’m posting the following story at the request of a water spirit I encountered four or five days ago. I’ve held off sharing it partly because of the holidays and partly due to wanting to make sure that it was a valid contact. After some reflection, I believe that it was. I haven’t had Read more…

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Subtle Activism After Events in the Syrian Civil War

Question and Comments with David Spangler TH: A question has been percolating in my mind. I know I feel Subtle Activism creates a feeling in me of it having an effect. And I know we have talked about creating a field of love. But I was wondering what is the real effect? How do our inner allies Read more…

Posted in David Spangler, Incarnational Thoughts 2 | Leave a comment
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David’s Desk

David Spangler
 About David Spangler

David’s Desk is my opportunity to share thoughts and tools for the spiritual journey. These letters are my personal insights and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. 


If you wish to share this letter with others, please feel free to do so; however the material is © 2014 by David Spangler. If you no longer wish to receive these letters please let us know at info@Lorian.org.

Previous issues of “David’s Desk” are available here. You can also buy a volume of twelve of David’s Desk essays, entitled The Flame of Incarnation.

~ David’s Desk, Current Issue ~

#90 Gratefulness

November 2014

            For those of my readers who live in the United States of America, you know that this month we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving. So I felt it would be appropriate to say a few words about gratefulness in honor of the occasion, recognizing that taking time to be thankful transcends national borders and different cultures. It’s a human act that as much as any other strengthens our spirit and empowers us in our quest for wholeness. Giving thanks is a key that opens a door to greater connectedness and greater participation in the life of the world. It is one of the most powerful spiritual practices available to us.

            Learning to say “thank you” is one of the earliest social graces that most parents teach their children. As such, it’s a recognition of another’s kindness and an expression of appreciation for it. But usually, such appreciation is paired with having received something. It’s easy to view gratefulness within a context of cause and effect. Someone does something for us, and we say thank you. Someone gives us something, and we say thank you.

            I remember very well after Christmas and birthdays sitting down to write thank you notes for gifts I’d received. Usually this was at my mother’s insistence; I’d much rather have been off playing with those gifts, especially as Mom wished me to say something personal and meaningful in each note. No simple “thanks a lot, Gran’ma!” This was particularly hard when the gift didn’t mean much to me or was something I didn’t really want. Part of me would sit back in a corner of my mind and complain, “I have to say thank you for that?” As a kid, gratefulness did not always come easily!

            But I’m glad to say I learned, though I’m sure there are many kindnesses that people do for me even now that I don’t acknowledge as fully as I could. In fact, I’m so aware these days of how much I receive on a daily basis from just about every aspect of my life that I could spend all my time saying “Thank You!”

            The most important thing I learned about gratefulness, though, didn’t have anything to do with writing thank you notes. At some point in my life—I no longer remember when—I realized that gratefulness really has nothing to do with receiving something. It’s not part of a pair, not part of a chain of cause and effect defined by getting something and then saying thank you. It exists on its own as a way of being open to life and to the flow of love that is at the heart of spirituality.

            How to explain this?

            I am a life-long asthmatic. It has not been a crippling affliction but there are times of the year and environmental conditions that can cause my chest to tighten and my lungs to constrict until it feels like I’m suffocating, which, in fact, I am. I discovered early on the vicious circle that this can create. Breathing becomes labored which triggers stress and a deep body-fear of not getting enough air; this stress, in turn, heightens the asthmatic reaction, making it still harder to breath, which, of course, creates more stress, and so on. In dealing with this ailment, I learned that I had to calm myself and banish the fear. Often, just doing this would begin to bring relief. But still I would wonder if I would ever breathe again, forgetting entirely that perhaps only minutes earlier I had been breathing normally.

            What asthma does, at least for me, is make me conscious of breathing. It’s easy to be unconscious of breathing; it’s easy to take it for granted. As an asthmatic, though, I realized I couldn’t take it for granted. As a consequence, I learned when I was breathing normally and easily to stop and appreciate that fact. In such moments, I would be filled with wonder at the simple act of taking air in and letting it out in an unrestricted way. How marvelous! And in such moments, I would also suddenly be filled with gratefulness for my breath and for my body.

            In this way, I was led around to paying attention to many of the simple things of my life, things that are not gifts per se. No one has given them to me. They don’t require thank you notes (thank heavens!). But they inspire appreciation.

            I want to stress how simple these things are. The feel of a hot cup of tea in my hand. The usefulness of my computer in helping me write. The sound of voices (being partly deaf, I am always grateful when I clearly hear and understand what someone has said to me!). The taste of chocolate. The sound of rain on the roof as I lie in bed in the dark at night. The beauty of the trees and plants I see out my window. The pleasure of a good book or a funny television show. The thought of the love and support that you, dear readers, so often send to me after one of these essays.

            Few of these things are gifts as we usually think of gifts, and yet, if we think about it, everything in our life is a gift of one kind or another. Right now it’s raining outside where I live and it’s been raining for about a week, not a hard rain but a gentle, persistent one. I have family living in California who are living through a historic draught and who would give their eye teeth (and whoever knew that eyes had teeth?) for some rain. How can I not be grateful for the gift of water from the heavens?

            What I’ve discovered is that by acknowledging these simple gifts (and they are endless) and being grateful, it has opened a door to experience the wonder of life, the wonder of the world and of the spirit within it. It also enables me to see just how interconnected and interdependent we all are. Being thankful opens the heart, the mind, and the spirit. It’s as simple as that. And as profound.

            Even feeling gratefulness—being able to appreciate things—is itself something for which to be grateful. It is a testimony to the spirit within us that can rise above the constricting limits of selfishness. It takes us out of the unconsciousness of “taking for granted” and lets us see the world in all its beauty, all its richness, all its possibilities.   And this lets us see ourselves in the same way and to appreciate the miracle that walks around wearing our skin. What an amazing power to have!

            Nothing stops us during the day from just taking a “gratefulness moment”—not for blessings, not for gifts, not gratefulness for anything, but gratefulness as a state of being. (You can also take time to feel grateful for things in your life, but this is a different exercise.) Feel what happens when you simply are gratefulness.

            It makes everyday a Thanksgiving Day.

            (And thanks, Mom, for making me write those thank you letters!)

David’s Desk is my opportunity to share thoughts and tools for the spiritual journey. These letters are my personal insights and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. If you wish to share this letter with others, please feel free to do so; however the material is ©2014 by David Spangler.

To learn more, explore this website, read the Lorian blog, view a short video, read past David's Desk posts or engage self study work. View the Calendar to learn more about other classes.