With the release of our Fall 2011 issue and our e-book 20 Years, 20 Teachingsfree to Supporting and Sustaining Members—Tricycle is celebrating 20 great years. Looking back, and looking forward, our feeling is one of overwhelming gratitude to our readers and supporters who have kept us pedaling all these years.

Not long ago we wrote to several friends of the magazine—teachers, writers, and practitioners—and asked them to speak about gratitude in their lives. We’ll post these on the blog over the next few weeks.

Today we begin with our contributing editor, bestselling author Mark Matousek. He writes:

Once, I had a conversation with David Steindl-Rast, an 80-year-old Benedictine monk, about what it means to live a happy life.  “We must create a network of grateful living if we want to survive on this planet,” Brother David told me. “”Gratitude is a profound spiritual practice.”  This means gratitude for the day, I’ve learned—deep gratitude for all that we’re given—starting with the chance to be human at all, and on this miraculous earth. The brevity of our lives should only intensify this gratitude.  “If the cardinal’s flight from bank to bank were less brief,” wrote another monk (this one a thousand years ago), “it would also be less glorious.” Gratitude is the awakener.

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