Gratefulness: Life as a Wholehearted Journey


An on-demand eCourse with David Whyte, with appearances by Br. David Steindl-Rast

In this six-part eCourse, we will traverse the subtle terrain of “wholeheartedness” as both “antidote to exhaustion” and as what becomes available when we live with immediacy. We will explore what it means to move through life as a “pilgrim” — letting go of what no longer serves us, taking nothing for granted, and being willing to show our gratefulness for our particular gifts by allowing them full expression in the world.


You can think about gratefulness …as a state of being, a kind of frontier, a measure of the intensity of your presence and the ability to occupy this edge between what you think is you and what you think is not you, and to BE that conversation.
~ David Whyte

  • What does it mean to live our lives on the edge of what hasn’t yet happened – the vivid space where everything is happening NOW?
  • What is possible when we fully occupy this moment, rather than being lost in thinking about what could have been, should have been, or might be?
  • How can the practice of grateful living help us to be more present, see our opportunities and gifts, and “fill our well” as an antidote to stress and exhaustion?

We invite you to join us in exploring these questions, and many more, through listening to reflections, poems, and stories shared by poet, David Whyte, at a gathering in 2012 for Br. David Steindl-Rast’s 86th birthday in San Francisco. After his talk, David Whyte sat down to have a conversation with Br. David, who joins him in the last video segment.   

Course Details:

Each session includes:

  • A 3 – 5-minute video clip from a talk given by David Whyte at the summit
  • Full transcript of the video clip
  • Featured poem
  • Questions for reflection and discussion
  • Suggested practices

Session Themes:

Part One:  Wholeheartedness
Part Two: Pilgrimage
Part Three: The Glimpse
Part Four: Frontier
Part Five: Holy Ground
Part Six: As Kingfisher Catches Fire

This Program is Designed to:

  • help you connect with what makes you feel alive and wholehearted
  • help you discover what might be holding you back from living more wholeheartedly
  • offer Grateful Living practices to “fill your well,” as an antidote to stress and exhaustion
  • offer ways to reframe life’s transitions and to see the opportunities within them
  • invite you to recognize your unique gifts, and allow them full expression in the world.

eCourse Cost $0

* This eCourse is currently offered at no cost as part of our mission to make our services accessible to all. All donations to our non-profit enable us to offer our services at no cost and without advertising. Donations are tax-deductible and deeply appreciated.

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David Whyte –  Poet, Author, Speaker

Poet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

The author of eight books of poetry and four books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, Amazon and Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.

His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership.

For more information, visit David Whyte’s website.

Br. David Steindl-RastBr. David Steindl-Rast – Monk, Author, Teacher

Born in Vienna, Austria, David Steindl-Rast studied art, anthropology, and psychology, at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (MA) and the University of Vienna (PhD). In 1953, he joined Mount Saviour Benedictine Monastery, where he is now a senior member. He began studying Zen in the 1960s, and became a pioneer in interfaith dialogue. In 1975 he received the Martin Buber Award for his achievements building bridges between religious traditions.

His books have been translated into many languages. Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer and A Listening Heart have been reprinted and anthologized for more than two decades. Brother David co-authored Belonging to the Universe (winner of the 1992 American Book Award), a dialogue on new paradigm thinking in science and theology with physicist, Fritjof Capra. His dialogue with Buddhists produced The Ground We Share: Buddhist and Christian Practice, co-authored with Robert Aitken Roshi. His most recent books are Words of Common Sense, Deeper than Words:  Living the Apostles’ Creed, 99 Blessings:  An Invitation to Life, and the upcoming The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life.

Brother David is a co-founder of A Network for Grateful Living and, where he currently serves as a senior advisor.

This course is offered in partnership and with the permission of Many Rivers Company.