What Are You Grateful For?

What is it that makes Thanksgiving such a powerful notion and valued celebration?  In studying all manner of philosophy and contemplative practice of late, I have noticed a widespread, repeating thread that might begin to answer the question.  That is, the power of the practice of gratitude.  To get an idea of how popular the idea is, try googling ‘practice of gratitude’ and explore the results.  One high-rated result is a short spot by Brene Brown (who was featured earlier on this blog) that serves as a great introduction to the subject:

Happy Thanksgiving!

77 responses to “What Are You Grateful For?

  1. A simple pleasure since leaving Scientology: the willingnes and the ability to feel sincerely grateful, easily and daily.

  2. Thank you Marty!!

    I’ve been following your blog now since 2009 and what an adventure it has been. I am so grateful for this blog. I’ve made new friends, I’ve found old friends and I’ve been able to watch the ebb and flow of how our “beliefs” can and do change.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that those who are not grateful for every single adventure in their life, for what many would deem proof of their victimhood or at least proof that they have the right to now hate …

    These people are at best boring and at worst toxic.

    Each day I try to be grateful for something I might consider WONDERFUL and “proof” of my own “goodness” as well as grateful for something I might consider painful, foolish, bad or even evil … which is further proof of my humanness and ultimately my goodness.

    Brother David Steindl-Rast who is actually a Benedictine Monk (not Jesuit, as Brene Brown mentioned and quoted in the above video) said “Gratefulness implies an openness for the surprises of life.”

    May we all continue to be open to the surprises in our lives and recognize the courage it does take to be so open.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all


  3. Yea— this is interesting as here in Denmark we never celebrated thanksgiving at all, but now it is slowly creeping in, in some homes. It is a strong tradition apparently and is not to be denied.
    Happy Thanksgivi’n everyone!!!
    (Excuse: When is it actually?).

  4. Very profound insight. Thanks for sharing that.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Marty

  6. I am thankful for my husband David who always has my back, my family,my friends,my animals who are always faithful, my freedom and being alive during a time that even though at times tries “men’s” souls is an experience I could not have lived without quite honestly. This life has been good to me and I to it. I am thankful for me and what I have accomplished and for what I continue to accomplish. Happy Thanksgiving to you all and I am thankful for all of you!<3<3<3.

  7. Eohippus the Wan

    I am very grateful to have found such a warm and comfy spot on the couch in your blog, Marty. Oodles of love to you, Mosey and William! xoxoxo


  8. I am grateful for having been able to leave the cult fairly unscathed.
    I am grateful for living in a part of the world that is not constantly hit by war famine or disastrous weather.
    I am grateful for having found many like minded friends.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  9. I am thankful for Marty taking so much of his valuable time to write this blog and for the people that gather with similar reality, comment etc. over the heartwrenching situation regarding the takeover of the church and altered tech. The gathering of people here, and the FB ‘ Indy Events’, along with the ‘Something Can Be Done About It ‘ blog all help tremendously! I am very grateful for people who are delivering the full bridge standardly outside of the church on trade, barter, co audit and/or reasonable fees. I am grateful it is working, – and happy having big wins and gains with the LRH tech used properly outside of the church. So very grateful.

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to everybody on this blog!


  11. Hey there Pingovino!,
    This year, it is today,Thursday, November 28th.

  12. Hi Marty, Mosey and William. Happy thanksgiving.

    I have so much to be greatful for. Four great kids and nine wonderful grandkids. A group of friends who appreciate what they have and who are learning with us. So many intelligent people who share their wisdom with the world.

    I’m grateful that I live in a country where men are free to communicate their ideas of life, religion and philosophy without fear of imprisonment unless they are threatening or harming others.

    I think that focusing on being grateful for what is right, just and spiriually uplifting is the route to more of the same. I’m also grateful that I can confront injustice, wrongness and spiritually degrading activities without the need to imbue myself or my life with such.

    Thanks for providing the forum where I can say this, Marty. You are so appreciated.

  13. gretchen dewire

    I have belonged to a 12 step program for awhile now and making gratitude lists is our way of staying away from self pity and victomhood. It is very effective..I am grateful for my 12 step program and to this blog for making all my trials easier to bare. Happy thanksgiving.

  14. I am grateful for my beloved husband. What a great guy. I’m so lucky we met.

  15. Natural Philosopher

    Hi Marty, I am extremely grateful to yourself and Mike Rinder for actively blogging and shining a light on the craziness that is now Corporate Scientology, and that I pulled out in time to re-establish my life and move on.
    I’ve married the most wonderful wife and am creating a new life working in areas I really enjoy. More recently I found the book ‘The Magic’ which addresses in detail the subject of gratitude, and we both worked through the exercises in the book. I must say the results were fabulous! We found that undesirable conditions fell away, and we now experience fabulous outcomes by applying – gratitude! It really works wonders.
    It is interesting to compare it to working in the Sea Org, where gratitude was a commodity that was in very short supply. Even more so, in being declared a ‘Special Person’ there was zero gratitude shown for the decades of work I put in to forward the cause. Forgiveness was the other element sadly lacking, as well as gratitude. (A misinterpretation of ‘cold, chrome steel’ perhaps! But I have moved on and up, and can be thankful that our future looks bright and my life is on track. Gratitude is now a huge part of it and it really works!

  16. Gratitude gave me my life back. I am grateful I am able to help my mother. I am grateful for my friends and my courage, and to you Marty, for sharing your thoughts and allowing us to come together here to share ours. I have grown so much in the last year, and continue to do so.

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family. Gratitude is good. It paves the road in life, and with it you will always find open doors.

  17. I guess this definition of gratitude says it all: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”, for me especially the last part, return kindness.

  18. As a philosophy Scientology data must be pooled with extant knowledge, and the research must continue.

    I took the idea from the L-11 process to develop the following KHTK process.


    My first application of it on Skype today produced a very good result in a simple, easy going, one-hour session. That KHTK student can now continue with step 9 of this process on his own to get more out of it.


  19. Mary Rathernotsay

    Hi Marty,
    I seem to recall in one of your books you described how back when you were pulling away from the church you were reduced to celebrating Thanksgiving Day with a staff member’s dog, and you said never again.
    I am real happy for you that now you have a loving family and tons of friends and people who respect and admire you. That is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, and a great example for us all.
    I am thankful for friends, neighbors, my sweetheart husband, kids and grandchildren….But most of all I am most humbly and lovingly grateful to Mother Earth for providing such abundance and beauty today and every day.
    Every day is a new miracle that begins with the rising Sun.
    Thank you all.

  20. 1789

    “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

    Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition’s of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

    And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”

    – George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

  21. Happy Thanksgiving / Hanukkah to all my fellow (spiritual liberated) SPs !
    I am eternally grateful to Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder for helping me out of my own fabricated *mental prison* and out of the tunnel.
    Bright Blessings and best wishes to all on this blog. (L)

  22. 2013

    I’ve observed and concluded some great blessings have been horribly squandered.

    A great effort is in store for those who can shoulder that reality. The rest will reel.

  23. If communication is a solvent, then gratitude, in part, is the grease that facilitates an exit from the cult.

  24. I am thankful for this blog/forum and the role it and your books, have played in releasing me from the lies I had accepted and told myself, all in an effort to make the wrong seem right.

    I am most of all grateful to my friends – Bruce and Loren in particular – and the many others who helped me get through the double loss of wife and church, until I stand here today with more than I hoped or dreamed possible, and a very bright personal future.

    Because of disconnection, a day like today is not without pain. But a sense of gratitude – knowledge of the amazing grace that saved a wretch like me – soothes my heart and soul, and lifts me safely above troubled waters.

    I am grateful for my material successes and spiritual freedom.

  25. I am grateful for the free ARC to and from all of you;
    Love, Mark

  26. I start off my day, every day, with gratitude that I live another glorious day. When I find myself delving into the negative, I switch mental gears and ask myself “what am I grateful for? Focus on that.” Things get into perspective and balance as a result, right quick. Thank you Marty for all your hard work. I for one am deeply grateful for what you do. And you’re doing a lot of right; look at the beautiful son that has come into your life. Ahhh, karma.

  27. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.

    T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
    And Grace, my fears relieved.
    How precious did that Grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    I have already come;
    ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
    and Grace will lead me home.

    The Lord has promised good to me.
    His word my hope secures.
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

    When we’ve been here ten thousand years
    Bright shining as the sun.
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’ve first begun.

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind, but now I see.

  28. When I was 4 1/2 years old (c. 1964) and living with foster parents, I had an unfortunate misunderstanding with an automatic pistol and very nearly died. I am certainly grateful for every moment of Life I have had since then.

    However, I am *also* grateful for this incident, despite the terrible injuries and pain which resulted from that gunshot. You see, at the moment that bullet went clear through my upper body, I traveled to a higher plane. There I “spoke” with certain spirits who told me I could remain there and be happy forever — or I could return to Life and I would have an important duty. I am here on a “Mission from God” (see The Blues Brothers), if you will. Without that traumatic accident, I might not have begun my spiritual search that led me to Scientology.

    Michael A. Hobson
    Independent Scientologist

  29. I’m grateful for the unlimited love and tolerance of an incomparable woman who bore me two wonderful children. I’m grateful for the love and wisdom of my family and friends who relentlessly pursue a better life for all. I’m grateful for those great thinkers of the past and present who inspire me to dream and strive…

    And I’m grateful for gratitude!

  30. And I’m grateful for these three cats right here:

  31. Much thanks to you and yours! Very thankful for the blessing of William into your lives.

    Thank you for your work involving the dismantling of CO$. We couldn’t do it without you or Mark R.

    My gratitude knows no bounds……

    Hope you both ate lots of turkey!!

  32. I have personally found the practice of gratitude to be very tone-raising. I am thankful for your work and blog, Marty, as well as a loving family, our new condo, the auditing tech of LRH, and to be still alive and well on this beautiful and interesting planet.

  33. God Bless you Gretchen 🙂

  34. I am grateful for hot running water, wonderful friends, a wonderful wife, music, meditation, all spiritual masters, my kitty, my mom and dad, living in America.
    I am grateful for all the love in each of us that unites us as children of God. I am grateful to you my Infinite Father/Mother/Friend/God for this gift called life. I bow in reverence to the Electric Magnificence of the Invisible Intelligence animating and permeating all things animate and inanimate, conscious and unconscious, material and non material.

  35. I am grateful for the conditions that make it possible for me, to make a difference in someone else’s life. To be of some value to others. To be a problem solver. This makes it possible for me to have value in other people’s lives when I can help them. To have the conversations that have value and improve understanding in this life, for myself and others. My auditors, my friends. The company I have. The experience of taking an afternoon nap on the couch every once in a while on a rainy day with my little weenie dog snuggled up beside me watching over me. I am grateful when the mail comes. I am grateful for the scientists, the explorers, and the pilgrims into the unknown that lead us down paths of adventure. The writers who write the books and make it possible for me to view life from other angles. The people who create pleasure moments for others and the people who stand up to bullies. People who take care of their kids. Men who take care of women. Women who create more people. Women who take care of men. The people who put grits on the grocery shelf. The people who enhance and expand lines of communiation. Help. Water Earth Fire Wind, Matter Energy Space and Time. Music. Dancers, poets, artists and songwriters. Wine makers and medicine makers. Problem solvers. People that can cook. People that can listen. Rescue workers. People that take care of their parents. Work. Transportation. All night diners. Soldiers. Lawyers. Poppys. Books. Pasta. Tomatoes. Storage containers. Paper. Paint. Cameras. Animals. Ships. Storytellers. Gas. Salt. A civilization where the impossible can become possible. Magic. Bars. Pubs. Inns. Innkeepers. Shelter. Blankets. Cloth. Getta shoes. People who care about the people in front of them. Justice. Rain. And people who can fall down and get back up again.

  36. I am gratefull for my place of work. It keeps me sane
    Not me in the video and not my work but it’s the most spectaculair part.

  37. Perhaps today is as good as any to post this.

  38. I’m grateful for you Marty, for what you have done, for what you are doing.

    That this long journey was not in vain, that we will have a something worth having.

    And I’m very grateful for all the brave soul that contributed to and are contributing to this wonderful motion.

    Happy Thanks Giving to all!

  39. I am grateful for my beautiful sons and their girls , my husband .
    The tireless work of Marty and Mike and others in helping others to get out of the confusion .
    My life has been joyful.
    Right now I feel nothing but the intense loss of half of my family recently. caused by disconnection.
    Being naturally grateful and joyful ,I get a glimpse of it once in a while and the pain takes over.
    It is not forever ,I am grateful for that.

  40. Letting go – That is so beautiful it brought tears. Thank you for posting.

  41. Thanks for the post Marty, I’m grateful we are all doing so well despite any CI in the universe 🙂

  42. I’m thankful that I am not perfect, and that I know that’s ok. It’s a part of life to be imperfect, and it’s also a part of life to work towards getting a little better as you go. I’m thankful that I can find little ways of improving how I live my life and how I treat others.

    Finally, I’m also thankful for thoughtful, helpful people out there who teach me new ideas, share their thoughts, and give me good examples to follow. This blog is an example of that- thanks, Marty!

  43. Thanks for sharing that. Astonishing. You might enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath.

  44. This was beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing with us, Marty.

  45. I am thankfull for Marty posting my request for Anonycat and for all the people that chipped in. He or she is posting like hell again on ESSMB

    Thank you


  46. They admit things without being on the cans because f trust and love

  47. I am thankfull that in spite of the fact the Church of Scientology is a small cult we all are still here counter creating David Miscavige

  48. How to thank a Marty and his life companion Mosey

  49. Martry and Mosey I would like to hug

  50. please watch a real Humatarian, Yes it is propaganda, BUT NO LIES ARE IN IT

  51. Marty I had such a wonderful cry.

  52. I saw this video and joined in theprotests, go seu me Kendrick Moxon.

  53. Marty, you know you arte a fun guy

  54. one of those who see

    you have no idea how perfect this video was for me at this moment. Thank you Letting go. The church has left this philosophy. Therein is the problem.

  55. Gratitude is, of course, not a one day a year thing it’s an every moment thing and it is where Be, Do and Have are One. Some while ago, I was mulling over the idea of gratitude and I realized that so often the lion’s share of my attention was on what I needed to do, needed to get, didn’t do, didn’t get, did do and did get… that I wasn’t anywhere near being grateful. And certainly, because I wasn’t being in the moment I was actually in, any gratitude that I did experience was directed toward what seemed to be the past. With this realization I decided to make a conscious effort to be conscious of all that I had to be grateful for in the moment I was in. At first it was difficult and I struggled with it. The gratitude I felt came out as a drop here and a drop there but, as I continued, the velocity and frequency of the drops steadily increased and, before long, became a magnificent waterfall of gratitude. It turns out I have an enormous amount to be grateful for! For example, I am enormously grateful for Marty and his blog and each and every one that contributes to this blog. And, I am incredibly grateful that my mind continues to open up into an unbelievable vastness of creation that I’m willing to embrace and not fear.

    Have you heard the one about the child screaming and kicking because he wants ice cream. All the time, he is making this extreme fuss, his father is waiting patiently at the door of his room to show him that he has brought him ice cream and fruit? It’s about gratitude. Once we stop ‘fussing’ and begin to be grateful we begin to recognize that what we believe we lack has actually been there for us all along.

  56. I’m gratefull to read a few more posts from you 🙂

  57. I was really impressed by your place of work!

  58. And gratefull you took me there 🙂

  59. Hey I’m reading that right now! Good book. His sociological insights are profound.

  60. Sometimes I suprise myself, people this is real people and real communication

  61. Kendrick Moxon we have a video for you

    Butt you are a slick guy, You are a better adversary than David Miscavige. But do not relax, we (Anonymous) have our eye on you.

  62. Am grateful for this blog, the video on gratefulness you posted, and the many good people and things that are in my life.

    I guess, in a backwards sort of way, I am thankful that CoS seems to be tone deaf as to the what they could be doing to stabilize vs. what they are doing reflexively which will do them in.

    Take something as simple as the letter from robert.w.aster@jpl.nasa.gov on Mike Rinder’s blog. That’s a .gov email domain. There is supposed to be separation of church and state. Government resources, like that .gov, cannot be used for personal purposes or private gain — especially not religious purposes. Of course that’s just a “wog” rule that can be ignored by the “most ethical” group on the planet. It appears to me that Scientologists themselves (the in, kool-aid drinking brand) do a better job at proving their inappropriateness than the most bitter, defrocked apostate R6 toting, rapid psych SP could ever do.

    I’m not grateful for anyone’s pain. I am grateful that the true nature of the cult is becoming exposed. By distorting its true nature and beliefs, CofS has violated one key rule of its supposed spiritual ancestor: Buddhism. In Buddhism, per some Buddhist scholars, lying is a greater wrong than stealing or even killing, which might be the right action in some contexts. But to lie — that’s to distort reality. And Scientology knows that alter-is-ness (lying, roughly) creates persistence. They cannot apply their own teaching of the most fundamental sort. I guess Tom Cruise should point out to CofS, as he did to Matt Laurer, that they are _glib_.

  63. Yes I am ussually full of mocking and degration

    Unicef Gala : Polish Nightingales

  64. For Scientologists getting out of the cult: He was a redhead

    I will be youtr history proffesor

  65. A real Scientologist

  66. burnedbutnotbitter

    I finished Memoirs (or Marty’s book 3 as my friends like to call it) and am reading Tao Te Ching/Mitchell. Wrote you a review on Amazon. Am working on getting my own book about psych drugs publicized. Loved Brene Brown’s clip. Struggled thru celebrating Thanksgiving and Hannukah at the same time, and am feeling grateful right now for many things, including my husband’s potato latkes. Happy Chanukah. You can spell it anyway you want to, it’s the same story of liberation. Thank you, Jill

  67. burnedbutnotbitter

    And Mazel Tov on the new baby!

  68. martyrathbun09

    Thanks Jill.

  69. Cat Daddy — I’d never seen the Nikita video before nor heard the song that I recall. I found that to be a beautiful metaphor for how those of us outside the totalitarian structure can still passionately love those who are trapped.

    In a way, it was fake love that got them hooked. Maybe real love can get them out.

  70. It seems my “antics” in posting deliver unexpected results

    Thank you

  71. This one gets to me every Time I listen to it. General Mass Problem much ?

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