Gratitude, Grace & a Month of Self-Reflection
A distance learning program
Nov. 17 - Dec. 16, 2020
conducted by Gregg Krech
- 30 day program
- 24/7 access
- Go at your own pace
- Daily reflection exercises
- Online video, audio and readings
- Choice of text: Naikan or Question Your Life, by Gregg Krech
- Camaraderie of a global community
- 16 credits toward Certification in Japanese Psychology
About the Program
This month-long program will take you on a tour of your life, a very unique and personalized tour that is likely to be full of empowering, inspiring and transformative surprises.
Yes, of course you already know your life – you’re living it every minute -- but being caught up in your life is different than reflecting on your life. So much can be missed or misunderstood in the blur of our busy days. But during this 30 day guided process, you will have the opportunity to see with a fresh eye and feel with a softened heart, as you recognize the blessings that sustain your life and reflect on your relationships in a new and empowering way.
What you see may surprise you. It may soften your heart and open your mind. It may provide fresh answers to some of your oldest problems and help you to understand your place in the world in a new and meaningful way.
The program includes three different components:
- AN EXPERIENTIAL COMPONENT – through daily self-reflection exercises;
- AN EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT – through supportive readings and resources;
- A COMMUNITY COMPONENT – through the camaraderie of a global online discussion
What You Can Expect
You may notice that your relationships are improving.
As you discover new truths about your life and your relationships, you may become easier to get along with. You may be more appreciative of your friends and loved ones, and more attentive to their needs. You may be more understanding and forgiving.
You may become less anxious and/or depressed.
With the recognition of your global support team, you may find your spirits lifting and your anxiety settling down. You may develop more trust in life, as you recognize the network that has been coming through for you since day one.
You may notice that your personal story looks somewhat different now.
What you notice along this path may go beyond the scope of your current story line. You may find that you naturally modify your personal story line to accommodate this new information and, as a result, be more empowered and less vulnerable.
You may notice that your heart is softer.
Through the powerful and steady light of self-reflection, you may discover supports that have been sustaining you all along, and gifts that you have never noticed or appreciated. This expanded awareness may change your heart in a very noticeable way. You may be less judgmental or critical. You may be more compassionate and forgiving.
You may experience a deeper connection with life.
The more you notice and experience the interdependent nature of life, as you make your way on the path, the more deeply connected you will feel. The giver and receiver become intertwined and your place in the world becomes more grounded in connections and blessings.
This path may change the way you view your place in the world and prompt meaningful and significant changes in your life.
What You Will Receive
Our course website will provide you with the following:
A Calendar of Daily Exercises.These exercises are the heart of the program. They will give you an experiential framework for going beyond the concept of self-reflection to an actual month-long practice. Each exercise is designed to trickle into the heart of your life and reveal new facets of truth.
Online Resources.You will have access to stimulating and diverse resources, including video and audio, that will enhance your experience and support your efforts on this path.
Naikan: Gratitude, Grace & the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection by Gregg Krech.This award-winning book will provide you with a solid foundation for understanding and working with the practice of Naikan. (A substitute text is also available for those who already have read Naikan.)
Inclusion in a Global Community.Our programs reach a worldwide audience. It is not uncommon to have participants from 8 to 10 countries participating in our programs. A strong sense of camaraderie often develops through our online discussion, as participants share their challenges, insights, experiences and wisdom with the group.
“Our feelings are not under our control, so we cannot feel grateful by simply commanding it. Besides, it is not wise to wait for a time of grief or crisis before one starts the process of practicing gratitude. In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” -- Brother David Steindl-Rast
What You Will Do
With just an average commitment of about 30 minutes per day, this program can have a profound impact on your perspective on life and can help to stimulate meaningful and constructive changes. You will:
Start out each day with a specific exercise to work on.Many exercises direct you to reflect on a particular person or theme. Others may direct you to take a specific action that is informed by one of your reflections. Each exercise will fill in another piece of the self-reflection tapestry that you are creating.
Share your experiences and questions with the group.Though this is optional, we encourage you to make your voice heard. You will feel more engaged and connected and will enrich the community discussion. As you will discover, the participants in our programs bring a wealth of wisdom and support with them as they apply the program to their own lives. Many meaningful relationships have developed through our online discussions.
Study and reflect on thought-provoking readings.We have created a diverse collection of readings and resources to enrich and support your experience throughout the month. Although the program is primarily inspired and informed by Naikan, it also draws on a wide range of authors, including Albert Schweitzer and Ben Franklin.
Many of us believe that it is important to take time for quiet reflection, but we don’t often get around to it, given the busy nature of our lives. That is why we designed this program. The format is easy, flexible and convenient, yet the content holds transformative potential for your relationships and your life.
“One thing that stirs me when I look back at my youthful days is the fact that so many people gave me something or were something to me without knowing it. Such people with whom I have, perhaps, never exchanged a word, yes, and others about whom I have merely heard things by report, have had a decisive influence upon me; they entered into my life and became powers within me.... Hence I always think that we all live, spiritually, by what others have given us in the significant hours of our life.” -- Albert Schweitzer
We now have several sample Naikan reports available for viewing on our Web site. These are Naikan reports from people who have done Naikan, although the names have been changed.
What People Are Saying About This Program
“Now that I know about Naikan, I see myself reflecting on almost everything I do and I find myself doing things I never did before. I have become extremely organized, careful, mindful and very reflective. I am a mother of two, and the house looks always like a battle field. Strangely enough, I see myself picking up toys, diapers, clothes, cups, all kinds of things; and when I do it I feel grateful for these companions. I can say that Naikan has transformed my mind in a way that I cannot possibly go back to the blindness that filled my life before.” -- Julie G., OH
“I got a lot out of the Naikan on my father. I'd been underestimating what he's done for me and still does. As a result of Naikan, I'm feeling much softer towards him. I feel very fortunate to have been on this course and feel a sense of awe when I think of all the things and people that support me in my life. I would like to remember to come back to this and keep this practice alive. I have flagged lots of the posts and plan on re-reading them. ” -- Wendy W., London, U.K
“I seriously do not have the words, and a simple thank you falls short. I appreciate greatly all the shared effort that made this Naikan program possible. Every individual has devoted part of their precious life to the creation of a space in time that enables others to be happy. I can say today that thanks to this amazing opportunity I have gained more insights about how to face difficult situations, accept my human condition of interdependence, focus my attention on helping others and see reality as it is. Thank you for helping the world to heal; you are a blessing for humanity. ” -- Andrea C., UT
Certification in Japanese Psychology
The ToDo Institute offers a credit-based Certification in Japanese Psychology. Each of our distance learning programs, including Gratitude, Grace & a Month of Self-Reflection, provides 16 credits toward certification. Those seeking credit need to submit a completed journal, documenting their experience throughout the month, along with a 1-2 page essay summarizing what they learned during the program. Further information about the ToDo Institute's certification process can be found here.
Gregg Krech is one of the leading authorities on Japanese Psychology in North America today.
Gregg is the Director of the ToDo Institute and author of numerous books, including Naikan, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness and The Art of Taking Action. His work has been featured in The SUN Magazine, Tricycle, SELF, Utne Reader, Counseling Today and Experience Life.
Gregg has been teaching Japanese Psychology around the globe for 30 years, through conferences, training programs and workshops. He is the editor of Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living, and currently lives at the ToDo Institute in Vermont, with his wife, Linda, and their extended wildlife family.
Other Long-distance Learning Programs...
- A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness
- Renewing Your Relationship
- Self-Reflection (Naikan)
- Living on Purpose
- Taking Action
- Working With Attention
Who Are We?
The ToDo Institute is a non-profit educational center located nestled in the foothills of the Green mountains in central Vermont. We serve as a meeting place between east and west, where methods of Japanese Psychology blend with western culture to provide powerful tools for enhancing our lives. The applications of our work bridge the gap between the spiritual, the psychological and the practical. If you'd like more information about what we do, you can take a tour at our homepage, visit our blog and browse through our library. Thank you.