Practicing Gratitude

In recent years, the real meaning of Thanksgiving has been overshadowed by feasting, football, and bargain hunting.  This week, it’s important to reflect on what Thanksgiving is really about: giving thanks. The act of giving thanks is defined as gratitude.  In order to practice gratitude, we must take a step back and look at the positive things in our lives.

Robert Emmons, a Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, explains that gratitude has two key components: “First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. Second, we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. … We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

It’s easy to practice gratitude when life is going smoothly, but it’s important to remember that our Thanksgiving holiday was born out of tough times.  Even in the midst of difficulties and disappointments, make your best effort to see the good in your life.

What do you treasure most? Who has helped you through your darkest times? Through the ups and downs of life, what lessons are you grateful you have learned?

Practicing gratitude in our lives is a choice, and the benefits of choosing gratitude are endless. Even by simply appreciating the small things in life, you will find yourself more successful, healthier, and truly happier. Studies show that grateful people have higher incomes, lower blood pressure, and are more liked by others.

Thanksgiving is a time that reminds us of what we are thankful for, but it should not be the only day of the year we practice gratitude. This week, make a vow to think daily of the things that you are thankful for, and see how your life transforms.

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A Brief Mindfulness Practice | 4 of 4

Thanks to a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process, Vinland has launched a web-based video series as a resource for clients to continue their mindfulness meditation practice after leaving Vinland.

Below is the fourth and final video in the series, a guided meditation featuring a Japanese flute.

Made Possible By

A charitable foundation supporting meditation and contemplative prayer

Learn more about the Trust for the Meditation Process online at

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Thank You for Your Support on GTMD!

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to Vinland Center on Give to the Max Day! Thanks to your generous support, we raised a total of $9,120!

More than $18 million was raised for Minnesota’s non-profits yesterday, a new Give to the Max Day record.

Vikings Package Winner

Congratulations to Garry Winter for winning the Vikings Package! Special thanks to Duane & Patti Reynolds and Martin & Debi Teall for donating the 2 Vikings tickets and $100 Old Spaghetti Factory gift card for the prize package.

Your Donations in Action

Last year, 89¢ of every $1 donated to Vinland went directly to providing services to our clients. Your donations fund our core programs and several complementary care programs.

For more information about how your donations make a difference at Vinland, click here. As always, your donation to Vinland Center is tax-deductible.

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Infographic: The Skeptics Guide to Meditation

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Get Ready for Snow!

Vinland Center is excited to announce the Sixth Annual Winter Walkabout, which will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015.


“This is a fun opportunity for our supporters to get outside in the winter and see the beautiful property at Vinland’s main campus on Lake Independence,” said Mary Roehl, Vinland’s executive director. “The music, bonfire, and hot food really make this a festive event!”

Last year, more than 175 people attended the event. Through the support of snowshoers and sponsors, we raised more than $50,000!


We are excited to offer a reduced registration fee this year! The registration fee is now $15 per person, which includes a t-shirt and hot lunch.


The Winter Walkabout is open to people of all fitness and experience levels. People who have never been snowshoeing can attend the Winter Walkabout and have a great time snowshoeing. There is a very short learning curve with snowshoeing. If you can walk, you can snowshoe!

In addition to the snowshoe walk, activities will include:

  • Raffle drawings for great prizes
  • 50/50 cash pot raffle drawing
  • Heads & Tails game
  • Kids’ activities

All proceeds from the Winter Walkabout benefit Vinland Center.

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Give to the Max Day is here!

Give to the Max Day is here! Donate now!

Win a Vikings Package

Last year, Give to the Max Day was a huge success. Vinland Center was privileged to receive $20,000 in donations in just 24 hours. To show our appreciation of this success and to make today even more special, Vinland Center is giving back to donors to show appreciation. When you donate to Vinland through today, you are entered into a drawing to win a special Vikings Package! The Vikings Package includes two tickets to the Vikings game on Saturday, December 7 when they take on the NY Jets, as well as a $100 Old Spaghetti Factory gift card! Every donation qualifies as an entry — so the more times you donate, the better your changes are for winning!

»Donate now!«

Golden Tickets

In addition, every gift made to Vinland Center on increases our chances of winning a $1,000 Golden Ticket – an hourly drawing that adds $1,000 to a person’s donation, randomly selected from donors who gave during each hour today. To conclude Give to the Max Day, one donation from today will be randomly selected for a $10,000 super-size Golden Ticket! The more times you donate, the more chances Vinland has at winning these magical Golden Tickets!

»Donate now!«

Why Donations Matter

By donating to Vinland, you can make a difference in the lives of adults with disabilities. In 2012, 89¢ of every $1 donated to Vinland went directly to providing services to our clients. Donations from supporters allow Vinland to provide excellent beneficial services to clients. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), every $1 spent on treatment saves society $7 from reduced health care costs, reduced crime, and increased productivity. Graduates of our program have reduced medical and legal expenses, and increased employment earnings.

Thank you for your support this Give to the Max Day! Click here to donate now!

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Got Your 6

Today is Veterans Day, a day to remember the men and women who have served our country. This Veterans Day, Got Your 6 wants to highlight the veterans who are making a difference in their communities.

What is “Got Your 6″?

Got Your 6 is a campaign that believes veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. As a coalition, Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and empower veterans to lead in their communities. Got Your 6 knows that most veterans leave the military seeking new challenges, and the campaign ensures that there are opportunities for them to continue their service.

In the military, “Got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing a pilot’s rear as the six o’clock position. It is now a ubiquitous term in the military that highlights the loyalty and cooperation found in military culture.

Learn more at

Veterans Day Meals & Deals

There are several companies that want to thank veterans for their service by offering special deals on Veterans Day. Click the image below to see a list compiled by

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