November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Graces and Poems

Here's a lovely collection of graces and poems that are suitable for the Thanksgiving holiday (really for any day).

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May We Be Restored

May this food restore our strength, giving new energy to tired limbs,
new wisdom to weary minds.
May this drink restore our souls, giving new vision to dry spirits,
new warmth to cold hearts.
May this nourishment refresh our awareness, giving joy-filled service to all beings,
new thankfulness for life's blessings.

- from our Naikan retreats (ToDo Institute)


All Life is One
by Joan Bennett

All Life is One

And everything that lives is holy

Plants, Animals and People

All must eat to live and nourish one another

We bless the lives that have died to give us this food

Let us eat together

Resolving by our word to pay the debt of our existence.

God help us to live slowly; To move simply; To look softly; To allow emptiness; To let the heart create for us. Amen.

- Michael Leunig


It Felt Love
by Hafiz

How did the rose

Ever open its heart

And give to this world

All its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light

Against its being,

Otherwise,

We all remain

Too frightened


A Remedy for Insomnia
by Vera Pavlova

Not sheep coming down the hills,

not cracks on the ceiling—

count the ones you loved,

the former tenants of dreams

who would keep you awake,

once meant the world to you,

rocked you in their arms,

those who loved you . . .

You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears.

As I express my gratitude, I become more deeply aware of it. And the greater my awareness, the greater my need to express it. What happens here is a spiraling ascent, a process of growth in ever expanding circles around a steady center.

-- Brother David Steindl-Rast

Earth, water, fire, air and space

Combine to make this food.

Numberless beings gave their lives and labors that
we may eat.

May we be nourished, that we may nourish life.

-Meal Gatha (Zen tradition)


A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances.
A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise.

-- Baha'u'llah

Posted on November 22, 2010 12:12 PM
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