Thanksgiving quotes and stories from class:
A Year to Live by Stephen Levine
How very fortunate we are to have this moment in this body with some intuitive acknowledgement of that which goes beyond our understanding. Even with the difficulties, even with the confusion, how blessed we are to be here. Grateful for the kindness of loved ones. Grateful for the moments of joy. Grateful for the clarity that arises even during pain. Grateful for the blessings, great and small. Grateful that our pain is no greater than it is.
Thankful for our Great Heart and the capacity to become whole. Thankful to be living in a world and time, in which the value of compassion cannot be overlooked. Grateful that among the billions now on this planet our hearts are so drawn by the possibility of liberation. Grateful for the path that has brought us each so far. Grateful for the love and the grace the spontaneously emerge from our true heart .Grateful for our inheritance of happiness, that joy is our birthright. Grateful for the sense of presence. Gratitude for simply being.
Behind a temple there was a field where there were many squashes growing on a vine. One day, a fight broke out among the squashes and they split into two groups. They made a racket shouting at one another. The Zen Master heard the uproar from the temple and went to the field to find the squashes quarreling.
In a booming voice he scolded, “Squashes! Stop your fighting. Everyone sit in meditation right now.”
While the squashes were sitting in meditation, their anger began to subside. Then the Zen Master turned to them and calmly said, “Each of you feel on top of your head.” When the squashes felt the tops of their heads, they found something strange attached there.
It turned out to be a vine connecting them all together. The squashes remarked, “This is so strange. Here we have been split into groups, arguing when we’re actually all tied together. What a shame…what a mistake!”
After that revelation, the squashes all lived harmoniously enjoying the pleasures of their beautiful field together.
At this time of Thanksgiving, this story helps demonstrate how we’re all connected. The harvest cycle is our constant reminder of beginnings and endings. When we enjoy the bounty of the fields, we have so much more than just food to eat; we have a sense of the circle of life itself!
"I am grateful for my life, my lessons, my gifts, my losses, my endings, and new beginnings, and everything in between-" Sonia Choquette