THANKSGIVING

 

DAY OF GRATITUDE

DAY OF MOURNING

DAY OF JOY

 

 

 

For Native peoples

 Thanksgiving comes not once a year,

but always,  for all the gifts of life.

 

 

All Native nations have celebrations of the harvest

 that come from very ancient tradition.

 

 “It shall be the duty of the appointed managers of the Thanksgiving festivals, to do all that is needful for carrying out the duties of the occasions.

 

The recognized festivals of Thanksgiving shall be:

the Midwinter Thanksgiving

the Maple or Sugarmaking Thanksgiving

 the Raspberry Thanksgiving

 the Strawberry Thanksgiving

the Corn Planting Thanksgiving

 the Corn Hoeing Thanksgiving,

 the Little Festival of Green Corn

 the Great Festival of Ripe Corn,

and the Complete Thanksgiving for the Harvest.

 

 

Each nation’s festivals shall be held in their Long houses.”

 

 

The ceremony draws on readings from “Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective” developed and distributed by Oyate, “a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly and so all people will know our stories belong to us.” (Oyate, 2702 Mathews St, Berkeley, CA 94702, 510-848-6700, oyate@oyate.org, www.oyate.org). It is inspired by the teachings and practice of Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and the Jewish Renewal Passover Seder.

 


Thanksgiving – A Day of Mourning

 

 

On Thanksgiving Day, many Native Americans and their supporters gather at the top of Coles Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, for the “National Day of Mourning.” The first National Day of Mourning was held in 1970. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited Wampanoag leader Frank James to deliver a speech. When the text of Mr. James’ speech, a powerful statement of anger at the history of oppression of the Native people of America, became known before the event, the Commonwealth “disinvited” him. That silencing of a strong and honest Native voice led to the convening of the National Day of Mourning.

 

--from The Pilgram Hall Museum

 

Excerpts from Suppressed Speech of Frank James (to have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970)

 

…I speak to you as a Man—a Wampanoag Man. I am a proud man, proud of my ancestry, my accomplishments…It is with mixed emotions that I stand here to share my thoughts. This is a time of celebration for you—celebrating an anniversary of a beginning for the white man in America. A time of looking back—of reflection. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People.

 

Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans. Mourt’s Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men—he goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indian’s winter provisions as they were able to carry…

 

High on a hill, overlooking the famed Plymouth Rock stands the statue of our great Sachem, Massasoit. Massasoit has stood there many years in silence. We the descendants of this great sachem have been a silent People. The necessity of making a living in this materialistic society of the white man caused us to be silent. Today, I and many of my People are choosing to face the truth. We ARE Indians!…Our spirit refuses to die. Yesterday we walked the woodland paths and sandy trails. Today we must walk the macadam highways and roads. We are uniting…What has happened cannot be changed but today we work towards a more humane America, a more Indian America where men and nature once again are important; where the Indian values of honor, truth and brotherhood prevail.

 

You the white man are celebrating an anniversary. We the Wampanoags will help you celebrate in the concept of a beginning. It was the beginning of a new life for the Pilgrims. Now 350 years later it is a beginning of a new determination for the original American--the American Indian…We are determined and our presence here this evening is living testimony that this is only a beginning of the American Indian, particularly the Wampanoag, to regain the position in this country that is rightfully ours.

--from Chronicles of American Indian Protest. NY: Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1979

 

Thanksgiving – An Inclusive Ceremony

 

Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States usually include family and friends sharing a meal together of turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries.  The holiday is usually observed as a time of gratitude:  the story learned in school of “the first Thanksgiving” in Massachusetts may be recalled, and the people at the gathering may share what they are grateful for.

 

Some people also recall the too often “untold story” connected with Thanksgiving, remembering that for Native peoples, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning: the broken treaties, the theft of land and culture, the intentional and unintentional discrimination.

Whether or not the “First Thanksgiving” actually happened is open to question. As currently celebrated in the USA, it is a bitter reminder for all Native people of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.

 

Realizing that what is celebration for one group

 is mourning for another, we ask,

How can both the energy of gratitude

 and the energy of mourning

be embraced and held?  

 

How can we construct ways to begin anew?

Through collective ceremony and ritual

 can there be not only healing

but also recommitment to action

in the service of restorative justice?

 

 

Drawing on many sources, in this Thanksgiving ceremony we offer new rituals. We invent a vehicle for collective empowering storytelling

 that is inclusive and healing, for the re-envisioning

of our collective identity as people living on the land

that at this time is called the United States of America.

We are people born on this land or people who have moved here.

Through this ceremony, we deepen connection

with family and friends in mindful community.

Honoring all of our ancestors, we deepen connection with the past.

Learning about and understanding the current situation, we deepen connection with the present. Co-creating a newly integrative and inclusive vision, we deepen our connection with the future.


FOUR QUESTIONS

 

WHY IS THIS THANKSGIVING DIFFERENT FROM OTHER THANKSGIVINGS?

 

 

On other Thanksgivings,

we’ve shared a meal with family and friends…

why on this Thanksgiving do we also invite ancestors and descendants to join us?

 

 

On other Thanksgivings,

we’ve said what we were thankful for

and then eaten our food…

Why on this Thanksgiving do we have all this ceremony? Why do we have a longer ritual?

 

 

On other Thanksgivings,

we eat traditional foods,

but we don’t have symbolic foods…

Why on this Thanksgiving do we eat symbolic foods?

 

 

On other Thanksgivings,

we’ve eaten turkey…

Why on this Thanksgiving

do we refrain from eating turkey?

 


 

TWENTY-FOUR POWERS

 

In our ceremony of Thanksgiving

we call on the following powers for healing and transformation

 

THE POWER OF REMEMBERING THE LAND

THE POWER OF GRATITUDE

THE POWER OF TELLING THE STORY

THE POWER OF TELLING THE PAIN

 

THE POWER OF SONG

THE POWER OF POETRY

THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

 

THE POWER OF COUNCIL

THE POWER OF SMILING

 

THE POWER OF SILENCE

THE POWER OF CHANTING

 

THE POWER OF CIRCLES

THE POWER OF TURNING TO THE FOUR DIRECTIONS

THE POWER OF SHARING

 

THE POWER OF REMEMBERING

THE POWER OF LISTENING DEEPLY

THE POWER OF LOOKING DEEPLY

 

THE POWER OF EATING SYMBOLIC FOODS

THE POWER OF ASKING QUESTIONS

 

THE POWER OF NAMING AFFLICTIONS

THE POWER OF BEING PRESENT WITH STRONG EMOTION:

OUTRAGE, GRIEF AND SORROW

THE POWER OF MOURNING

 

THE POWER OF NAMING JOYS

THE POWER OF WISE AND COMPASSIONATE ACTION

 

 

 

 

 

SONG

 

 

“We Gather Together…”

 

New Version

We gather together to seek understanding
We sing in remembrance of days long gone past

Now cease from oppressing, now make a new connection,
We sing of building trust now from wisdom and love.

We gather together to hold one another

In loving compassion for our diff’rences

We share our own cultures, we learn from other cultures

Our lives are enriched, by embracing us all

 

We gather together to greet the world whole

In peace and in justice, with kindness and joy

We hold hands with one another in love and understanding

Sing praises to justice, with mercy and love

 

We gather together, to open our hearts wide

We give to each other, to others not known

We receive what is given, with warm thanksgiving

Giving time, giving money, giving thoughts, mindfully

 

 

Traditional Version

In the early 1600s, Dutch settlers brought the Prayer of Thanksgiving to the "New World".

Music, based on a Netherlands folk hymn, was added and it became a favorite in the colonies. Today it is a traditional Thanksgiving hymn. This is a translation by Theodore Baker (1851-1934).

 

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUESTING AND QUESTIONING

 

Remembrance and Deep Listening

Deep Looking, Transformation, and Healing

Questioning and Questing

Wise and Compassionate Action

 

 

How did I learn about Thanksgiving?

 

What memories do I have of Thanksgiving?

 

What story of Thanksgiving was I told?

 

From whose point of view was the story of Thanksgiving that I heard told?

 

 

What does Thanksgiving mean to different peoples?

 

 

What do I treasure about the Thanksgiving holiday?

 

 

What is challenging for me about the Thanksgiving holiday?

 

 


 

 

THE POWER OF DEEP LOOKING

 TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING

 

 

WHO AM I?

WHAT IS MY RELATIONSHIP TO THIS GATHERING?

 

 

WHAT IS MY NAME?

WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF MY PARENTS,

GRANDPARENTS, GREAT-GRANDPARENTS?

 

 

WHAT IS MY CONNECTION TO THIS LAND?

WHERE DO I LIVE?

 

 

WHAT BRINGS ME HERE TODAY?

 

 

WHAT ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS

WOULD I LIKE TO INVITE HERE TO BE PRESENT  IN THIS GATHERING?

 

 

WHAT AM I THANKFUL FOR?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF REMEMBRANCE

AND DEEP LISTENING

 

 

The Bay Area of today is vastly different

from what it was two centuries ago.

 

 

The grizzly bears, elks, bald eagles, ospreys, antelopes, wolves, and condors have totally disappeared.

 

Introduced European annual grasses have seized the meadowlands from the native bunchgrasses.

 

The widespread logging of trees for lumber, tanning bark, firewood, railroad ties, and fence posts has altered the forests.

 

Ponds and lakes have been drained, rivers channelized, and thousands upon thousands of acres of marshes and swamps have been destroyed.

 

The immense flocks of geese, ducks, and pelicans, the great runs of salmon and steelhead, the enormous schools of smelt, the once numberless seals and whales are now a mere remnant of what they once were.

 

As for the Ohlones—forty or so tribelets, some 10,000 people, indeed a whole way of life—that too is totally gone, replaced by a civilization technologically more advanced than theirs, but in many respects ecologically, socially, and spiritually more backward.

 

From:

The Ohlone Way—Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area

By Malcolm Margolin, 1978. pg. 169, Heyday Books,

PO Box 9145, Berkeley CA 9470  510-549-3564

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF REMEMBERING THE LAND

 

Land was central in the culture of the indigenous peoples.

 

“The Mayan bible of our grandparents tells us that we were made from corn,” writes Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu…

 

To grow corn, land was necessary.

 

“Without corn, we feel lost; without corn we feel sad.

The dream of every Maya

 is to have a piece of land on which to plant corn

 because corn gives us spiritual enrichment;

corn gives us physical resistance;

 corn gives us strength and health.

 

Through corn we sing.

 

Through corn we laugh and sing and cry.

 

Through corn our lives are formed and we are born.

 

To strip us of our land for corn-planting

Means 

to kill our people and our culture.”

 

 


THE POWER OF GRATITUDE—GIVING THANKS

 

Thanksgiving Address of the Hotinonsionne Indian Tribal Group

 

 

Introduction

This is a Thanksgiving prayer offered by Brad Bonaparte and John Khionhes Fadden, from the Mohawk Tribal Group:

 

“Every day we are alive—even if we are not feeling well or we’re in a bad mood or we have a flat tire—we give thanks to all the elements of Creation. We take comfort in knowing that, when we pass on, these things will continue.”

--John Kahionhes Fadden (Mohawk)

 

“This is a prayer of thanksgiving that we say at the beginning and ending of meetings, social events, ceremonies, and whenever people are gathered together. We also say it as a morning and evening prayer. When we say this prayer, we change it according to how we feel at the moment. Sometimes we thank all Creation together, and sometimes we give thanks individually to elements of Creation. Most of the time, our prayer is somewhere in the middle, just as long as all creation is included. “ Brad Bonaparte (Mohawk)

 

Address

Each person reads a paragraph, with a bell sounded after each paragraph

 

I ask everyone to bring their minds together as one and to give thanks and acknowledgement of the Creator for Mother Earth that she continue to support all life forms. (bell)

 

As we look around the Creation, we see different things. We see the waters. We acknowledge their gift to us, from the smallest streams to the largest rivers to the oceans. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of refreshing us and cleansing us and bringing life. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to the plants that grow up on the Earth, from the smallest grasses, to the berries, to the fruit plants to the medicine plants, to the Three Sisters—corn, beans, and squash—and up to the trees, to the head of all the plants, to the maple trees. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of providing us with food, shelter, and beauty. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to all of the creatures who walk or crawl on the Earth. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of providing us with food, clothing, and beauty. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to all of the creatures who live in the water. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of keeping the water fresh and clean, and providing us with food. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to all of the creatures who fly in the sky. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of providing us with food, songs, and beauty. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now as we go higher in the sky, we turn our minds To our Grandfathers the Thunders. We give thanks to them that they continue with their duties of bringing the rains that will help our gardens. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to the Wind. We give thanks to the wind, that the wind continues with the duty of bringing clean air for us to breathe. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to the Four Skydwellers. We give thanks to you that you continue with your duties of giving us our instructions on how we treat one another and the world around us. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to our Grandmother Moon. We give thanks to you that you continue with your duties of controlling the life cycles of the women that so that the Earth will continue in its cycle of life. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to our Brother Sun. We give thanks to you that you continue with your duties of providing us with light and warmth to help our plants to grow. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to our Cousins the Stars. We give thanks to you that you continue with your duties of providing beauty and light in the nighttime sky. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to Handsome Lake. We give thanks to you for reminding our people of their original instructions on how to work with one another and how to give thanks. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we turn our minds to the Creator. We give thanks to the creator for providing all these different things that will help and sustain our lives. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)

 

Now we return to the Earth, and we look at all the people who are gathered here and we give thanks that we have all come together with good thoughts and good minds, to share and learn from one another. We bring all of our minds together as one and give thanks. (bell)


 

THE POWER OF POETRY

 

It Is Important by Gail Tremblay

from Dancing on the Rim of the World

reprinted in Rethinking Columbus, p 49

 

 

On dark nights, when thoughts fly like nightbirds

Looking for prey, it is important to remember

To bless with names every creature that comes

To mind; to sing a thankful song and hold

The magic of the whole creation close in the heart,

To watch light dance and know the sacred is alive.

 

On dark nights, when owls watch, their eyes

Gleaming in the black expanse of starless sky,

It is important to gather the medicine bones,

The eagle feathers, the tobacco bundles, the braided

Sweetgrass, the cedar, and the sage, and pray

The world will heal and breath feed the plants

That care for the nations keeping the circle whole.

 

On dark nights, when those who think only of themselves

Conjure over stones and sing spells to feed their wills

It is important to give gifts and to love everything

That shows itself as good. It is time to turn

To the Great Mystery and know the Grandfathers have

mercy on us that we may help the people to survive.

 

On dark nights, when confusion makes those who envy,

Hate, and curse the winds, face the four directions

And mumble names, it is important to stand

And see that our only work is to give what others

Need, that everything that touches us is a holy

Gift to teach us we are loved. When sun rises

And light surrounds life making blessings grow,

It is important to praise its coming, and exhale

Letting all we hold inside our lungs travel east

And mix its power with the air; it is important to praise

Dawn’s power breathing in and know we live in good

Relation to all creation and sing what must be sung.


 

 

THE POWER OF STORY

 

Ceremony

 by Leslie Marmon Silko

 

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said]
They aren't just for entertainment.
Don't be fooled


They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off illness and death.


You don't have anything
if you don't have the stories.


Their evil is mighty
but it can't stand up to our stories.


So they try to destroy the stories
let the stories be confused or forgotten


They would like that
They would be happy
Because we would be defenseless then.

 

 

The Thanksgiving story as it is usually told celebrates and perpetuates a myth, which has almost nothing to do with reality. The myth is that the Pilgrims and Indians joined together for a great feast celebrating the first year of the Plimoth colony. In actual fact, these new arrivals on the shores of what came to be called America, would not have had a hope of surviving without a lot of help from the Native people, who taught them to hunt and fish, and how to grow corn. Their reward for this was the theft of their land and seed corn, near total destruction of their whole way of life, and death from white man’s diseases and guns.


 

 

THE POWER OF STORY: SIX RECOGNITIONS

 

First, we recognize the power of story, told individually and collectively,

in informing and shaping our understanding

 

 

Second, we recognize the necessity to tell many stories:

Stories of the land: animals, plants, minerals, mountains and rivers

Stories of Native Peoples, African Peoples,

European Peoples, Immigrant Peoples

Stories of grief

Stories of ignorance

Stories of greed and attachment to views

Stories of empowerment

Stories of wisdom

Stories of compassion

Stories of courage

 

Third, we recognize that in the stories we have heard,

the “Told Stories” or Founding Myths,

there is much that has been said,

and also much that has been left unsaid.

Looking deeply, we ask,

Who is telling the story?

Whose voices are being heard in the story?

Whose voices are not being heard?

 

Fourth, we recognize that there are Untold Stories,

stories that we have not been told,

and we ask, Where do we begin our stories?

Where is the true ending of this story?

 

Fifth, we recognize that to deepen our understanding,

we must tell the stories in many ways:

through asking questions,

through symbolic foods,

through naming afflictions and seeds of possibility

through drawing and poetry and song

 

Sixth, we recognize that as we listen to the stories,

we may find in ourselves reactions, 

reactions of outrage, grief, judgment, amazement, shame, confusion.

As we listen, we do our best to breathe deeply in the midst of suffering and confusion.

As we listen, we do our best to remember our shared humanity

 in the midst of inhumanity and injustice.

As we listen, we do our best to listen with ears of compassion for all,

offering peace to ourselves and each other.

 As we listen, we touch our deepest aspiration,

our aspiration for the healing of all beings,

so that all may live in well-being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF CIRCLES

 

 

 

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does

 is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles,

and everything tries to be round.

 

 

In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation

and so long as the hoop was unbroken

 the people flourished.

 

 

The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop,

 and the circle of the four quarters nourished it.

The east gave peace and light,

the south gave warmth,

the west gave rain,

and the north with its cold and mighty wind

 gave strength and endurance.

 

 

This knowledge came to us

from the outer world with our religion.

Everything the power of the world does

is done in a circle”

--Black Elk

 


 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF TURNING

TO THE FOUR DIRECTIONS

 

We turn to the East

Gratitude to the Elements

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

 

 

We turn to the South

Gratitude to Ancestors and Descendants:

Land, Spiritual, Blood, Adopted

 

 

We turn to the West

Gratitude to plants of this land

Gratitude to animals of this land

Gratitude to minerals of this land

Gratitude to rivers and mountains of this land

 

 

We turn to the North

Gratitude to the Peoples of this Land:

Indigenous Peoples

African Peoples

Immigrant Peoples

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF WATER

THE POWER OF HANDS

THE POWER OF HAND-WASHING

 

 

 

Water flows from high in the mountains

Water runs deep in the earth

Miraculously water comes to us,

And sustains all life.

 

 

Water flows over these hands

May I use them skillfully

To preserve our precious planet.

 

 

--Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 


 “THE GREAT TURNING”

FOUR CUPS

CRANBERRY JUICE AND APPLE CIDER

 

First Cup

The Cup of Remembrance and Deep Listening

Pour Cranberry Juice and Apple Cider in silence, but do not drink.

 

 This cup of cranberry juice and apple cider is the cup of

Remembrance and Deep Listening

 

The mingling of the cranberry juice and the apple cider, the sour and the sweet,

 the red and the gold, represents the interbeing of pain and gratitude that are present

 in the stories of Thanksgiving and the stories of our country’s history that we remember today.

   (Drink in silence.)

 

 

Second Cup

The Cup of Deep Looking, Transformation, and Healing

Pour Cranberry Juice and Apple Cider in silence, but do not drink.

 

This cup of cranberry juice and apple cider is the cup of

Deep Looking, Transformation, and Healing

 

The mingling of the cranberry juice and the apple cider, the sour and the sweet,

 the red and the gold, represents the interbeing of pain and gratitude that are present

 in the stories of Thanksgiving and the stories of our country’s history that we remember today. 

 (Drink in silence.)

 

 

Third Cup

The Cup of Questioning and Questing

Pour Cranberry Juice and Apple Cider in silence, but do not drink.

 

This cup of cranberry juice and apple cider is the cup of

Questioning and Questing

 

The mingling of the cranberry juice and the apple cider, the sour and the sweet,

the red and the gold, represents the interbeing of pain and gratitude that are present

in the stories of Thanksgiving and the stories of our country’s history that we remember today.   (Drink in silence.)

 

 

Fourth Cup

The Cup of Wise and Compassionate Action

Pour Cranberry Juice and Apple Cider in silence, but do not drink.

 

This cup of cranberry juice and apple cider is the cup of

Wise and Compassionate Action

 

The mingling of the cranberry juice and the apple cider, the sour and the sweet,

the red and the gold, represents the interbeing of pain and gratitude that are present

 in the stories of Thanksgiving and the stories of our country’s history that we remember today.  

 (Drink in silence.)

 



“THE GREAT TURNING”

FOUR SYMBOLIC FOODS

 

On tables at the center of the gathering are foods in four color groups

RED—e.g., cranberries, radishes, red peppers, tomatoes

YELLOW/ORANGE—e.g., corn, squash, pumpkin, carrot

BROWN—e.g., lentils, chestnuts, brown rice, chocolate

GREEN—e.g., lettuce, green beans, peas, broccoli, spinach

 

Participants are invited to share reflections, stories, songs, poems

 

Each color/food represents an unskillful state of mind

which can be transformed into a state of mind

that manifests wisdom and compassion.

 

RED FOOD—TURNING FROM DENIAL TO DEEP LISTENING AND TRUTH-TELLING

Red-color food reminds us of the blood that has been shed…

And also of  the happiness that comes from transformation and healing.

Cranberries are often eaten at Thanksgiving dinners,

yet they were not eaten as part of the feast of native peoples.

Cranberries here represent the power of denial

which allows partial stories to be accepted as the whole story.

Red food symbolizes transformation and healing

Choosing to turn away from denial towards deep listening and truth-telling.

 

YELLOW FOOD—TURNING FROM GREED TO GRATITUDE AND GENEROSITY

Yellow-color food reminds us of gold and the greed for gold

 which motivated some Europeans who set out across the ocean

 five hundred years ago, greed which precipitated the massacres

 of  people indigenous to this land. Corn is often eaten at Thanksgiving.

Multicolored corn is sacred to native peoples.

Yellow food symbolizes transformation and healing

Choosing to turn away from greed towards gratitude and generosity

 

BROWN FOOD—TURNING FROM UNACKNOWLEDGED GRIEF AND SHAME

 TO MOURNING, ACKNOWLEDGED GRIEF AND THE RENUNCIATION OF VIOLENCE

Turkey is often eaten at Thanksgiving. 

Brown-color food reminds us of the cooked turkey

 that we are refraining from eating tonight.

Brown-color food represents the unacknowledged grief and shame

 that allows violence and oppression to continue.

Brown-color food also represents the Earth and its abundance.

Brown-color food symbolizes transformation and healing

Choosing to allow the mourning process and release of strong emotion

Choosing to turn away from unacknowledged grief and shame

 towards acknowledged grief and sorrow and the renunciation of violence

 

 

GREEN FOOD—TURNING FROM ATTACHMENT TO VIEWS AND SEPARATE-SELF

 TO AWARENESS OF INTERBEING AND OPENNESS TO OTHERS’ VIEWPOINTS

Green-color food represents the attachment to views which motivated some European Christians when they encountered people indigenous to this land.

Green-color food reminds us of our interbeing

with life-sustaining plants and animals.

Green-color food symbolizes transformation and healing

Choosing to turn away from attachment to views and a separate-self mindstate

 towards awareness of interbeing and openness to others’ views

 

THE POWER OF NAMING

 

NAMING AFFLICTIONS:
THE POWER OF BEING PRESENT
WITH SUFFERING AND STRONG EMOTION

 

Naming each affliction,

we drop a drop of cranberry juice-apple cider

from our cup onto a small plate.

Through naming the sorrow, we remember to remember.

Through naming the sorrow we embrace the pain.

Through naming the sorrow we begin to begin anew,

transforming and healing the pain of our collective story.

 

 

 

 

TWENTY AFFLICTIONS

A LEGACY OF TRAUMA AND GENOCIDE

Alcohol

Betrayal

Broken Treaties

Boarding School

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Cultural Appropriation

Destruction of Traditional Fish and Animal Habitats

Disease—Smallpox, Syphilis, and others

Forced Relocation

Invasion

Job Discrimination

Land Theft

Loss of Religion and Language

Media Stereotyping

Racism

Reservations

Smallpox and Disease

Stolen Children

Subjugation

Termination

 

THE POWER OF NAMING

 

NAMING WHOLESOME SEEDS (POSSIBILITIES)

Naming each wholesome seed,

we taste a drop of cranberry juice-apple cider.

Through naming the wholesome seed, we remember to remember

Through naming the wholesome seed, we embrace the whole

Through naming the wholesome seed, we begin to begin anew

transforming and healing the pain of our collective story,

being peace: peace in ourselves, peace in the world

 

 

PAYING ATTENTION

TO TWENTY-FOUR WHOLESOME SEEDS

FOR A FUTURE TO BE POSSIBLE

 

Awareness

Beauty

Calm

Clarity

Compassion

Courage

Creativity

Deep Listening

Deep Looking

Equanimity

Generosity

Goodness

Gratitude

Imagination

Joy

Kindness

Love

Mindfulness

Openness

Peace

Right Action

Solidity

Understanding

Wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF CULTIVATING GENEROSITY

 

 

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation,

 social injustice, stealing, and oppression,

I am committed to cultivating loving kindness

 and learning ways to work for the well-being

 of people, animals, plants, and minerals.

 

 I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

 

 I will do my best to prevent profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth. (Bell)

 

--Thich Nhat Hanh

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