Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

Fall - the time to enjoy: the vivid colors of the leaves; the nippy air and the wind; the time to turn around and see the abundance of the world; the time to look inside and let go of things that don't serve us; the time to give thanks for the life, love and light all around us.
Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with gratitude. We consider the last year's journey, the beautiful things that came to us, the riches of the Earth that are given to us every single day, the beautiful beings that accompany us on our travels. At the holiday table, we give thanks. We give thanks to those around us, to the things that have immediate effect on us and it is just awesome - the purity of the heart and thought.
This year I invite you to broaden your horizon of gratitude. Take a look at the Iroquis Thanksgiving Address and try to incorporate some of their ideas into your own thanksgiving ceremony or speech.


"Ohenton Kariwahtekwen"



Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.


We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.


We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.


With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.


We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.


We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.


We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.


We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.


We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.


We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.


We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.


We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.*
*As found on the homeplanet.org

I give great thanks to all of you!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011


Before I started practicing Reiki, I realized that I was angry a lot. Yes, I could have blamed it on my bad experience at work, frustration caused by inability to find a different more suitable job or a dozen other different excuses. But I didn't; I blamed myself. In my world anger was evil, bringing hurt to everyone around me and it generally didn't serve me one bit.
I noticed how the anger would slowly creep up and take over my reactions. Too often I would struggle in the battle with it, wanting to stay in control and not let the anger out. I didn't want that poison in my veins. I wanted to be free..
After getting my first attunements, I set out on a journey. I was ready to let go of the anger and my old beliefs connected with it. I worked hard - Reiki self treatments, burning bowl ceremony, soul retrieval and some more Reiki treatments.
There was a shift, a big shift. I felt peace; ease; calm when I would expect a hurricane. On a deep level I felt free...
Then suddenly, after a few months of bliss, I snapped and felt horrible. I thought that I failed in my quest but then I read this:

           On the train to Brindavan a Swami sits beside a common man who asks him if indeed he has attained self-mastery, as the name "Swami" implies.
"I have," says the Swami. 
"And have you mastered anger?"
"I have."
 "Do you mean to say that you have mastered anger?"
"I have." 
"You mean you can control your anger?"
"I can." 
"And you do not feel anger?"
"I do not."
"Is this the truth Swami?"
"It is."
After a silence the man asks again, "Do you really feel that you have controlled your anger?" 
"I have told you," the Swami answers.
"then do you mean to say, you never feel anger, even-"
"You are going on and on - what do you want?" the Swami shouts.
"Are you a fool? When I have told you-"
"O, Swami, this is anger. You have not mas-"
   "Ah, but I have," the Swami interrupts. "have you not heard about the abused snake? Let me tell you the story.
On a path that went by a village in Bengal there lived a cobra who used to bite people on their way to worship at the temple there. As the incidents increased, everyone became fearful, and many refused to go to the temple. The Swami who was the master at the temple was aware of the problem and took it up on himself to put an end to it. Taking himself to where the snake dwelt, he used a mantram to call the snake to him and bring it into submission. The Swami then said to the snake that it is wrong to bite the people who walked along the path to worship and made him promise sincerely that he would never do it again. Soon it happened that the snake was seen by a passer-by upon the path and it made no move to bite. Then it became known that the snake had somehow been made passive, and people grew unafraid. It was not long before the village boys were dragging the poor snake along behind them as they ran laughing here and there. When the temple Swami passed that way again he called the snake to see if he had kept his promise -"...
"The snake humbly and miserably approached the Swami, who exclaimed, 'You are bleeding! Tell me how this has come to be.' The snake was near tears and blurted out that he had been abused ever since he was caused to make his promise to Swami. 'I told you not to bite,' said the Swami, 'but I did not tell you not to hiss!'"
~Rolling Thunder: a personal exploration into the
secret healing powers of an American Indian medicine man
By Doug Boyd
It is OK to hiss! So now and then I hiss without feeling guilty, without feeling like I am doing the worst thing in the world. The anger's role is to remind me of things that are happening around me and in me that are not in the alignment with who I am. It reminds me that I have to change things, set boundaries and state them not just to myself but to the whole world.