“… We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye. …” ~ Iroquois Thanksgiving
“There is a wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware how important this is. If we’re grateful, we’re not fearful, and if we’re not fearful, we’re not violent. Then, we act out of a sense of enough instead of scarcity, and we start to share. We start to enjoy the differences between people, and are respectful to everybody. That can change our society’s entire power pyramid …” ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast
Indeed, Brother David’s observation on gratefulness is worth reflecting upon … and if it resonates then consider “practicing” it in your life … and see what unfolds. As Thomas Merton says: “… to speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch heaven …”
As we approach Thanksgiving celebrations in USA, here’s an Iroquois thanksgiving prayer to … deepen our gratitude … for all that is!
We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
~ Iroquois Thanksgiving
The Native American/American Indian tradition is very much intertwined with, and is informed by, Mother Nature … so this Iroquois thanksgiving that is from the collective humanity can be further deepened by each of us individually learning acceptance and compassion through a Ute prayer that reminds us to learn from Mother Earth …
Earth, Teach Me – A Ute Prayer
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as the old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who succors her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.
~ A Ute Prayer translated by Chief John Yellow Lark, Lakota Sioux Chief, 1887