remembrance + reconciliation: prayers for thanksgiving

On my run this morning, I contemplated the freedom/independence “we” are celebrating as a nation today and instantly recalled this prayer of gratitude I posted for Thanksgiving on dhamma 4 mama*–my blog on parenting as a spiritual practice.

Given the complex history of the United States and the current political landscape where civil liberties of marginalized populations are continuously being threatened, there is no monolithic and concrete experience of freedom for all Americans. There’s a myth of a dream that is a nature to shift and transform just when we imagine it’s within reach.

My deepest sense of freedom came from committing to the bodhisattva path and taking refuge in the Five Mindfulness Trainings and in the Three Jewels in 2006. So today I embrace and celebrate my personal and subjective spiritual experience of freedom, which I have learned to cultivate and embody wholeheartedly through movement, mindfulness and meditation.

dhamma for mama*

Today, may we appreciate this food
and remember those who are hungry.
May we appreciate our family and friends
and remember those who are alone.
May we appreciate our health
and remember those who are sick.
May we appreciate the freedoms we have
and remember those who suffer injustice and tyranny.1

I spent Wednesday morning in our tiny kitchen blanching, boiling, carmelizing, chiffonading, chopping, cubing, dicing, sautéing, seasoning, smelling, stirring, and tasting.

As I breathedin the swirl of pungent and sweet aromas from the herbs, vegetables and meat, I breathed out loving awareness and prayers of gratitude for the gift of being able to prepare and share a Thanksgiving meal with my family. My mate and I openly acknowledged that our blessings outweighed any minor irritations that come with hosting a holiday gathering: our good health, solid relationships, comfortable home, and modest but sufficient financial resources.

I quietly returned…

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