Nov 26

The “Thanks” in Thanksgiving

Today was a little different than usual for me in the outer circumstances of  Thanksgiving. I was at home and cooked all the fixings vegetarian style during most of the day.

Some of you might be saying how is staying at home and cooking different? Isn’t that what lots of people usually do on Thanksgiving day? Well, most of the time I am on the move over Thanksgiving – either to spend it with family who do not live nearby or to visit far off climes using as little vacation time as possible because of the built in time off of work during this holiday.

I also received a a k2 punch in the battle of holistic care of my newly-adopted cat named Bowtie when he went AWOL for hours on this holiday afternoon for the first time in 4 months. I scoured the house and neighborhood looking for him and since bringing him in from being a stray he has never vanished like he did today. Luckily he did return.

Knowing that he is likely mad about his herbal bladder medication dosed this morning and recent attempts to improve his diet, kibble is back in the food dish after 48 hours without it even though the holistic vet says NADA, NYET, VERBOTEN! Bottom line… today at least (and realistically probably every day) Cats Rule.

Whatever the circumstance – or in today’s case the drama – might be on the surface, the unchanging essence of Thanksgiving still prevails. The holiday is a time to ponder gratitude – the “thanks” in thanksgiving.

One place to explore the power of gratitude is Gratefulness.org. I wrote about Gratefulness.org and its Light a Candle site previously on this blog and of all my posts, this one consistently remains the most likely entrance point to my blog. This makes me believe that the art of cultivating gratitude resonates for many, many people.

Another wellspring of wisdom on the subject of gratitude and giving thanks can be found in the chapter devoted to the subject inside a new book by Sri Chinmoy called The Jewels of Happiness. The chapter entitled “Gratitude” is one of thirteen in a new compilation featuring his most compelling aphorisms and wisdom. I find myself pondering his writing on gratitude for days after reading it.

Here are a few samples from the chapter to give an idea of their profundity:

Gratitude is the creative force, the mother and father of love. It is in real love that gratitude exists. Love expands only when gratitude is there.    (Sri Chinmoy, The Jewels of Happiness,  p. 189)

The things that most deserve our gratitude we just take for granted. Without air we cannot live for more than a minute for two. Every day we are breathing in and breathing out, but do we ever feel grateful to the air? (Sri Chinmoy, The Jewels of Happiness, p. 192)

On earth there is nothing as important or significant as gratitude. (Sri Chinmoy, The Jewels of Happiness, p. 196)

If you have true gratitude, it will express itself automatically. It will be visible in your eyes, around your being, in your aura. It is like the fragrance of a flower. (Sri Chinmoy, The Jewels of Happiness, p. 199)

In addition to the thought-provoking words on the value and importance of gratitude in The Jewels of Happiness, one can also find a wealth of practical techniques to cultivate gratitude. For example, one exercise calls for imagining that you are a river rushing to the source of the ocean while silently repeating the word gratitude while breathing in.

At the top of this post I wrote that Cats Rule. I stand corrected. Gratitude Rules and when it rules triumphantly, the world becomes a much sweeter place, a vast expanse of endless possibilities regardless of outer circumstances.