I would like to say a few words of appreciation.


I am grateful for this community here at CML.  Today we woke up at our normal time to sit together.  We have a smaller community than usual today, as about half of the residents have departed for Thanksgiving.  After a breakfast of pancakes and lentil soup, we shoveled the driveways together, culminating in a couple of snowballs and, of course, a snow turkey.


I prepared an adapted version of an Abenaki 3 Sisters Soup recipe for our vegetarian potluck tonight, beginning at 6 pm, followed by a meditation around 7:30.  Other residents are preparing dishes as well.

     ShadowSpreadPorch food

Thanks for the gift of life, friendship, and love.  

Thanks for a center that encourages letting go of obstacles to clarity and love.  

Thank you for a community of respectable friends. 

Thank you for a leader that respects life and demonstrates skill in words and actions.  Thanks for his continued efforts towards our growth into maturity.  

Thank you for fresh air and for being fed – may everyone everywhere have such gifts.  Thanks to the sincerity and care of our supportive community of laypersons, may they be forever a force of clarity in the world.  

Thanks for the prior experiences that led me to where I am now.

Thanks for the continued existence of so many various and diverse cultures and peoples.  Though many no longer exist, may no culture, ever again, be lost through violence or oppression.  

I am grateful that traditions and people with a much deeper connection to the land than I have ever experienced continue today.

Thanksgiving Prayer from the Mohawk

The People
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.
The Earth Mother
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.
The Waters
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 Water.
The Fish
We turn our minds to 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.
The Plants
Now we turn towards 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.

The Food Plants
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 and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs
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.

The Animals
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 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.

The Trees
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, other with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the
world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet
and thank the tree of life.
Now our minds are one.

The Birds
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.

The Four Winds.  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 to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come,
bringing us messengers and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our
greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.
Now our minds are one.

The Thunders
Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live.
With lightening and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews
life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to
our Grandfathers, the Thunders.
Now our minds are one.

The Sun
We now send the 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.

Grandmother Moon
We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the
Moon, who lights the nighttime sky. She is the leader of women 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.

The Stars
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 all
the Stars.
Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers
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.

The Creator
We turn our thoughts to the Creator, 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.

Prepared by Bettina Castagno

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Jacob Newman

Growing up in a middle class family with plenty of Western comforts was surprisingly stressful, so Jacob traveled the country and the world in search for a worthwhile path. After living in many cultures and coming to appreciate each one, he still seeks something even greater.Originally from Fayetteville, AR. Jacob works to care for our planet and all living creatures.

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