A Thanksgiving Prayer and Blessing

Yesterday evening, I went to sub for a friend of mine - a beautiful yogini who has been traveling with John Friend in South America. Her class consisted of a wonderful group of funny and welcoming students. We had a great time. Two were celebrating birthdays. One of the two was a bit older than the second person, so we joked about one being a "bordeaux" and the other a "port" as opposed to a "beaujolais." I often use this imagery to explain that some of us need to take time to experience and taste our poses. Like aged fine wines, we need to "breathe our poses..."

But, that was not my theme. I continued using my theme of cultivating an attitude of gratitude...

At the end of class, I played this song by Eliza Gilkyson, called "Prayer 2000". Years ago, my own teacher used this in her own class during Thanksgiving week, and I have used it with my own students ever since. It is a beautiful reminder of all the things we have to grateful for, and it became an anthem of sorts for me.

Prayer 2000

Thank you for the sun
Thank you for the full moon
Thank you for my true love's face
And our lives and love consumed

Thank you for the stars
A home along the river
Thank you for the ancient groves
And the fishes brown and silver

Ponies running wild

Grass enough for grazing
Water flowing clean and pure
All the beauty that saves me

Thank you for the dawn
Oceans rise and falling
Children born to carry on
In the end that's always coming

Thank you for the songs
Thanks for all my good luck
All the things that don't go wrong
And the hopes that don't give up

Thank you for my tears
Loved ones who forgave me
Thank you for my darkest years
All the sorrow that made me

Thank you for my tears
Loved ones who forgave me
Thank you for my darkest years
All the sorrow that made me

And the beauty that saved me

This song is haunting for me. In many ways, it symbolizes the last two years of my life, and what I have learned to be grateful for...

I ended class by sharing this quote by Meister Eckhart:

"If the only prayer
you say is thank you,
it would be enough."

At the end of class, a beautiful student approached me and shared how a great aunt of hers, 94, had passed on last week. She was in a hospice. After having been helped to get to the bathroom, she turned to the person assisting her, and said very simply, "thank you." It was the last thing she said. She died with those words on her lips.

This student thought I would appreciate hearing this story. And it was an incredible gift to me. I also thought of how blessed it would be to die with these two words on your lips - "thank you!" So many traditions teach that how one dies determines more than anything else, what happens in the afterlife. I could only imagine the beauty of this woman's living that was in implicit in her dying.

Today, take a moment to say "thank you" - in more ways than one. There is so much to be grateful for!


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