Dear Worldwide Beloved Sangha;
This year has brought unprecedented change. But you know what? Change is always happening. I think sometimes we don't realize how much is changing because the world is spinning around so fast. This pandemic has slowed so many things down, and although the suffering and struggle have been overwhelming, I search for the blessings in every aspect of this experience. I have also benefited in countless ways as I slowed down - finding time for deep inner reflection that has changed how I see the world. It's inspired me to serve the world even more and to root out the parts of myself that still need attention and cultivation. I sincerely hope you are doing this work also. I know that on the other side of this experience, we will all benefit from inner exploration.
Thanksgiving is every day for me. I find it so interesting and wonderful that a single day is designated for gratitude and thanks. We have this opportunity - maybe even a responsibility - to have this gratitude every day. When we come together (virtually or otherwise) it's so important to dig deep and really express our thanks. My long life has taught me that the only way to make joy is to be grateful.
Here is a forever incomplete list of what I am grateful for:
My breath and each moment.
A big sky that seems to go on forever.
My mom and dad and sister and whole biological family.
Small dogs who curl up in my robes and bring me joy.
Our beautiful temple that serves so many.
The hearts of thousands of people who love me.
Our beautiful Sanatha Suwaya Meditation Center in Sri Lanka - Michael and staff give me comfort.
Our monks at the Blue Lotus who spend all day, every day figuring out how to love you more.
Deep and noble friendships.
Health care workers and their fearless commitment to serve.
Every person who causes me stress, reminding me I still have work to do.
Every morning with a candle, my altar, and time for deep meditation.
Old friends who know me without me talking.
The sounds of chanting while the rain hits the roof.
Technology that keeps me connected to so many people.
My heart's seemingly endless ability to love.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Sending you all the blessings. May we all be well, happy and peaceful.
Venerable Bhante Sujatha