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Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving 2017
Dear Heart,

Many years ago a visiting Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk and teacher, taught a lesson at our Center that left its mark on me until this day. The lesson that he drove home was that everything that we have and all of who we are is because of others. Without all the named and nameless others in our lives, we could not exist the way we do. This does not only support the idea of creating and having a loving compassionate community, it is simply a fact that the world exists because we lean on each other’s skills, talents, work, and brilliance. It would be good to recognize this Globally!

I could not be who I am without you as my counterpart. You could not be who you are without your family and friends as your counterpart. As a spiritual community, we lean on each other. As a society, we lean on all sorts of social services, everything from welfare to paving the streets. If we started a gratitude practice in this moment, thanking everyone in our life that has had anything to do with who we are, this conversation would not end for a very long time. We would have to thank everyone who has invented anything we have had the pleasure of mindlessly enjoying. We would have to think of all the inventors, the artists, and the visionaries that have existed, and that still exist today. To share a broad stroke of appreciation seems so trite. And yet, that remains a wonderful start.

So I will begin, THANK YOU! Thank you for who you are, for what you do in the world, for the gifts and talents you bring, and for the way you love. It doesn’t matter if we know each other a lot or a little, the world is better because you are in it and because you bring who you are to it. I am grateful that the presence and the power of the One Loving Intelligence shows up through you. I’m happy to be in any form of relationship with you. I thank God that you exist.

For you and all your friends, and your entire family, I say, may this Happy Thanksgiving simply serve as a reminder of the abundance that you have and the fully expressed being that you are.
Please know that you are LOVED.
Rev. Michelle Wadleigh, Founding Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Living North Jersey
and the leadership Council
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