The Thanksgiving Address


For those of us in the United States, the autumn holidays can also be seen as Colonization season, with the dominant culture celebrating occasions like Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, both of which have direct ties to settler colonialism and the suffering of Indigenous people. In this edition of The Quieted Mind, James leads us in a recitation of the Haundenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Despite the title, this address has no connection to the North American Thanksgiving holidays. It is an invocation recited at the opening and closing of religious and cultural meetings among people of the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations). In reciting it, the Haudenosaunee express and reaffirm their gratitude for life, the world around them, and the interconnectedness of all things. Join with us in honoring the Haundenosaunee people and decolonizing our understanding of Thanksgiving as we feed and nourish seeds of love and gratitude.

Referenced In This Episode:
Haundenosaunee Thanksgiving Address
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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The Quieted Mind: Metta (Lovingkindness) Meditation Practice

In this episode, we are introduced to the practice of Metta, or Lovingkindness meditation, and its origins in early Buddhist teaching. Metta meditation practice can be a useful technique in breaking down our notions and concepts of separateness and realizing the interconnectedness of all sentient beings.

Refereced in this Episode:
The Power of Metta: A Buddhist Story — from MountainHermitage.org

How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships by H.H. Dalai Lama

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I Am The Universe (Guided Meditation)

Picking up from his most recent dharma talk, James guides us through a meditation in which we practice identifying as the Universe.

Referenced in this episode:

Thich Nhat Hanh: No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Life Springs Up Again


In this edition of The Quieted Mind, James offers reflections on Spring as a marker and reminder of renewal and rebirth and leads a guided meditation.

 

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Return to the Breath

In our everyday lives, we spend so much of our waking hours running away from the present moment. We run around making ourselves busy, chasing whatever’s next. When we have a chance to stop this rushing and running, our thoughts are often consumed with fears about the future or regrets about the past.

The practice of conscious breathing is a way for us to stop running, quiet our minds for a moment, and fully inhabit the present moment with our body and mind. It can help bring us into a state of calm and ease, and leave us better equipped to face life’s circumstances as they arise rather than losing ourselves in constant worry about what *might* happen.

This brief meditation episode is highly influenced by Mindfulness of Breathing by Brother Phap Dung of Plum Village. Listen to meditations by Brother Phap Dung and others on the Plum Village Mobile App, available on iOS and Android.

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