Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving offers us an opportunity to reflect on some of the basic underpinnings of our lives. This land, America, is not ‘ours’. Regardless of our ancestry, this land cannot be possessed by us. Actually, the reverse is true: we belong to the land.

The history of America holds deep pain and strife, sincere aspiration and devotion, greed, hatred, fear, generosity, love, and courage. False, muddled ideas about the dynamic between individuality and freedom have led to countless scenes of exploitation, manipulation, and outright theft. Each one of these scenes has taken place on the Earth.

If we think of the Earth as dead, ignorant rocks and dirt that somehow, incomprehensibly belched out intelligent, aspiring beings, then it doesn’t matter much. But if we open ourselves to the reality that the Earth is our primal Mother, awake, alive, and intelligent, then it matters a great deal. She has held us, whispered to us, guided us, and loved us through every gain and loss, every achievement and failure, every dream and nightmare. She has felt each embrace, each pain, each healing hand, each lash of the whip as her own, without exception.

The ancient yogic story of the Ramayana centers around the kidnapping of the beautiful and beloved Sita by the demon king Ravana. The name Sita means “furrow” as in a row of dug soil in which to plant seeds, and her beauty, integrity, and wisdom reflect the Earth. Ravana’s hunger to possess Sita arises from a profound sense of loneliness and isolation, he longs to be loved and nourished by her and believes that his only recourse is to capture and imprison her. Despite progressively dire warnings that if he does not let her go he will be killed by Ram, Ravana can’t set her free. He clings to the illusion of possessing her, even as he loses everything – his family, his kingdom, and eventually his own life.

The Ramayana can be seen as a promise that God (Ram) will come and destroy the loneliness in us that compels us to cling to the illusion of possessing the Earth. To the degree that we believe ourselves to be that loneliness, then its death will be painful. We will cling and fight and resist to the end. To the degree that we know ourselves to be one with all that is, the death of our loneliness becomes an incredible liberation. We can let go and surrender with grace.

We invite you today, as you reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving, to consider where you cling to loneliness and seek to protect your isolation. Where do greed and possessiveness find a foothold in your life? And how could you loosen their grip, even just a bit, knowing that they can never bring you the joy and satisfaction that they promise?

May all beings be liberated from the illusions that create greed. May the truth of our interbeing become self-evident. May we realize that our deepest fulfillment comes from sharing, giving, and blessing those around us because they ARE us, and in loving them we love ourselves.

America is a daughter of the Earth. May she become a beacon of love, as the Earth asks her to be. May we support the birth of a nation that joins freedom and unity in the deepest possible way. And may all who feel loneliness today be comforted by the experience of their unity with all, and of the Divine Love that embraces them always.

With Love,
Corinne and Matthew

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