Ananda Family News

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebration

Many members of the extended Ananda family gathered on Thursday morning for joyful and tasty Thanksgiving celebrations. Group meditation time was followed by a short service, launched off of a Bhagavad Gita reading reminding us to share our enjoyment of food with God, which was good, because we were about to enjoy our food very much.

(My favorite line, though, was Nirmoha quoting his aunt, who moved from Minnesota to California: "I believe that God gives us signs telling us where we should live. Those signs are called 'palm trees,' and if you see them around, then you know it's a good place to be." And now that I've heard that, I'll never look at a palm tree the same way again, which is a good way to practice the presence of God!)

Robert and Gloria did an amazing job coordinating the food for the lunchtime banquet. We had carrot-ginger-coconut-orange soup (my personal favorite -- wow!), classic Ananda nutloaf, mashed potatoes, fantastic cranberry relish, apple crisp, cinnamon ice cream, pumpkin pie, and more.

The entertainment included two barbershop songs, and a couple other unusual treats. The first of these was a reading of George Washington's original proclamation, creating Thanksgiving as a holiday in 1789. You can hear Dambara reading it in this video, accompanied by Yogananda's favorite patriotic melody:

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 2010 from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

And this led, via a not-too-convoluted segue, into Nirmoha's surprising revelation that yogic teachings have actually had a significant influence on country music. With thanks and apologies to Johnny Cash, you can hear the proof of it here:

Thanksgiving Banquet Entertainment 2010 from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

It was a delightful day all around, and I hope it helped us all realize how much we have to be thankful for. This is an incredible community we have here, with such generous, talented, joyful people. Thank you all for making Ananda what it is!

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