Ananda Family News

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Our Thanksgiving festivities last Thursday had a number of fun new elements to them this time around. Shanti led the service, but shared mic time with Brahmacharis Vinny and yours truly, and so we got to look at the topic of gratitude from a few different angles. (Videos of our respective talks are here, here and here.)

We got some audience participation going as well, when Rita and friends led the congregation in some simple dance movements to the chant “Door of My Heart.” And at the end of service, we each got to take an autumn leaf, inscribed with one of the 8 aspects of God, and offer it at the altar. Later these leaves were taken to Ananda Valley Farm to be added into the soil. That should result in some pretty tasty veggies by next harvest season.

In between courses of our fabulously scrumptious Thanksgiving banquet (thanks to Robert and a host of volunteer cooks and helpers), we had another opportunity for creative expression. We all got paper and pens and did the “vertical poem” exercise (from one of Bharat’s famous Sharing Nature activities). One holiday-related word written vertically down the side of the page provides the starting letters for each line of a poem, which then comes to life almost magically, no poetry experience required. Several people shared their poems at the microphone, and we posted them on boards for everyone to read, as well. I have to say, I’m dying to know what Thanksgiving is like in the home of whoever chose the word “warthogs” to base their poem on.

Want to see some more poems, and more pictures? Check out all the photos of the day here.

And finally, I’ll leave you with a couple videos of amusing songs from the banquet entertainment. First, a list of things, some of which we are more thankful for than others:

And second, an amoeba love song. No, that has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. Yes, you should definitely watch it anyway:

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