Poems, Prayers and Words for Centering your Circle

Light to other Women’s Circles: 

We breathe in the light of the candle into our hearts and send it out to all women’s circles, be they circles like ours, or women gathering to peel potatoes, to comfort a friend, to support a birth, or to plot a revolution, whether in the church, the boardroom, or the streets.

Light to other Circles: 

We breathe in the light of the candle into our hearts and send it out to all circles, be they circles like ours, or people gathering to harvest tomatoes or press the apples, to comfort a friend, to support a birth, to meditate, or to plot a revolution, whether in the church, academic halls, the boardroom, or the streets.

The center leads to love.  Rumi

Soul opens the creation core.

Hold on to your particular pain.

That too can take you to God.

Centering the Circle Lao-Tzu

“Many spokes united form the wheel but it is the center hole that makes it useful.  When you shape clay into an urn, it is the space within that makes it useful.  Cut doors and windows in a room; the opening makes them useful.  From the material, comes profit.  From the immaterial, usefulness.”  Lao-Tzu


It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

‘What Did You Do Once You Knew’ by Drew Dellinger

‘It’s 3.23 in the morning and I’m awake, because my great-great-grandchildren won’t let me sleep.

My great-great-grandchildren ask me in dreams

“What did you do while the Planet was plundered?

What did you do when the Earth was unravelling?

Surely you did *something* when the Seasons started failing?

As the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?

Did you fill the streets with protest when Democracy was stolen?

What did you *do* once you knew?” ‘

Prayer from Laguna Pueblo people:

I add my breath to your breath

That our days may be long on the Earth,

That the days of our people may be long,

That we shall be as one person,

That we may finish our road together.

“To Breathe”

 by Gunilla Norris from her book Simple Ways

Unobtrusively, softly, gently, air enters the body.

For a moment we are expanded, somehow made more.

Then the air leaves us.

The sound of its leaving

is like the swish of a skirt,

or the distant breaking of a wave.

There is no one who can feel this for us.

Only we can feel the rich gift of it.

No one can live this moment,

or any moment, for us.

It is ours alone

Yet we are not alone.

Every moment Life is there

infusing us

with the radiant risk and splendor of being.

It is breathtaking.

Make Creation Dance by Mary Beth Watt

Once again I found myself alone with Teacher

I treasured such times

For it was then I felt free to ask questions that sprang from the center of my being

The ones that in my insecurity I wished to keep from the other students

One such question had begun to nag at me

As I strove to perfect my manner of living in Teacher’s image

I asked:

Teacher, how can I leave my ego behind and become more like you?

Teacher frowned, in deep thought, I was certain

But when time passed and no reply came my patience failed and

I asked again:

Teacher, how can I shed desire and set myself into your noble image?

It was one of the few times Teacher spoke sharply to me, asking:

Why do you exist at all?

For a moment I allowed confusion to stir my thoughts,

But I had already learned to find answers to the hardest questions in the deepest

places of my being

I searched there now and said:

Teacher, I am here to honor Creation in the best way I can

As you do

I seek to be like you in that

Teacher softened, saying:

I am who I am

And it pleases me that that pleases you

But you are who you are

Set on a path of your own choosing

I can guide you to that path,

Show you ways to keep to it,

But every choice you make along the way is yours

Every goal you set is yours

Every thought that forms your future must be yours

If this is so, then it is clear

You must not become me

Only by becoming you will you make Creation dance

Others began to return, and our talk was over

I heard laughter as they entered

But instead of chiding them for their inattentiveness to our lessons

I joined them to find out what was so amusing

From the corner of my eye I saw Teacher smile

And Creation danced

Copyright © 2013 Mary Beth Watt. All rights reserved.


Each of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world. John O’Donohue, Anam Cara


I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

Sacred Alchemy

Prelude to writing an homage to 10-year anniversary of 9-11:

If only we had been able to bury all hatred on that day when we buried the victims of 9.11.2001.  If only we had transformed our basest emotions through all the sorrow and devastation and  the need for redemption we all felt worldwide, then we would not have had to bury all victims of the ensuing wars we have already fought and those that are still to come.

If only!

And what about today?   What about tomorrow? What are we going to do?  What are we waiting for, We The People?


In the name of sacredness of life, we humans wish to embrace

a loving partnership with all beings of this universe.

We are all related, interconnected from the very beginnings into the unknown future.

We thank all those living beings of the past who have turned into precious resources on our planet today.

We humans are here to live with them in a respectful way.

May we stand in awe of the sacredness of life as such

in the myriad of forms that it manifests itself.

Let us deeply feel, willingly and respectfully embrace, our role as

stewards, appreciators and celebrants of life

on planet earth today.

Our pledge to those who died on 9-11-2001

Judy from Germany,

written by the lake and its surrounding mountains,9,11,2011

Bernried, Bavaria

Benediction Bernadette Miller


May you taste the colors of sunset,

may you touch the chorus of dawn,

may your eyes turn toward the beauty

even when it’s gone.


May you weave a path of blessing

through ecstasy and grief.

May you tend the flame within you

may you feed it with belief.


May you find yourself in strangers

and meet them within you.

May you trust that we are windows

the world is peering through.


May you linger in each moment,

receiving with your heart

the gift of possibilities

that presence can impart.


May you become a portal

to the love behind your toil,

may you become a silence

within the world’s turmoil.


May the prayers that grow within you

bloom in many lands.

We are woven of connections

and peace is in our hands.



by Alice Walker

We have to live


or we

will die

in the same

old ways.



I call on all Grand Mothers


on the planet

to rise

and take your place

in the leadership

of the world


Come out

of the kitchen

out of the


out of the

beauty parlors

out of the



Step forward

& assume

the role

for which

you were


To lead humanity

to health, happiness

& sanity.


I call on

all the

Grand Mothers

of Earth

& every person

who possesses

the Grand Mother


of respect for



protection of

the young

to rise

& lead.


The life of

our species


on it.


& I call on all men

of Earth

to gracefully




stand aside

& let them

(let us)

do so.

from Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, by Alice Walker, 2010, New World Library. Printed in MS. MAGAZINE, Fall 2010, p.50

The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women [Paperback]

Sherry Ruth Anderson (Author),Patricia Hopkins (Contributor)

You will be teachers for each other.  You will come together in circles and speak your truth to each other.   The time has come for women to accept their spiritual responsibility for the planet.

Democratic Womanism by Alice Walker

You ask me why I smile

when you tell me you intend

in the coming national elections

to hold your nose

and vote for the lesser of two evils.

There are more than two evils out there,

is one reason I smile.

Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus

comes to mind, with his fearful

400 year old prophecy: that our world

and theirs too

(our “enemies” – lots of kids included there)

will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)

in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections

and the billions of dollars wasted on them

somewhat fatuous.


A Southerner of Color,

my people held the vote

very dear

while others, for centuries,

merely appeared to play

with it.


One thing I can assure

you of is this:

I will never betray such pure hearts

by voting for evil

even if it were microscopic

which, as you can see in any newscast

no matter the slant,

it is not.


I want something else;

a different system


One not seen

on this earth

for thousands of years. If ever.

Democratic Womanism.


Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it?

That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center. But he is surrounded.

I want to vote and work for a way of life

that honors the feminine;

a way that acknowledges

the theft of the wisdom

female and dark Mother leadership

might have provided our spaceship

all along.


I am not thinking

of a talking head
 kind of gal:
 happy to be mixing
 it up
 with the baddest
 bad boys
 on the planet
 her eyes a slit
 her mouth a zipper.

No, I am speaking of true
 regime change.

Where women rise
 to take their place
 en masse
 at the helm
 of earth’s frail and failing ship;

where each thousand years
 of our silence
 is examined
 with regret,
 and the cruel manner in which our values
 of compassion and kindness
 have been ridiculed
 and suppressed
 brought to bear on the disaster
 of the present time.

The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
 it there.
 I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
 Socialist, Womanism.
 For who else knows so deeply
 how to share but Mothers
 and Grandmothers? Big sisters
 and Aunts?

To love
 and adore
 both female and male?
 Not to mention those in between.
 To work at keeping
 the entire community
 fed, educated
 and safe?

Democratic womanism,
 Democratic Socialist
 would have as its icons
 such fierce warriors
 for good as
 Vandana Shiva
 Aung San Suu Kyi,
 Wangari Maathai
 Harriet Tubman
 Yoko Ono
 Frida Kahlo
 Angela Davis
 & Barbara Lee:
 With new ones always rising, wherever you look.


There is no system

There is no system

now in place

that can change

the disastrous course

the Earth is on.


Who can doubt this?


The male leaders

of Earth

appear to have abandoned

their very senses

though most appear

to live now


in their heads.

They murder humans and other


forests and rivers and mountains

every day
they are in office

and never seem

to notice it.


They eat and drink devastation.

Women of the world,

Women of the world,

Is this devastation Us?

Would we kill whole continents for oil

(or anything else)

rather than limit

the number of consumer offspring we produce

and learn how to make our own fire?


Democratic Womanism.

Democratic Socialist Womanism.


A system of governance

we can dream and imagine and build together. One that recognizes

at least six thousand years

of brutally enforced complicity

in the assassination
of Mother Earth, but foresees six thousand years

ahead of us when we will not submit.


What will we need? A hundred years

at least to plan: (five hundred will be handed us


when the planet is scared enough)

in which circles of women meet,

organize ourselves, and,

allied with men
brave enough to stand with women,

men brave enough to stand with women,

nurture our planet to a degree of health.


And without apology —-

(impossible to make

a bigger mess than has been made already) -—

devote ourselves, heedless of opposition,

to tirelessly serving and resuscitating Our Mother ship

and with gratitude
for Her care of us

worshipfully commit

 rehabilitating it.

The Dream We Stand Inside

May you find divinity

in each being that you see;

in the whole society;

in the person you call me;


in ants and in bumblebees;

in pines and in other trees;

in the hungry morning breeze;

in the rough loquacious seas.


May the lively morning light

linger long within your sight.

May the broad wings of delight

give your song the gift of flight.


May the stream’s strength flow through you,

may the star’s silence sing you,

may the prairie’s peace hold you,

may the earth’s arms enfold you.


May your dreams grow just as wide

as the dream we stand inside.

When the shell of you has died

may the love you are abide.

~ Bernadette Miller



Earth Prayer by Chinook Psalter

Ice mountain melted

ages ago

and made this ridge,

his place of changes.


Now we are rooted in it,

we of the old ones,

we of the new ones from afar,

oatgrass meadow, douglas fir thicket,

we are rooted in the ridge of changes in the time of changes.


The winds carry strange smells; this is a day of change.


Great ones above and below, bless us!


O shining One above, feed us with your light!

O soft ones, sky darkeners, wash us with your raindrops!

O powers above us, bless us with your gifts,

for we reach up to you,

branching wood and sap.


O Earthmother from whom we grow,

sandy gravel into whom our roots branch wood

and sap deep down,

bless us in our night-sleep, in our death and decay.


Bless us, dark earth as we give back

that which we have received

as we make a forest of blessing a ridge of blessing

for the future to grow upon.


Stone Telling 

This exercise can follow on Centering with a basket of stones = Ancient Ones, Elders

This is an exercise concocted last fall at Rowe Conference Center, when I wanted  to give people a short spell in nature before the rain started up again. 

Go outside. Let yourself be drawn to a natural object, a stone, a plant, a tree. Let this life-form become your teacher. Watch and be with it. Let it tell you of three strengths that are yours:  One is a strength you were born with.  The second is a strength you have won through  hardship.  The third is a strength you will discover as you take part in the Great Turning.

Gather Round The Campfire

By Ramapriya Ruiz

Gather round the Campfire.

Witness the Mystery:

Stories emerging out of the Flames



The Eye, focused on Infinity,

hears the Embers

creating and dissolving

billions of universes


Eternity’s Stillness


We are the Seed!

Inside this Glow

Ancient Remembrance


unexpressed dimensions of our soul


My expression of joy, inspired by fire, this day: Thank you, Ramapriya, for this wonderful circle!


Group Grounding

Excerpted from The Empowerment Manual by Starhawk

This is a very simple and general grounding.

Let’s all stand in a circle. Take a moment and stretch, and feel your body. Where are you holding tension? What needs to be released? Take a deep breath, let it go and bring yourself to a nice, easy, balanced stance, with your knees slightly bent. Take some deep breaths down into your belly.

Close your eyes. Feel you feet on the ground. Allow yourself to feel the weight of gravity and how your feet push down against the earth. Let yourself think for just a moment about what you stand for. What drew you to this group? To its work and values?

Imagine you have roots, like a tree, extending down from your feet into the earth. As you breathe, let them push down through the soil and rock and water under the earth, thinking about what feeds and supports the work of this group and your own work within it.

As you reach the mantle of living fire beneath the earth, take a breath and release anything you don’t want to bring into this meeting. Just let it go, on your breath, and feel the fire transform it.

Now take a breath and draw up a spark of that fire – a spark of the inspiration and passion you feel for the work at hand. Draw it up through your roots, through the rocks and the water and the soil, up into your feet and legs, up through the base of your spine, and feel your spine expand and grow like the flexible trunk of a living tree. Draw some of that warm fire into your heart, and feel the heart connections you are making. Draw it up into your shoulders and down into your hands, and honor the work of your hands. Draw it up into your head and out of the top of your head like branches that reach up to the sky and hen sweep back down to touch the earth. Feel the circuit of energy that this creates.

Now feel the sunlight (or moonlight, or starlight) on your leaves and branches. Take a deep breath, and draw some of that down, into your leaves and down through the top of your head, through your heart and hands and belly, down through your feet into the earth. Draw in some of the energy you need to realize the vision and do the work.

And just stand for a moment, breathing, feeling yourself as a conduit between earth and sky. Now become aware that under the earth, all of or roots are intertwined. And above our heads, our branches are intertwined. We stand together, a sacred grove, sharing our vision and our work to make it real.

Let’s take some deep breaths together, in and out … our breath becoming one breath, in and out … letting your breath become and sound, a tone that you give to the circle.

(When the tone dies away) And now let’s just take in some of that energy, the energy we each need for the work tonight. And look around, and acknowledge everyone in the circle. Thank you! And now let’s begin.

Anchor to Core Self

This exercise is probably the most basic and useful spiritual practice I know. I learned a version of it originally from bodywork teacher Suzette Rochat, and another version can be found in The Twelve Wild Swans. I use it everyday, as a basic wake-up meditation, under stress, when I need to make an important decision. I’ve taught it to activists preparing to go into dangerous situations, to permaculturalists wanting to learn how to better observe what’s going on in the garden and to spiritual circles wanting to meditate in the woods.

Begin with the grounding above. Now, as you stand grounded and centered, notice how your body feels. Think of a time, place or situation in which you feel at home and comfortable, when you can just be yourself, without any masks or pretense or face to keep it up. A grounded but neutral state, when you can just be in touch with your deepest, creative power, without having to use it. Say your own name to yourself, and notice in your body where you feel it reverberate.

Can you find a place on your body that resonates with this state? Take a deep breath, and touch that place. Or perhaps it’s a stance or a gesture, but find something physical you can create as an anchor to this core, grounded, neutral state.

Now, can you think of an image or a symbol for this state? Perhaps it’s something from this scene you are remembering or imagining. It could be a color or a shape. Find something visual, and as you touch your physical place, hold it in your mind and tell yourself that by visualizing this image you can bring yourself into this core, grounded, neutral state.

Now, can you think of a word or phrase you can say, your magic word or affirmation that you can associate with this core, grounded, neutral state? Take a breath, and say the word or phrase to yourself, as you visualize your image and your physical place. Tell yourself that by using these three things together – your physical touch, your image and your word or phrase – you can quickly and instantly bring yourself into this core, grounded, neutral state.

Take a breath, and open your eyes. Look around you, and notice how the world looks when you are in this core, grounded, and neutral state? How do other people look when they are anchored to their core self?

Now, you can let go of the physical gesture, the image and the phrase, and still stay grounded and centered. We will practice with this anchor, and I encourage you to practice also at home. The more you use it, the more it will become ingrained, until it becomes your natural, default state in response to stress.


Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Prayer

Each Iroquois council is started with thanksgiving prayers.

A version of the thanksgiving address has been published by the Mohawks, one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee, and begins like this:

The People

Today e have gathered and we see the ate cycles of life continue.  We hgave been given the suty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things.  So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thngs to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to ur Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all tat we need for life.  She supports our feet as we walk about upon her.  Ti gives us jouy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time.

To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Thanksgiving Address is viewable at


Another Version:

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supplies us with water.

We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.

We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and squash, which give us life.

We return thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide us with fruit.

We return thanks to the wind, which, moving the air, has banished diseases.

We return thanks to the moon and the stars, which have given us their light when the sun was gone.

We return thanks to our grandfather He-no, who has given to us his rain.

We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.

Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.

I am home by  TN Hanh

“I have arrived. I am home. My destination is in each step.”


I thank You God for most this amazing

by e. e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes


(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)


how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any–lifted from the know

of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?


(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born again    [to eternal life. Amen]

Life Story

By Mary Oliver

When I lived under the black oaks

I felt I was made of leaves.

When I lived by Little Sister Pond,

I dreamed I was the feather of the blue heron

left on the shore;

I was the pond lily, my root delicate as an artery,

my face like a star,

my happiness brimming.

Later I was the footsteps that follow the sea.

I knew the tides, I knew the ingredients of the wrack.

I knew the eider, the red-throated loon

with his uplifted beak and his smart eye.

I felt I was the tip of the wave,

the pearl of water on the eider’s glossy back.

No, there’s no escaping, nor would I want to escape

this outgo, this foot-loosening, this solution

to gravity and a single shape.

Now I am here, later I will be there.

I will be that small cloud, staring down at the water,

the one that stalls, that lifts its white legs, that

looks like a lamb.


Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

Mary Oliver


Mil Gracias

To the Human Whisperers

Who brought my name into their

Inner sanctuaries


To the Seers and Beseechers,

To All My Relations who reached out,

Creating the great alchemy that

Lovingly, gently

guides the body back into the groove of

Joyful Awareness

Mil Gracias

By Ramapriya


“Ohenton Kariwahtekwen”



Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.


We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.


We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.


With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.


We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one


We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.


We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.


We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.


We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.


We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.


We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.


We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.


Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.


We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

Prayer from Laguna Pueblo people:

I add my breath to your breath

That our days may be long on the Earth,

That the days of our people may be long,

That we shall be as one person,

That we may finish our road together.


To Read For Thanksgiving Day

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen “Words Before All Else”

This prayer is a gift from the Haudenosaunee People (The Iroquois Nation) for you to remember perhaps at your Thanksgiving table – and especially with children. The real observance of the first Thanksgivings by first peoples has been all but forgotten by American culture. It is time to remember.

Let us greet the world in Thanksgiving as if we were sharing one mind, one heart, and one body. Today we have gathered and come from many different places. We have arrived safely at this place to share with each other our gifts from the Creator.

So we bring our minds together as one in Thanksgiving and Greetings to one another. We now turn our thoughts to Earth Mother. She continues to care for us and has not forgotten her instructions from the beginning of time. Now we bring our minds together in Thanksgiving for the Earth.

Now as one mind we turn our thoughts to the Waters of the Earth for they too have not forgotten their instructions from the Creator of Life. The Waters continue to flow beneath the ground, in little streams and in rivers, in lakes and in wetlands, and in the great seas. They quench our thirst and help keep us clean so we can fulfill our duty to Creation. We now bring our minds together in Thanksgiving to all the Waters of the Earth.We now address all the Beings both seen and unseen that dwell in the Water for they too have not forgotten their original instructions from the Creator of Life to provide for us in many ways. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to all the Nations who dwell in the Waters.

Now we direct our thoughts to the many kinds of plants that live upon the Earth- for they too have not forgotten their original instructions. Many members of this Nation sustain those who walk upon this Earth, and many others who continue to fulfill their duties to take away the sickness of the human family and elevate human consciousness. With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to the Plant Nations. With one mind we now think of our relations in the many Insect Nations. Like the other members of the natural world, they too have not forgotten their original instructions to fulfill their obligation to Continued Creation.

With one mind we send our thoughts and Thanksgiving to all the members of the Insect Nations.We now gather our minds together and send Greetings and Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world, for they continue to instruct and teach us even today. It is said that the Creator knew that Humans would take too much for granted if they were given all the wisdom, so instead the Creator gave a little piece of wisdom of how to live on the Earth to the different animals. We are happy that many still walk with us on our continuing journey. With one mind we send Thanksgiving to all the Animal Life in the world.

With one mind we now think of the Trees. According to their original instructions the Trees still give us shelter, warmth, food, and make the environment a suitable place to dwell. The trees remind us of the beauty and power in the natural world. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to all the members of the Tree Nation.

We now bring our minds together and send our Greetings of Thanksgiving to the Birds. At the beginning of time the Birds were given a special duty to perform. The Creator gave the Birds instructions to each find a special place to live in the world and they should learn the song of that place. During the day, our minds are lifted by the songs of the Bird Nations. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Birds of the world.

We are thankful to the Four Winds who continue to blow and cleanse the air according to their original instructions. As we listen to the Winds it is as if we are hearing the Creator’s breath, clearing our minds as it blows through the trees. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to the Four Winds.We now turn our attention to the Thunderbeings. For they too have not forgotten their original instructions and welcome the Spring with their loud voice. Along with the lightning, they carry the waters of the spring on their backs. It is also said that the Thunderbeings were given the job to hold down the beings beneath the Earth which would prevent life from continuing. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Thunderbeings.

Our minds are as one as we send our thoughts to our oldest brother the Sun. Each day the Sun continues his instructions from the Creator of Life, bringing the light of day, the energy source of all life on Earth. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving to our oldest brother the Sun.

We now gather our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother the Moon. She holds hands with all the women of the world and binds all of the female cycles and rhythms of the Waters so we may continue to carry out our obligation to Creation. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to Grandmother Moon.

With one mind we send our thoughts to the Star Nation who continue to light our way during times of darkness to guide us home, and hold the secrets of many forgotten stories. Even though many of the stories are no longer in our minds, it is said it is enough to be thankful to the Stars and perhaps one day we would learn these stories again. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Star Nation.

With our minds as one we think of the Four Spirit Beings who live in the Four Directions. At the beginning of time when the Creator first made the Human Family, it was seen that they very quickly got themselves into trouble. The Creator knew that they needed extra help and so created the Four Spirit Beings to remove the obstacles from our paths and guide us with our feelings. And now we gather our minds together as one and send our special Thanksgiving to the Four Spirit Beings.

Now we have arrived in a very special place where dwells the Great Spirit, the Creator of the Universe. As one mind we turn our thoughts to the Creator, for without the Creator we would not be able to walk on the Earth fulfilling our original instructions.

Everything we need is provided for us and all we have to remember is to give thanks. With one mind we send our Thanksgiving and Greetings to the Creator.We have now become like one being. We send our Prayers and special Thanksgiving Greetings to all the unborn children of the future generations.

We send our thoughts to the Elders and the Children for they give us guidance and purpose to live in a good way. We are thankful to all the Enlightened Teachers who have come to help us throughout the ages. We send our thoughts to the many different beings we may have missed during our Thanksgiving. With one mind we send Thanksgiving and Greetings to all of the Nations of the World.

Now Our Minds Are One×7164691


“Peace I leave with you; my own peace I give you.” – John 14:27


May the Light of Your Soul Guide You

By John O’Donohue

May the light of your soul guide you.

May the light of your soul bless the work

You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.

May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.

May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those

Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.

May your work never weary you.

May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.

May you be present in what you do.

May you never become lost in the bland absences.

May the day never burden you.

May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,

Possibilities and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.

May your soul calm, console and renew you.

Small quotes

What is Spirituality? I asked Grandma Aggie

“If you walk your talk, that is spirituality.  You’re walking your talk as you see it, not as I see it.”

~ Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim


Be true to who you are, and true to the grand vision.

~ Cornell West


Find notes from MLK from “3 Dimensions of Full Life” … talking about civil rights workers…

Spirituality – Civil Rights workers, working for Peace and justice….

Have a belief in the future; and a sense of a cosmic companion…

The Offering


You are a dream

in the heart of the infinite,

a song in the soul

of the world.

You are a hope

in the womb of the earth,

a memory

on the journey of your people.

So lay down the wounds

and strengths

you mistook for yourself.

You know how to inhabit

your story

with enough faith

to abandon it.

Something deep within

knows the patience

of egrets

poised like statues

over the life they will become.

When transformation becomes

a given though accidental


of play,


will become your hands.

In the tribute of revelry

healing is born

so caste your stars

into the world’s skies.

And seek, in the hushed cathedral

of your heart,

the reflection of the divine.


~ Bernadette Miller

Thich Nhat Hanh quotes

More at


“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power


“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace


People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you

don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not

doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or

less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have

problems with our friends or family, we blame the other

person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will

grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive

effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason

and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no

reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you

understand, and you show that you understand, you can

love, and the situation will change”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching


To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love


“My actions are my only true belongings.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology


Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh two breaths.

Jenny: “it’s a way of getting to the happy place while in grief without faking it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh’s two breaths:

I breathe in, I relax my body.

I breathe out, I smile.

I breathe in, I am only in this moment (notice sensory input, not thoughts)

I breathe out, This moment is wonderful.(if it needs a boost, curl up in blanky for this part)

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

Yoga Meditation – Infinite Light

Finish with a period of complete rest and relaxation.

First relax your hands by loosely shaking them a bit.  As if trying to shake water drops from your fingers. Do the same with your right foot, then with your left foot. Now stretch your hands above your head as if trying to reach for the sun, rise on tip toes and stretch as high as you can.

Next, let your body become limp and heavy.  Pretend you are a drooping long-stemmed water lily and slowly sink to the floor.  Lie down and close your eyes.  This lifeless pose is called Savāsana in Sanskrit.

Now concentrate on the tips of your toes: Relax them by withdrawing all activity from them.  In the same way, relax your feet, then the legs, the thigh, the trunk; the back…Let the feeling of relaxation gradually overtake the whole body.  Relax your shoulders your hams, your fingertips….

Drop your chin and let the lower jaw sag to relax the muscles of the face.  Now try to feel you are so heavy you are sinking into the floor, still fully relaxed and completely at your ease.

Lie like this, calmly for a while.  Then take a few deep breaths and try to visualize a cloud – a soft white cloud drifting in the sky.  Hold this image for some time, then dismiss it.  Now imagine that you are this cloud.  You feel so light…so relaxed…just floating in the sky…passing another cloud…gently gliding along above a green valley…a field… a forest…above a small lake in which you see your reflection….How pleasant to be so gently airy…So free and happy….you are just a cloud in the vast blue sky ….

Next try to dismiss all thoughts from your mind and make it completely blank and thoughtless, as if you were sinking into oblivions, into nothingness…fully relaxed, peaceful and quiet….

Stay like this as long as you wish, then begin slowly, very slowly, to stretch your body. First stretch your  arms above your head, yawning deeply.  Stretch the hands…the fingers…the shoulders…the spine…the legs…. roll over on your right side and arch your back roll to the left side, arching once more.  Again, lie flat on your back or abdomen, then after a while still yawning and stretching, slowly sit up

You may now get up and go about your business, but in our classes we always finish the lesson with a period of meditation in which everyone joins including those who have taking up yoga to get rid of some weight, of premature wrinkles, constipation, tension, insomnia and similar complaints.

We simply sit down in the lotus pose, or else cross-legged.   Close the eyes, and take a few deep breaths, then we wit very still, trying to direct our thoughts to the infinite light which is God, Truth, Love, and is beyond form,  beyond our understanding.  We try to realize that It is everywhere, both outside us and within us; that we, as human beings, are the carriers of the Divine Light here on earth. That it dwells in our hearts that our bodies are the Temple of the Living Spirit, and that we should let this spirit Shine though our eyes, speak through our words, be felt though our deeds.

Then we send a thought of peace and love to all those around us.  To our family, our friends, those whom we love, those whom we don’t love, to all livings beings on this earth and beyond.

At the end, we all say aloud:

From the unreal to the Real

From the darkness to the Light

From death to Immortality


Shanti, shanti, shanti

OM is the sacred sound of the Hindus, and Shanti means peace in Sanscrit.

You may also say any other prayer, or use your own wording – this is up to you.  But I suggest that at least once a day you remind yourself that you are of divine origins and you are on this earth to bring love, peace and goodness to all living creatures.