There is an article in the NY Times today on Thanksgiving Etiquette. It seems it is not natural and needs to be taught and learned. It may be a family gathering of political and religious differences, and so, the day flows best with a truce of co-existence. It is good practice for the world.
I mentioned this issue of Parabola is on Home. There is an interview with Thich Nhat Hanh. I excerpt from it.
Parabola asks Thich Nhat Hanh at what point France became his home. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet and leader of Plum Village in France was exiled from his home, Vietnam, in 1966, because of his work as a peace activist.
Thich Nhat Hanh:
"Home is where the heart is. You are used to a landscape, a way of life, a certain atmosphere, and when you are away from that, you miss that home. But while you are missing that home, you are creating a home right where you are. And if you look deeply, you will see that one day you will have to leave this place and you will miss it also. A new environment, different kinds of people, different ways of life, different habits, and you are making it into another home. With the practice of mindfulness, you are happy to see that you are making another kind of home, and when you see that, you don't miss the previous home. In the beginning you believe that you will not be happy without that home, but later on you feel differently. You see that you have the capacity of living in the here and the now and making this place into your home so you don't wait until you go home to be happy. CNN called yesterday. They also wanted to talk about this subject, for the World Refugee Day. With practice, it is possible to live in the here and the now. The here and the now is our true home. If you do not live in the here and the now, you miss everything."
He also speaks on simplicity.
"By putting energy into acquiring more, people lose the time they might have to live - to enjoy what is available, to love, to take care of themselves and those around them. You are happier when your life is simpler. When your life is simpler, you can treasure the present moment. When you are in deep contact with the present moment, everything you seek appears. But sometimes people consume because they are afraid to be alone. Do not be afraid of suffering. Only be afraid you will not learn from your suffering.
Our practice begins with the self. Taking good care of the self. Embracing the self - our fears, concerns, angers, worries as well as our peace and joy. We nourish ourselves. We take time to rest. We sit mindfully. We walk mindfully. We drink tea mindfully. We eat mindfully. We chop carrots mindfully. We brush our teeth mindfully. We become good friends with the self.
Each time our fears arise, we welcome them. We welcome all our feelings and emotions, happy, sad, fearful. We embrace them as a mother embraces a crying child. We embrace our fears, we calm them, and recognize them. We find peace and happiness within ourselves. We let go of who we should be or who we would want anyone else to be. It is a slow process. Only when we are friends with our selves, all of our selves, can we then take care and love another. And to love another takes deep-looking, deep caring, deep listening. It takes time. A home is not made of acquisitions. It is made of attention and true love."
He makes it seem simple, doesn't he? Perhaps this Thanksgiving it will be so!! Happy Home to All!