The Great Mystery,Gratitude, Giving Thanks

Family saying GraceMost often, when my Family and I sit down for a meal together, we give thanks for our food.  Giving thanks is a small thing that has wider implications in One’s Life.  Through the simple act of giving thanks for your food, you are acknowledging the sacrifices of others so that your life may be sustained.  You are saying to the Universe and to Mother Earth that you appreciate all the hard work that has gone into creating the food, from farm, to market to the table.  The ripple effect of giving thanks for your food is like a radio wave, going out to the World and enlivening those who are in direct collision with your life, either anonymously or not.

The prayer we say is this:

“We thank The Great Spirit for the meal we are about to eat. 

We thank Mother Earth for providing the conditions for the food to come to our table.

We thank the Great Mystery, the many hands that brought our food to us.

We thank the plants and animals who sacrificed themselves in order for us to live on.

We give thanks to The Great Spirit and to Mother Earth for all the blessings in our lives and for all the blessings yet to come.

So be it.”

This simple prayer, said every meal time, re-enforces within the family unit that we are a grateful family and that we recognise the efforts of others.  Most of the prayer speaks for itself.  We must always acknowledge the sacrifice of the plants and animals, without them, we would simply perish.  Mother Earth is our home and she is our physical provider and The Great Spirit of Life, the force with which we are animated and of which we, as Spiritual Beings, recognise to be greater than us.  But what of ‘The Great Mystery’?  This is a concept I first came across when I was 28, working as a Clairvoyance Consultant in Caloundra, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  A colleague of mine was reading ‘Jesus’ Course in Miracles’ and he talked to me of The Great Mystery.  Later, I began to have an awareness of Native Americans also knowing of this concept.  In Australia, many of us revere the Native Americans and their spiritual knowledge.  I have learnt much from studying them and feel very honoured to have been a student of this culture.

My grasp of The Great Mystery, is, simply put…The many hands that bring you your belongings, food and transport.  All of the necessities and comforts of Life are created by someone.  It would boggle the mind to remember each name or each occupation which makes up the Great Mystery, but it is still there.

Nice ChairTake a chair for example.  This simple piece of furniture, common to almost every home on the planet, was created by many Human Beings.  Now presuming, you or a friend doesn’t make the furniture yourselves…we could easily contemplate The Great Mystery surrounding the Chair.  Looking at the materials it is made from, steel, wood, fabric, foam, nails, screws, plastic, rubber for the feet…who harvested the raw materials?  A miner, a wood farmer, a cotton grower, a rubber tree plantation worker, an oil refinery worker…who then took the raw materials and turned them into  products that could be used to build a chair? Who transported these products from their raw place of origin to the next stage in their lives?  Who packed them for transport?  Who inspected them so they were of a standard?  Who then took the materials and manufactured the chair?  Who tested the chair to meet government standards?  Who packed it?  Who transported it?  Who placed it in the show room?  Who priced it?  Who sold it to you and who transported it to your home?  A new chair.

Yes, your chair has had many, many hands in its creation and delivery to you.  This is an example of The Great Mystery.  It is the many hands that create all the things that surround your life.

You are an individual in a massive Human Community, which spans the Globe and holds within it the power to do or create anything.  You have the power, within your thanks and contemplation, to tap into this Great Mystery and to awaken your life within it.  By taking the time to contemplate The Great Mystery, you are taking the time to contemplate Gratitude.  Gratitude goes hand in hand with The Great Mystery in my experience.

Family giving thanks for their food.So often in Life, we can find ourselves caught up in the rat race and stressed, taking things for granted, because we are too dizzy with the fast pace to stop and gather our feet.  However, we all eat.  We all have the need for sustenance.  You take the time to enjoy your food and not to eat too quickly, so you don’t get indigestion.  Take a minute more to stave off your hunger, before the meal and to give thanks and to acknowledge the sacrifices’ of those who make up your food itself and The Great Mystery, the many hands who brought your food to you.

The Great Mystery is one of life’s magical wonders.  I hope this inspires you to dwell in gratitude and to contemplate the Great Mystery that surrounds you.

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