Thanksgiving is the most Jupiterian of all holidays, always falling on a Thursday (Jupiter’s day) with the Sun in Sagittarius in the western zodiac (also ruled by Jupiter). In Sanskrit Jupiter is called “Guru”—dispeller of darkness. Jupiter promotes the process of expansion by taking care of us on both the material and spiritual realms, providing both wealth and wisdom. Thanks Giving gives us the key to activating Jupiter’s power—we express our gratitude for what we receive both materially and spiritually and this keeps the flow of Grace showering down upon us from the heavens. When we practice yoga, tradition dictates that we always begin by taking a moment to offer our gratitude to all of the Gurus who have come before us and to humbly ask for their assistance in our ongoing journey:
Vande gurunam charanaravinde sandarshita svatma sukhavabhode
Nishreyase jangalikaya mane samsara halahala mohashantiye
“I offer praise and bow to the lotus feet of the Guru who teaches the way to self knowledge and great happiness, the Jungle Physician who dispels the poisonous delusions of Samsara.”
We begin practice by remembering and thanking all the teachers that came before us, who had the perseverance to learn, and the patience and generosity to teach. This expression of gratitude and humility is essential for the Guru to do the work of dispelling darkness. First there needs to be appreciation. It is this deep feeling of appreciation that creates true receptivity and humility, opening the gates of Heaven for the great outpouring of Divine Grace. It’s easy to forget to be grateful—I do it all the time. Then, sometimes, I remember, and Life opens up into that magical dimension when anything seems possible. Mercury should give us a little help in this regard—tomorrow it will finally complete it’s “Shadow” period as it returns to the exact degree where it turned retrograde back on October 21st—24 degrees Libra in the sidereal zodiac, in Vishaka Nakshatra—the Potter’s Wheel. The Shadow Mercury periods are typically times when we encounter setbacks of one kind or another, physically, financially, mentally, emotionally technically, etc. As of tomorrow, Mercury will be fully supportive again in his role as Buddha, the “Awakened One”.
On the subject of Gratitude, I’d like to offer my gratitude to the Los Angeles Lakers for resigning Kobe Brant for two more years, making sure he will be a “Laker for life”, and retire after playing 20 years for the same team—beating John Stockton’s record of 19 with the Utah Jazz. Kobe, currently the highest paid basketball player--making $30 million this year—offered to take a pay cut next year to $23.5 million, then will make $25 million in 2015. A lot of people have been critical of the Lakers and Kobe, saying that the Lakers are paying way over market value for an aging superstar who is coming back from a serious injury, and that Kobe is being selfish by not taking a more substantial pay cut to allow the team more room under the salary cap. I say bravo to the Lakers for offering a generous contract to someone who deserves it. People say, “What about Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, they agreed to play for significantly reduced contracts?’ If you look at how many minutes these guys play nowadays and how many games their coaches sit them because they are old, I’d say their contracts are fair. I’m hoping that when Kobe comes back (maybe Thanksgiving Day), he will work his way back to being a phenomenal player, playing heavy minutes and always ready to take the last shot—the “Black Mamba”.