LEGS: /topic Ben's 11/25 Seminar
11 pm EST, 10 CST, 9 MST, 8 PST
Subject: Thanksgiving

suitESPirit: I AM THANKFUL ... For the teenager who is not doing dishes but is watching TV, because that means he is at home and not on the streets. For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed. For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am out in the sunshine. For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech. For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear.

suitESPirit: I AM THANKFUL ... For my huge heating bill, because it means that I am warm. For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear. For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard. For the alarm that goes off in the early morning, because it means that I am alive.

FRAML: Ben: It used to be that I was tankful -- when I was in an armor outfit in the Army.

suitESPirit: oops -- sorry to intrude ...

Ben: suitESPirit: You're right on topic. I'll have a place for those posts in a minute. *S*

Ben: The topic for tonight is thanks-giving. I have 2 comments and 4 questions.

Ben: Comment: Thanks-giving is a verb; it is something we do or can do. There can be a variety of different motives behind it, such as feelings of gladness or gratitude or duty or obligation or indebtedness. I plan to explore some of these motives tonight.

Ben: Comment: The American national holiday called "Thanksgiving" originated in feelings of gladness and gratitude. The Pilgrims were glad to be alive. Almost half their people had died the previous winter. They were glad they had enough food stored up to survive the coming winter. And they were grateful. They gave thanks to God. And they hosted a week-long party to thank Squanto and his people -- the ones who had found them starving, took pity on them, and taught them how to survive in this strange new world. There are parallels here worth thinking about.

Ben: QUESTION 1: When did (or do) you feel moved to give thanks? To whom? Please describe a specific example or a typical situation. YOUR TURN

guitarist: I am thankful to my husband and stepson, who helped my mother by working on her car and fixing it yesterday and today, without complaining.

FRAML: Ben: Actually a thanks-giving service took place in Virginia a few years before the one with the Pilgrims. When I receive something, a gift, a compliment, help in a project, or a kindness.

Terrie: I give thanks all the time ... every time I think of it ... for everything and anything. I call it giving 'gratitude' ... an attitude of gratitude. I find this lifts me up when I'm down, and puts me even higher up when I'm not down.

Ishtahota: To people like me and my groups, attitude is gratitude. Finding a path that was in my heart, one I could live with and grow with. I'm even thankful for the hard times in my life for they also held many good lessons.

FRAML: I'm thankful for LEGS, re-posting the topic announcement for tonight.

Terrie: A typical situation for me is having to deal with a difficult employee (I manage a restaurant) in a difficult situation. I come away from it saying (after I've done the primal screaming first), "Thank you God for giving me this opportunity to grow."

guitarist: Ben: You asked for more than my previous post. I am usually thankful when a bout of work is completed, and I can relax. A successfully completed school semester, for example, or a project on which I've been working a long time. Every once in a while I stop and count my body parts, and thank G-d they are all there. I take stock of my marriage and family in the same manner, and am thankful they are all there.

LEGS: When I am in the presence of friends and family ... even by the internet ... *s* for instance, I am thankful to be on-line and here tonite and thankful to see all of you, my friends.

guitarist: So am I (((LEGS)))

Ben: I am still moved to thank Doctor Shattuck -- on whom be peace -- because he saved my four-year-old son's hearing many years ago.

DestinyB: I'm thankful that I don't have to eat anymore turkey for awhile ... four Thanksgiving dinners in 3 days is WAY TOO MUCH for anyone! And I cooked 3 of them!

guitarist: DestinyB: Hi there! I went to my best friend's house on T-Day and cooked one yesterday, myself. *s*

LEGS: I'm thankful for the health that holds steady in my loved ones, though there are problems, they do not seem to be worsening just yet ... a blessing.

Ben: For me, thanks-giving tends to be very specific, focused on a person or group and something that person or group has done, for me or for someone else. Thus, it is motivated by gratitude and vicarious gratitude. I can be glad about something that happened without feeling a need to thank someone for it.

FRAML: Ben: ditto

Ben: Note: Other types of giving (such as care-giving) place the giver in a superior position. Thanks-giving is humble, because it places the receiver above the giver.

Yopo: Hmm ... Maybe I ought to think more about gratitude for the "little" things. The times that come to mind when I've felt a strong sense of gratitude have generally involved safe passages through times of serious peril. Loved one coming through a critical illness, for example. Guess if I've felt a need to pray, I've felt gratitude when things have turned out well.

LEGS: I'm often blessed by FRAML's punny sense of humor ... *s* and his appreciation of things I just automatically do. *G*

suitESPirit: Every morning when I open my eyes, I look over & see my husband's face. I am so thankful it is a natural color, which means we've both made it thru the night. How much more thankful can you get, which means WE ARE ALIVE. The prayers then begin ... thru out the day.

guitarist: I concur, suitESPirit ... though my husband usually wakes before I do. Sometimes I check him while he sleeps if he's too quiet, or try to change his position if he is snoring (then, I get really nervous, what with all the concern about sleep apnea and all). I am grateful to see him alive every day.

Yopo: I think maybe it's when things work out that have seemed beyond my personal control to effect the outcome, that I feel the most gratitude.

FRAML: Ben: I give thanks for the person who said to me "Frank, we don't want to loose you," and shook me to my senses for me to take care of myself.

LEGS: I am thankful that the world is learning somewhat to accept other people regardless of their heritage, though with the conflicts we hear of, it is still in great turmoil of hatred of differences people are born into and can't escape. I am grateful that some people have found ways to help those who are oppressed ... like here in St. Louis there is a large concentration of Bosnians in the new residents to the area.

Ben: QUESTION 2: Do you ever feel that you *must* give thanks? To whom? Please describe a specific example or a typical situation. YOUR TURN

FRAML: Ben: My previous statement is both a 'must' and a need to give thanks. To the person and to God for having her say that to me at a time when I just didn't care about whether I lived or died.

Ben: FRAML: *smile*

Ishtahota: One I do very often is give thanks to people who have the s--t jobs out there in the world. People who serve the public. People behind the counters at Burger King, waitresses and waiters. I always kid with them or take their side when a patron gives them a hard time for no reason at all.

Ben: Ishtahota: *smile* I agree. And I will use one such example to conclude this session.

guitarist: When I was little, that's how I was taught to be thankful. "Say 'thank you' to (whomever)," someone would say to me. "Please" and "Thank you" were Etiquette 101.

Ben: Many years ago, I felt I *had to* thank my grandfather for what he had meant to me when I was a boy growing up without a father. That was the only letter I ever wrote to him; it was on the table next to his bed when he died a few weeks later. My grandmother told me that he had read it many times. Now, I sometimes feel that I *must* thank someone for something, because if I don't, I'm going to wish I had.

LEGS: Ben, I am a person who is so aware of mortality that I want everything done right before I leave the house, before I leave the job. I want those I care about to know those caring words last from my lips as I leave. Perhaps morbid is the word.

guitarist: Ben, I didn't realize you meant 'promptings of spirit' when you asked if we felt we *must* give thanks. I thought you meant we were bullied into it or prompted by people, for whatever reason.

LEGS: I'm thankful that Ben has been leading these discussions and seminars for so long ... and very grateful that he is here tonite with us.

Ben: LEGS: Thank you, dear friend.

Yopo: (I wonder why the "to whom" part seems so puzzling?) Yeah, *must* seems appropriate in many cases. I guess if I've prayed, I've petitioned. If things have gone as I asked, a "thank you" is a matter of common courtesy. (This is actually sorta hard for me to unravel. My concept of deity is rather vague ... )

Ben: Yopo: The Pilgrims thanked God. They also thanked Squanto and his people. So, thanks-giving can be directed to deity and/or to other people (incarnate or discarnate). A little "thank-you" is also thanks-giving.

suitESPirit: One of the only things our Guides/Angels request is that we please remember to thank them for their help. I think it just an automatic/natural thing to always be in perpetual thanksgiving ...

FRAML: Ben: I remember thanking a person at church a couple of years ago on Father's Day for being a surrogate father for me. He was there when I needed a friend and knew that I needed one before I did. He is still a person I'm thankful for.

DestinyB: I'm thankful for my health, a roof over my head, plenty to eat, & most of all my family. I've come way too close to losing all these in the past few years. I thank the Creator for all the blessings in my life every day. It's the least I can do.

LadyBleu: Re: in the days of the pilgrims giving thanks and it being a verb word ... brings to mind "No waste no want" ... "a stitch in time" ... like no waste in things and in speech ... things of necessity ... etc. Being grateful and giving thanks for provisions ... like praying incessantly ... more consciously for thanks ... because of more free time with self ... (open spaces) ... with a keener sense of awareness ... because of survival measures. Remembering to be kind ... what is yours is anyone's in need ... the necessity of sharing and caring ... simply because the community circles were small and who could get away with much? ... haha! ... "I'll tell your papa!" haha!

LEGS: I think one of the dear things in most of our lives is the ability to remember. When someone we know has lost that ability, it points it up in our minds, but when we are moaning and groaning about things that have happened in the past, why don't we instead recall the precious and life-giving blessings we have been part of, and then breathe that prayer of thankfulness to our Creator.

Ben: LEGS: We went to my son's house for Thanksgiving dinner. In his prayer, he thanked God that we have the awareness to know we are blessed.

LadyBleu: Today in my life, I even give thanks and appreciation to God for myself, for a flushing toilet, for everything that has served me in life so far ... and for the good ... the ways and means and the supply that is yet to come. *S*

Ben: What about sending thank-you notes for the gifts or cards you receive? Those little notes are examples of thanks-giving. Is it something you want to do, or something you feel you must do?

guitarist: Unfortunately, sending thank-you notes is one of those things I have a hard time with. *sigh* May indicate a serious character flaw.

Terrie: In the culture I was born into, thank-you notes are expected for a variety of reasons and situations, but I really like GETTING thank-you cards ... for anything, really ... so, I figure others probably like getting them too, and try to send them just to brighten another's day.

Ben: Terrie: Yes. As you describe it, sending thank-you notes isn't only a duty, it is an application of the Golden Rule.

suitESPirit: Ben: I'm afraid the days of thank-you notes is leaving us. Children now aren't being taught that. Seems like ingratitude is becoming the norm for some. Maybe it's a sign of the times ... too bad ...

LEGS: I hope that I've not been remiss in thanking others for gifts received ... and it is my first impulse to let them know how I love having whatever has been given me. I especially love pictures of loved ones and friends now. Cherishing the fact that I still have good eyesight ... and thankful to God for it.

FRAML: I guess I've been remiss in doing that many times in my life. It is a touch of etiquette and politeness. It also shows that you are willing to take time to write something personal. But it does play a part in thanks-giving.

Ishtahota: Ben: A lot of people in my family do the card thing and in their heart they mean it. For me that is a little plastic. I like to hug them and look them in the eye. And if I have a problem with someone I do the same thing, go look them in the eye and tell them.

DestinyB: When it comes to thank-you notes, it's important to let people know that you appreciate their thoughtfulness. I try to also thank them in person, as well. Being on the giving end of gift giving & never even knowing if the gift was received makes me realize how important it is to express gratitude.

suitESPirit: I agree DestinyB ...

LadyBleu: I'm giving thanks that I now have learned: what I hate, I become! Sure does make me watch my tongue!! ... ah ha ... breathe! ... count to 10? ... *G* ... 'specially when I get a bit pissey.

LEGS: I'm thankful for the fact that even in this day of Women's Lib and brash and hateful youth in many places, some people ... men and boys, usually ... still hold doors open for me. And I always thank them and give them a smile. Sometimes others around look at them like they can't believe they held the door for me. But I think it is a special grace all men should learn.

Yopo: "I am thankful that this or that happened, or didn't happen" isn't the same as "I am happy, I am pleased that this or that happened, or didn't happen." Thankfulness seems to imply a relationship. An acknowledgment that something has been GRANTED. Which makes me wonder, if God could be thankful for anything at all?

Yopo: This gets still worse ... *LOL* I possess a capacity for thankfulness, which is surely a good thing. Yet I can surely possess no virtue that God cannot or does not possess ...

FRAML: Yopo: I think He is thankful when any of his prodigal children come home to Him.

Yopo: FRAML *G* Yeah. I keep forgetting. Free will in ME implies God has voluntarily diminished total control. Guess perhaps that creates the space for a thankful Creator ...

Ben: Yopo: (As I see it) like any other good parent, God is grateful whenever someone is good to one of His children.

Yopo: Ben *S*

LEGS: Actually, I see thankfulness as an unending chain that binds us to each other. If we keep it going, we may not be able to do little favors for our loved ones away from us, but there are always things we can do where we are for someone. I think that God is pleased when we use our time to be helpful ... extending His love to others in our actions.

Ben: QUESTION 3: What do you experience when you want or expect someone to thank you, and he or she doesn't thank you? What lesson can this type of experience teach? YOUR TURN

WaveWarrior: The lesson is, if we give unconditionally, then we are amply rewarded already, if our gift is well received.

FRAML: A sense of ingratitude. Those who don't give thanks, don't receive it either.

suitESPirit: Ben: I usually don't blame the receiver. I just think to myself, "Not your fault, you weren't taught by your parents, evidently." Maybe I'm wrong, but I learned from my parents ... oh boy did I learn!!!!

Terrie: Unconditional love puts no expectations on others, imho ... so, if I don't get the thank-you I might have wanted, I give gratitude to the universe for yet another opportunity to love unconditionally. *S*

guitarist: Now that I am thinking about it ... my mother used to ask me to send letters to an aunt (my father's sister) to ask for clothing. When I received it, I would write another note to thank her. It was really weird because she couldn't talk with her own (ex-) sister in law; I had to do all the communicating for them. I hated it. I think my mom was trying to get my father's family to make up for what he didn't do to support us after they split up. I felt there was something very wrong there, but I couldn't oppose my mom at the time. I say all this just to say ... it's better to teach your children thankfulness without putting them in awkward positions. I don't think I even have the right words for this lesson. Thanks for listening.

Terrie: guitarist ... *S* that was a tender memory ... thank you for sharing that bit of yourself with us. *S* (((HUGS)))

LadyBleu: Not good at thank-you notes ... that is why I have become aware that everyday is thanksgiving for me. I have a bad memory for what I did or did not do yesterday ... ahaha! ... yet there is always a gloomer doomer who likes to "lord-over" ... to remind me of mistakes of the past that is past. I always say "Thank you for your opinion!" haha! (I hold the kick back) ... so, have I lusted in my heart, Teach? *G*

Ishtahota: I get a big rush of energy after I help someone or give to them. I don't expect anything. I don't accept the thanks, anyway. I tell them if they want to thank me, then they have to help two more people that are in need, and that will be thanks enough.

LEGS: Ben, that comes back to self quickly. We need to examine the action and see if we did it ONLY for the thank-you we expected, or from a pure motive, to simply be helpful. We can try to put ourself in the shoes of the one who was helped and see if it may have come across as patronizing. None of us feel very thankful if we think we are only being patronized.

LadyBleu: I have given up expectations. I have now the realization that a gift is a give-away ...

Yopo: I think it has taught me that I have sometimes wrongly thought of an act of kindness as some sort of exchange between myself and the one to whom I have shown kindness. In a way (in the best way) an act of kindness should be a thing we do directly for ourselves. It is an act of self-transformation, containing its own reward.

LEGS: Yes, Yopo ... well said.

Yopo: LEGS (Yeah. If only I could REMEMBER that. *s*)

LadyBleu: Yeppers, Yopo!

guitarist: Hey there, Yopo! I'm sure you remember that there will be a transcript to read to remember this very special lesson of yours!

Ben: That type of experience taught me this: Thanks-getting isn't within my control; it is something the other person can choose to do or not do. That's why wanting or expecting someone to thank me is like a hook in me, attached to a string the other person holds in his or her hands. And that is why giving without expecting to be thanked sets me free of that hook.

LEGS: An unexpected thank-you is a perk ... *s*

DestinyB: I don't expect people to thank me. Life's too short to be trivial about such things. When I send my brother's children gifts & never hear from them it makes me sad because I know that they are overindulged with material possessions & aren't being taught to value anything. The kids are the big losers in the long run.

suitESPirit: DestinyB: I agree with you so much ...

LadyBleu: It occurred to me when I realized that God is the Giver of all things ... which is a glad free gift to life, never ending ...

FRAML: LadyBleu: Yes.

DestinyB: I like that LadyBleu! The gift is in the giving!

LEGS: I have a bit of a problem with Abundance lessons ... to give only to receive tenfold ... or such ... and feel sorry for the people in revival situations sometimes who break themselves ... not for the joy of helping others but for the 'promised' return.

guitarist: As for people who don't thank me ... I had trouble with a customer service representative where I work. She called me asking for advice. I gave it to her ... she took it as though I was being harsh with her, and reported it to her supervisor. There was some talking back and forth about it. I went to her and apologized. I felt very bad about it for a long time. The rep quit her job about a month or two later. I found out many months later that she had a temper, and that the incident with me was very, very minor if anything. I tend to take things very personally; this is one that wasn't on me! Thanks be to G-d for that one! :)

[The next post apparently is a reply to pm's.]

guitarist: Thank you, Terrie and DestinyB, for your hugs and comments ... I share these things because (thankfully) I know there is another side to this. I am searching for it all the time.

LEGS: guitarist, we each tend to judge from our own perspective. If we have been cheated a lot, then we learn to be a bit tardier with our trust in new situations. If we have been hurt, we throw up shells ... and when we see what we think is a repetition of our own experience in others, we put our interpretation on it, though that may not be the right one. If we think we should be thanked and weren't, we are looking at it as what we would have done if we had been the recipient. We need to realize the recipient may have an entirely different perspective of being gifted ... some may feel it is "owed" to them and should have been given before it was, etc.

guitarist: ... and LEGS as well ...

WaveWarrior: Do we give to get thanks? Are we giving because of convention? Do we give to show ... what? Is receiving an implied obligation?

Ben: QUESTION 4: What do you experience when someone thanks you? How do you react or respond? YOUR TURN

WaveWarrior: Aw shucks - the pleasure was all mine - no need to thank me - but thanks!

Ben: WaveWarrior: *S* I heard an Arkansas farmer who helped my mother say, "Aw shucks, ma'am, t'warn't nothin'. I was glad to do it fer ya."

WaveWarrior: Ben: Then truth is universal after all *VBS* and simple, too!

FRAML: Ben: I've had a problem when receiving a compliment or being told 'thanks', especially for a work related type of thing. I'm better at that now than I was a few years ago. I'm less hesitant about letting it make me 'feel good' that I did something that helped someone.

Ben: Genuine thanks-giving sends a packet of positive energy. I feel that energy arrive when someone really thanks me.

suitESPirit: I experience the greatest thrill, just like I am being cleansed in my soul, when I receive thanks. I usually end up crying with the person on the other end of the line, but this is my work. It is natural for me. I work on a suicide hot line, and you cannot receive any greater thanks than to know that person is going to be OK. It is a true blessing ... and I know God was more instrumental in it than I was.

Ben: suitESPirit: Thank you for that post, with appreciation for the work you do. Amen.

order: My reaction when someone thanks me for doing something for them, is a good, bright feeling ... and one of gratitude, too, that I could be there to help.

LEGS: When I am thanked I am most likely to be pleased and to let the person know that the pleasure began with the action for which I was thanked and that being thanked is a bonus and appreciated. One should never throw a thank-you back in the face of the one giving it ... it too is a gift and blessing.

guitarist: LEGS ... I'm not sure what you're referring to by "One should never throw a thank-you back in the face of the one giving it ... "

LEGS: guitarist: I mean, like I was once told when I said thank-you to someone ... "It doesn't matter. I would have done it for anyone." It sorta took away the kindness done.

FRAML: guitarist: When I give you a custard pie, you shouldn't throw it in my face. *G*

guitarist: LEGS -- I agree. It does take something away when someone says "I would've done it for anyone. // still laughing @ FRAML! One Custard Pie in the FACE!---SpLaT!

Yopo: My feelings about receiving thanks vary from pleasure to annoyance. I think maybe it depends on the spirit in which the thing I did was done. I rather dislike being thanked for something I figure anyone should have done in the first place.

[Ben< Yopo: Good point. And it is difficult for me to accept thanks for something I didn't do, but sometimes I accept it while thinking "He needs to thank someone."]

LadyBleu: I simply say "Thank you." I feel like a spark comes from my eye and from my heart to the giver when I am truly grateful. I have learned to keep it simple. Not make a big deal of it. Seems like some expect a gift to be received with a fanfare ... a big halla-ba-lou ... that tends to massage their ego if it happens to be an expensive gift. Shows just what the intent is back of their giving ... to buy love for reward ... self gratification.

guitarist: I am always glad to help, especially when acknowledged. I don't often expect thanks, either; it's just that I don't expect to get kicked in the head (figuratively or literally) for trying to help!

FRAML: I remember when I was working with the Red Cross operations center a few years ago, one of the state-level folks called in, and they were distraught with their boss's attitude. I told her, "Why don't you just tell me all that you want to say to him to get it out of you?" She did, and afterward said thank you. I knew that she meant it, and later that I had given her a blessing by that.

suitESPirit: FRAML: See how important it is to listen when someone is going over the wall? You helped her sanity. You were being led. That's all it takes ... a kind word (that can be felt by the receiver) ...

LEGS: Hey FRAML, it takes courage to offer to be the whipping post. Good for you!

FRAML: LEGS: It is easier if you are also a masochist.

Ishtahota: In reference to what LEGS said about the ten-fold return. When I give to someone without expecting anything in return, or I give and do not even let someone know who I am, I get hit with energy that runs all up and down my spine and body. Money or stuff that I have is just my personal energy in storage form. When I give it, I really do feel I get 10 times the energy back. In that regard I feel that I have lost nothing.

LEGS: Ishtahota, that is the way that true abundance works. It is people who expect money for money that I worry about.

DestinyB: Interesting, Ishtahota! Isn't it fun to do something nice for someone & keep it a secret? A Randomly Senseless Thoughtful Act!

FRAML: Ishtahota: Yes, that is a special memory of my time at the Red Cross for me. And the day that I was very depressed and one of the ladies I talked to regularly on the phone picked it up in my voice and said that she would pray for me. And I knew instantly that she meant it, that it was not a "throw away" line. I have been thankful for that blessing from her ever since.

DestinyB: I've learned to accept sincere thankfulness graciously. Sometimes it even makes me glow when I've done something special for someone. This is a double blessing because I enjoy the doing part as well as the gratitude of the loved one.

Ben: I learned this: Thanks-receiving is within my control, if and when another gives thanks to me. I accept others' thanks as a blessing, and try to respond graciously: You're welcome. It was my pleasure. "Oftentimes, the kindest gift is simply to allow your friend the blessing of giving."

Yopo: Ben: Yeah, a VERY good point. Acceptance can be itself a gift. Gotta remember that ...

Ben: DestinyB: *S* Your last post and my last post look like twins.

Ben: Summary example: Yesterday afternoon, I was shopping in a large department store, looking for a specific type of electric toaster as a gift for our daughter-in-law. I went to the right department, but couldn't find it, so I asked a young black man who was working there. He said "Oh, yes, they're right over here" and led me to them. He waited while I searched for the size I wanted. Then he carried it to the check-out counter and did all the little things it takes to enter a credit-card purchase. I was pleased with his attitude. After I signed the receipt and handed it to him, I shook hands with him and said "Thank you. I appreciate your courtesy." He smiled and said "You're welcome." We nodded to each other. As I walked away, something inside me said "That's how life is supposed to be."

Ben: /topic Discussion of thanks-giving

suitESPirit: I have found in my life, the more I give (expecting nothing in return) the more the blessings I receive. I don't know if it will ever balance out evenly. I have received MUCH, MUCH more. Thank you Lord ...

LadyBleu: suitESPirit: That reminds me ... I cried yesterday when the 7 year olds made me a card of thanks for teaching them about Jesus (I don't think I mentioned Jesus name). I was alone on Thanksgiving day when the little twins came to play with me ... having a blast helping them make angels and trashing my living room ... oh how sweet!! ... 'and the children shall lead them?' ... the children are our best teachers when we play with them ... yep!

FRAML: Thank you Ben and everyone else for this evening's seminar. I'm feeling the lure of slumbe-rzilla.

Yopo: Blessings, FRAML! Good seeing you ... *S*

suitESPirit: Thanks to all of you. Look forward to our next one ...

LEGS: I hope that greyman and his family is doing well ... miss him being here ... *s* ... and you, Framl, don't go just yet ... (((((Hugs)))))

FRAML: LEGS: I haven't seen greyman this week. Perhaps I'll see him tomorrow and find out how all is going with them.

Ben: LEGS & FRAML: greyman and Mrs. greyman had a rare day off last Wednesday. They went for a drive and had a good time together. (I was on stand-by in case the woman taking care of Mrs. greyman's mother needed help. She didn't.)

FRAML: Thank you Ben. It is good to know that.

LEGS: How nice that they got to go. LadyV would be so pleased to hear that. *s*

guitarist: I am also glad the Graypeople got to have a good time together. Please send them my regards. :)

LEGS: I especially feel blessed by Ben being here tonite ... though I said it before, it has been a wonderful evening, and I was feeling quite blue away from my family.

Ben: In response to an earlier post: Teaching kids to say "Please" and "Thank you" and "You're welcome" is more important than just "cultural good manners". In any society, civility and courtesy and graciousness make life a whole lot better for everyone.

LEGS: Remember, DestinyB, teaching children to be kind and thoughtful is a gift that keeps giving all their lives ... to whomever they meet.

LEGS: *s* Ben, we posted at the same time ... *G*

DestinyB: I agree LEGS! My son writes thank-you emails now, but the thought is still the same. Since he's been on his own he has become much more grateful to me & to his father too! A change of scenery can change a perspective!

Yopo: I recall being told about a book once ... Uh, think the title was "Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal". A book from the 1930s, maybe. Anyway, the premise was that an act of kindness done anonymously conveyed a certain "power" on the person performing the act. In this case, it was a doctor who increased his powers to heal, by doing good works without taking credit. Anybody got a thought on that?

Ben: Yopo: Yes, the premise of "Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal" is testable. It is amazing how much one can do if one doesn't care who gets the credit. That applies to other things, too, in addition to remote healing.

FRAML: Yopo: I think that was also a television show back in the early 50's.

LEGS: That is a wonderful thought, Yopo. I'm thinking about my mom, who had her pantry always ready to help out anyone in need, and they usually never knew where the sack of things came from. I was privileged to be delivery girl sometimes ... on my BlueDevil bicycle. *s*

Yopo: LEGS *G* I can see you peddling your bike on a mission of mercy, pigtails flying ...

LEGS: *s* (((((Yopo))))) since I ran errands for everyone, it really was a well kept secret. *G* Ben, wouldn't that be an interesting topic ... remote healing ... and remote viewing? I ask all for prayers for my leg, btw, it is about the same ... what is now termed chronic ... and painful ... no biking now.

Ishtahota: In the native cultures of this land, the elders would watch the young as they grew. There were young people and braves that would do things in the tribes. The hunters would hunt. Some of them took the best cuts of meat for themselves and their families. Some hunters gave the best cuts of meat to the old and the very young who did not have good teeth to eat with. Some of the women kept the best hides for themselves and their family, and others gave the best hides as finished products to those who could no longer make things for themselves. The elders watched these young people to see who were to led the people. Who would lead the tribe? The self-serving or the ones that served the greater good of the people?

LEGS: Those are wise words, Ishtahota, my friend for whom I'm very grateful.

DestinyB: Ishtahota: What a wise way to choose leaders!

Ishtahota: Thanks giving = I'm only as rich as the poorest person in my tribe or nation. Thanks giving = a time to check my attitude.

Yopo: Ben: Hmm ... What do you think the underlying principle might be? (If you are inclined to say, of course.) I'm curious, as there seem to be a few "underlying principles" that I don't have a clear understanding of. Another, for example: We seem more likely to get a desired result when we are not so "attached" to the outcome.

LEGS: Yes, Yopo, most psychics can't see things for themselves, and healers are apt to not be able to heal themselves, or their family. *sigh* Difficult not to see where the real power comes from, isn't it?

Ben: Yopo: I think the principle is simple: wanting to *get* (credit or anything else) diminishes the amount of power that one can generate and focus to *give*.

Yopo: Ben: *S* Well, that may SEEM simple, but I'm gonna have to think on it for a bit ...

Ben: BTW: I'm posting the schedule and links to the transcripts for these new seminars on my seminars page (at the bottom). The transcripts themselves are on greyman's site.

Yopo: Ben ... Is there a link on your page to greyman's site?

Ben: Yopo: Yes, I have a link to last week's transcript on my seminars page. It's on greyman's site.

Yopo: Thanks. Apparently added since I last visited your page. Or maybe I'm less observant than I like to think ... *S*

ls61: I'm saddened to have missed the seminar - sounds wonderful.

guitarist: Goodnight, FRAML ... SuitESPirit ... LadyBleu! It's been good to "see" you!

ls61: Is everyone leaving now? *slipping down on the floor with a saddened heart*

LEGS: hello ls61 ... nice that you came by ...

ls61: Hello Legs. It sounds like I missed a wonderful evening here. *s*

Yopo: Is61 I'm still here, but my brain seems to be slowing down ...

ls61: Hi Yopo - my brain is slowing too - getting late - came here for some peace of mind - perhaps comforting too ...

guitarist: Is61: Please don't be sad. Bookmark Ben's page, and you'll be led to it sometime next week! Maybe you'll come by for the next seminar, in 2 weeks.

ls61: guitarist - okay - thanks - I will try - only so rare I get to come here these days - if only I could be here more often ...

DestinyB: I have a problem believing that thing about receiving ten-fold blessings since I haven't seen it in action! The same with gaining power through giving in secret! Giving is an extension of loving. The only love that we keep is the love we give away!

DestinyB: Lord, give me the chance to prove that winning the lottery won't ruin my life!

Ben: Yopo: Wanting to get credit is the same as wanting to be thanked: it diminishes one's power because it places the power (and control) in someone else's hands.

DestinyB: Good point Ben!

Yopo: DestinyB: I'm not familiar with the "tenfold" saying, but think I get the idea. Wiccan folk have a "threefold return" concept I've heard of. The way I understand that, if applies to both negative and positive intentions. Both seem to refer to the "reaping what you sow" idea ...

ls61: I have reaped what I have sown on many occasions - I believe. Depends on the frame of spirit in which you give - willingly, secretly, expectantly, begrudgingly - your rewards are of your own making - working both ways.

Ben: Yopo & DestinyB: As to the "law of return" (three-fold or ten-fold), I have a different view about that. It is described in the email dialogue I recently posted: "To Bless and Not Curse".

DestinyB: Is61: Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention to the positive returns! Ben: I'll have to read that on your site!

guitarist: I'm going to go and look at it, Ben! BRB!

Yopo: Ben: I'll try to get in to reread that soon. Did a couple of days ago. (A dialogue about Jesus putting his anger toward an olive tree, so as to do no harm? But I was tired then, and I'm probably too tired to read any more deeply now ... )

Ben: Yopo: Withering the fig tree was near the first part of that dialogue. My view of the effects of blessing and cursing are toward the end.

DestinyB: I'm familiar with the Wiccan concept of threefold return. I just don't have any personal experience to back up the truth of it. As far as "reaping what you sow", I've seen much of the negative side of that happening in lives of people around me.

Ishtahota: DestinyB: When I'm working with someone on personal power, I ask them to go out and give to someone with no strings attached and noticeable mention. Mainly I ask them to do this to prove to them that the power exist and is very real. It also helps them to start to know source inside, instead of the power we receive from people places and things outside of self.

DestinyB: Ishtahota: I don't feel like I have much personal power. Maybe an exercise like that would help me see things more clearly!

Ishtahota: DestinyB: Pick a day and tell spirit what you are going to do before you go. Tell spirit you are doing this to know for sure. Then go out that day and do something for someone in need. It may be someone who needs a blanket or a coat. It may be a family in need of a room for the night. It could be anything. Help them turn and walk away. Most people get hit with the energy before they can walk across the street.

DestinyB: Okay, I'll try that Ishtahota!:-D

Yopo: Must as I hate to, I've gotta get some sleep now. Just drove back from downstate a couple of hours back, and was running on caffeine and nervous energy ... Ben, really enjoyed tonight's seminar. No longer taking your presence here for granted! (Not that I ever did, really. *S*)

Yopo: "MUCH as I hate to ... " Yeah, Tired, all right. *S* I WILL reread that. Seems there's an issue of some sort I'm presently grappling with, that the dialogue may have something to say about ...

ls61: Ben, may I ask you a question?

Ben: Is61: Sure. Go ahead.

ls61: As a rule, I am a passive person, nonjudgemental, unexpecting of anything from others ( except for my husband to plow the driveway ). *s* My mother in law - knowing that we are going to the city where her daughter lives - has asked us to baby-sit our nephew on a night we may be coming home - also to take a tree to the sister in law - and is now upset because we won't be there to baby-sit. Let me tell you - this is the first time my husband and I have gone out of town together in 2 years - I have been very bound to my work - was looking forward to a getaway together - no obligations, no phones ringing, just 2 or 3 days of freedom and togetherness. We plan to stay in hotel -not to put anyone out and for our own comfort - I can't help but be a little upset with my mother-in-law for being upset with me because we won't baby-sit - or stay a day longer than we may wish to. Is this wrong of me to be hurt/upset by her reaction?

guitarist: Is61: Sounds familiar to me. Personally, I wouldn't have told her I was going to be anywhere near any family. *s*

suitESPirit: Is61 ... Absolutely not. Let your husband tell HIS mother your plans cannot be broken, and what she wants you to do does not work into YOUR plans ... Have him be strong with her ... She'll get over it ... (You won't if you let her manipulate you with this ... ) Sorry -- I couldn't help myself ...

guitarist: Good point, suitESPirit!

Ben: Is61: I think your reaction is very normal and natural, and not wrong. And I suggest that you tell your husband exactly what you just now told us. He needs to know how you feel about this. Suffering in Stoic silence isn't necessarily a virtue.

LEGS: I agree with Ben, ls61, you certainly deserve this time alone ...

guitarist: I agree with Ben here; I also think your mom-in-law misunderstands your intentions on this trip. I read an implication that, since you are visiting the city your sister-in-law lives in, you have some intention of visiting her. Obviously, from what you're telling us, that isn't so.

ls61: Ben, guitarist, suitESPirit, Legs -- Thank you very much for putting me at ease. I did tell my husband as soon as I got home from work. He felt it was very typical of his mom and just said I shouldn't allow myself to get so involved. I guess I just needed another opinion. My husband feels the same as I - unfortunately, my mother in law always comes to me with stuff. This is the first time I think I have ever disappointed her. And yes - next time we are not telling her when or where we are going (probably not for who knows how long *s*). It still is difficult for me to disappoint loved ones.

Ishtahota: Is61: Give her a Christmas present. One free session with a therapist to work on her control issues.

guitarist: Ishtahota, I think the present is very appropriate. *LOL*

Yopo: Good night, ALL! Blessings ... *gone*

guitarist: Yopo ... I'm glad to see you again. I hope you'll be by in 2 weeks, when I'm hosting!

Ben: ALL: 'tis time for me to rest. Peace and blessings to you and yours. Goodnight.

DestinyB: Goodnight Ben! Sweet Dreams!

guitarist: Good night, Ben. I'll be writing you with more questions ... (((thanks again.)))

Ishtahota: Night Ben!! AhHo!!

ls61: Blessings to you too Ben - thanks again.

Ben: ALL: Thank you for your thank-you's. *S* It was my pleasure. *poof*

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