Harvest Home

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It’s that time of the year in the US of A we have Thanksgiving. It’s really a wonderful national holiday when we pause and give thanks for all we have, all the blessings we’ve received. It can also be a time of reflecting on those who are in need. How might we assist the weak, the vulnerable, the hungry, the lonely, those who are dealing with trials and tribulations, and the suffering? Thanksgiving occurs when the bulk of the growing season has ended and crops have been harvested. It’s a time of rejoicing in the bounty of the land. It can also be a time when we assess what the harvest is for the farm, for the garden, which is our life. What’s been produced? What are the fruits of my life?

The Buddhist scriptures alert us to be aware of what we are growing and how it accumulates:

Hold not a sin of little worth, thinking “this is little to me.” The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so, the foolish person becomes full of evil, although it’s gathered little by little.

Hold not a deed of little worth, thinking “this is little to me.” The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so, the wise person becomes full of good, although it’s gathered little by little.

We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking the briefest, the smallest of thoughts, words, or deeds don’t add up or have consequences. They do; just as drops of water fill the water jar. That then is who and what we become.

That’s the “Harvest home.” Why did the poet for the hymn combine these two words? Home is where we live, where we express ourselves with our surroundings and the environment we create. “Harvest home,” then, emphasizes how the culmination of all our efforts, all our thoughts, words, and deeds. “Harvest home” is the process and the result of our becoming who we are.

The process and the result, “Harvest home,” is ultimately to realize one’s divine essence and connection with the Beloved.

In the Hindu scripture, we hear Krsna speaking as the Supreme Godhead. But consider this could be Jesus speaking as the Christ – as when he says the Father and I are One – or any other prophet whose personality draws us, yet is giving the message devoid of person or personality. It’s the Message of God. Let’s listen again to the selection from Bhagavad Gita:

The one who offers to me with devotion only a leaf, or a flower, or a fruit, or even a little water, this I accept from that yearning soul because with a pure heart it was offered in love.

Whatever you do, or eat, or give, or offer in adoration, let it be an offering to me; and whatever you suffer, suffer it for me.

Thus thou shalt be free from the bonds of Karma which yield fruits that are evil and good; and with thy soul one in renunciation thou shalt be free and come to me.

Give me thy mind and give me thy heart, give me thy offerings and thy adoration; and thus with thy soul in harmony, and making me thy goal supreme, thou shalt in truth come to me.

In the Christian scripture, we find listed the Fruits of the Spirit. These are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” What a harvest that would be! We’re warned in the Christian scripture that one, indeed, reaps what one sows. We’re encouraged to never give up the struggle to do what is right and good while being assured, “For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s farmland and God’s building.”

This brings us back to “Harvest home.” We sow, we reap, we give thanks; we create, we grow, we expand; we are continually in process and advancing. As Inayat Khan tells us:

The sun, air, water, space, and fertile soil are necessary for the rose to bloom; intelligence, inspiration, love, a wide outlook, and guidance are required for the soul to unfold.

I’ve lately been thinking the prayer Khatum directs us to the solution to most every human moral dilemma. It could be the checklist for spiritual growth. It could be the outline to establish world peace. Let’s consider how it could bring us to “Harvest home.” Khatum is request after request. Before starting the prayer, one could think, “This is what I want and this is what I really need.” It’s written as a group or communal prayer, but try personalizing it.

That would start, then, with “Open my heart.” Our perspective expands and our experience of life changes when we open our hearts. “Open my heart so I may hear Thy voice which constantly comes from within.” God, the Beloved, the One, the Divine It, is always part of us and always available. This is “Harvest home.”

The next request is “Disclose to me Thy Divine Light which is hidden in my soul that I may know and understand life better.” There are so many unknowns and so many unanswered “Whys” in this life. Having God’s All-revealing Light shown on life would be most helpful and bring more bliss into our lives.

Then there is a series of requests. I’m not going to talk about each one. Instead, I’ll say each one and we’ll take it as a contemplation, each considering how it could be my “Harvest home;” how it could be what I really want and need, what I desire; where I would like to live in this world; and how I’d like to experience life.

Give me Thy great goodness.

Teach me Thy loving forgiveness.

Raise me above the distinctions and differences which divide us.

Send me the Peace of Thy Divine Spirit.

And unite me with all in Thy Divine Presence.


A Happy Thanksgiving to all and may we all find and experience our “Harvest home.”