The following dedication was shared in its entirety during Thanksgiving dinner at The House of AïA.
“Hello! Good evening, buenas noches a todos. Si. Bienvenidos.
Let’s please give a round of applause to Joel, Divine 1 for his beautiful music.
My name is Andrea Quagliata and I am partly responsible for the creativity and brand of this great place.
I have decided to share the word with you all tonight. To celebrate Thanksgiving.
I spent time meditating on this today and wrote it down, though I may also improvise. As I’ve been known to do.
Before we get started I would like to give thanks to our host. The one and the only Alexander Ferri. My patron, my colleague, my friend. His vision is the reason we are here enjoying this place, his bravery in the face of adversity, his faith in others. We are all grateful. Yes. And so please raise your glasses and join me in toasting to him on this Thanksgiving eve. To Alex.
Here we go…
The cycles of productivity, achievement, stress, challenge, and any human task must begin with intention.
But to seize upon that intention, one must first apply A-ttention to their space, something we cannot first do without gratitude.
Because gratitude clears the air. It lets the light in. It fills the room with possibility and dispels fear.
The ancient masters insist that when we achieve a state of grace, whether through meditation, breathe work, concentrated artistry, or perhaps a form of athletic perfection, all our cells remember the origins of the universe.
All the cells of the body remember the original SPARK of the universe.
And in one’s face a smile appears. The joy of the voyage of our consciousness. That’s what the original tribes sought with their dances, and drums, and rhythmic music, and later on with their violins, and later on still with our technologically empowered DJ’s who play music simply by moving the hands.
We have always fought for and sought our origin.
And fear turns us away, temporarily, because now we have found our return to the path. We have found that feeling of unity, we have found the path of service to others. We have found the harmony with which we eat. The path to stop being predators of nature.
And so here. Here in this place… with its values.
Here we have found the opportunity to create and nurture. This is our work that we have set for ourselves. To find a better way of being.
To create music, give yoga classes, plan truly heartfelt activities for everyone here, to organize and serve others. To accompany them and lead.
To accompany children. Respectfully. Always respectfully.
To see how we have advanced in our ability to attend to, to pay attention to, ourselves, in what we are, in what we feel, in what we want.
And the most marvelous thing of all, which the light gives us—the spark, the source of the the wind—is our intention.
If our attention is clear, our intention is harmonic. If our intention is not clear, the first to suffer is us, ourselves.
We inflict damage to ourselves.
If we seek for excess we destroy ourselves. If we seek to dominate, we destroy ourselves.
So the most important thing is to be clear that when we create places like this, with yoga, music, images, children—with their contagious love—we create places of heaven on earth.
Like a seed, this intention is watered by that original light, by the sacred energy of the creator, man or woman, or neither, or of one and of the other. Both. Like AïA.
In gratitude, to that divine fertilizer of attention with it’s resulting intention.
So, let us set our own intentions high, so that they may touch the stars, and lead us all to a better place, for all human kind and this wonderful, majestic planet earth.
We are after all, still here.
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to all.”