Monday, May 28, 2007
In this world each person has the freedom to do whatever they want, whatever they can imagine, and possibly whatever they dare.
When, in American Indian culture, we use the term “Grandfather”, then we are saying to the world that we have made a very different choice. When we use the term Grandfather to talk about our life we are saying that we give up this absolute freedom. We are saying that we are taking into consideration the wishes, direction and ideas of the tribal elders. We are saying that while we still have and preserve every freedom, we choose to understand the law and the hopes of the tribal elders before we take action.
When we talk about the sacred of the American Indian, we are also talking about Grandfather, in the same breath. When we invoke this privilege, we also invoke this responsibility.
Objects like the sacred pipe and ceremonies like the Sweat Lodge are the intellectual and moral property of Grandfather. These many sacred things do not belong to the world of freedom where you can do and say whatever you please.
Yes. It is possible to disagree with Grandfather. If your evidence and your arguments are good, if they are perfect. Yes. Disagreement is possible. But. Only after agreement. Only after that search to understand what Grandfather has to say.
Grandfather often speaks in silence. Sacred Silence is filled with powerful information. Sacred Silence is filled with the truth. Learning to listen to the direction of Grandfather also means learning to truly listen to his silence. That is why the sacred people are so important. They understand this. Perfectly. That is why they are in the positions to hold and practice with the sacred.
When we hear the words and songs and silence of those who hold this faith with Grandfather, the sound is very different than the educated noise of those people who have the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.
I can make no judgement as to which system is better. I can only say that to invoke the sacred of the American Indian is to always invoke this law of the Grandfather. There are no exceptions, no chosen ones, who are allowed to violate this principle. Ever.
Grandfather is not just some old American Indian man. This has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Grandfather. He is an idea. An identity of reference to those who have gone before us. Grandfather is a specific and recognizable force which transcends the identity or face of any living person.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Fear stops all forward motion. while some silence is sacred, the silence of fear is lethal. It is not silence at all.
Many years ago I was going through a painful and dangerous time in my life. My heart was torn to pieces and I had at that moment no idea which way was forward. I sought retreat in the home of an old woman, a sacred and holy woman who lived in the mountains. She granted me peace and a refuge from the rushing demands of the world. She offered me a gathering moment. On my first night there I sat in my room with my heart pounding and my head spinning. She lived in a gigantic house and was far away at the other end. Soon I heard a soft knock at the door and she wanted to know if I had any weapons. I had a small japanese sword which I gave to her. I told her I was trying to be quiet, that I did not want to disturb anyone with my problems. She told me that my silence was very loud. Later this observation became for me an important revelation. I have learned to watch the silence of others very carefully. I understand now very well what she meant that night.
If you think about what you have, you will always be able to move forward.
If you think only about what you do not have, about what is missing. you will never know which way to go.
Real safety is a light, a feeling that you can grow inside your being. If it is there, inside yourself, that is where you are safe. It is a choice you have the power to make at any moment.
The purpose of these ceremonies and meditations of the Four Directions Unity Bundles to help people. The method we use is to take you to a place where you may know and believe in yourself.
Sometimes in the sweat lodge people have strong images, visualizations. Sometimes they seem very elaborate to me. I hear about these visions when we talk after the ceremony. However, I always tell people that the one person you should hope to see clearly for a moment inside the sweat lodge is yourself.
Inside a long struggle is the fear of happiness. Fear Of Happiness. Sometimes this revelation surprises people. I have seen it acted out a thousand times, including within myself.
Fear. Not of the evil doers, of the terrorists, of those who are different, of those who have less. Fear begins in the heart inside your body and from there travels in its darkness out into the waiting world. Like a mirror you see coming towards you what you show yourself inside your dreams, inside your silence. If you believe in yourself, it is this positive force which comes back to you.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The water is the property of the women. Each year, for example, at the head waters of the Mississippi River (Where it begins) there is a ceremony. In this ceremony offerings of water gathered from around the world are ceremonially added to these ancient waters. While it is not a secret, it is an official behavior of the indigenous people who have prayed and lived with this water for possibly 10s of thousands of years. This is a ceremony by the women and from the women. The water is sacred. It is a woman.
Perhaps the strangest of all modern facts is the one about the Water. Modern Society has killed its Water. It has poisoned the life of nearly all water on this earth. Society has done this without noticing it has done this. Being oblivious. Life is so short and amazing I do not understand why the brain offers being oblivious as an option for people. Being oblivious is a choice people have made. People make many choices. It is possible to breathe for a minute and evaluate those choices. Sometimes you may think you can’t change anything. But that’s not right. You are not paying attention.
Most of my life I have gathered little vials of Water from the places where I hold my ceremonies with the World Journey of the Sacred Pipe (The Journey of the World Unity Bundle). When I am able I will send these Waters with a woman who might be attending. Sometimes I have used the postal system and mailed them there.
On the little island where I live we have ZERO fresh Water. Only rain water gathered in cisterns from the winter and spring rains. There was a big machine that purified sea water but it has stopped working last year. My house is 400 years old. It sits on top of a large stone cistern that is filled from the dome-shaped roof. Rain Water. It is an interesting meditation to cook your pasta with the Rain Water.
Society has done so many tragic things in the sky and these bad things are carried by the winds: who can say what is really the safety and clarity of Rain Water?
As time goes on I think and feel the Waters more and more. In my astrological birth chart I was born without Water. No planets, no points. It took me a long time to understand what this really means. I went around the circle of light and shadow many times in my education about Water. No I live on an island surrounded by but without Water. You learn life is not possible without Water.
If you believe you are feeling nothing, then you are near to that position of being oblivious. Like not being able to live with Water, you cannot live without Feeling Something.
Yes. There are so many causes. Yet how oblivious have we come to the truth that it is really a lot of failures triggered by one failure. Choice. Usually a god person will make a good choice if they try. We hear a lot about doing the right thing. I try to do the right thing when I sit with the ancient drum or hold my Eagle Feathers. I try to keep it simple. Near the root.
I am a little otter. River Otter Clan. The Water of the River and the Rain. On a good day you can slide for miles and miles on your belly, riding the glistening water of the rivers and the rain. Otters know how to do this and enjoy doing this. You should see their faces when they slide. River Otter Clan people carry sacred things, sacred songs, sacred ideas. because they are so shiny it is easy for the mystery life to see them when they are playing with the water. God likes our sense of humor. The Smile.
Open Heart. Even if only when, for a moment, you look at the light on the Water, wherever that Water may be.
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