Thursday, May 08, 2008

Distant Dreamer

©2008 Turtle Heart

(This is a minor footnote to the previous post)
I was really pleased to hear recently that the original principle ceremonial elder and mide’wi-an, Keeper of a Great Bundle and founder of AIM is continuing his teachings and making available the mide ceremonies of the ancient Ojibway culture. Eddie Benton-Banai is a revered and innovative tribal elder. His religious credentials, like those of the Dalai Lama, come from the generations in his direct line. In the great northern woodlands of North America and Canada these teachings from this tradition are among the most precious. Eddie Benton-Banai was the elder who first gave his permissions and blessings to the organization later called AIM. AIM was pretty righteous in those few early years, there is no doubt. There was a strong unity between the woodland and plains groups, as well as many of the Eastern Tribes (Algonquian and Iroquois Confederacy). In those early years those young AIM boys did good work and stayed closer to the direction and guidance of those elders. There were some strong ceremonies and very powerful, hopeful ceremonies made when the AIM was getting started. Those ceremonies gave those boys the power to change in some ways the manner in which Indian people see themselves. When they stayed close to the ceremonies a lot of good things happened. Edward Benton Banai continues his work and ceremonial teachings throughout the woodland tribal cultures, in the north..

Knowing that Eddie Benton-Banai is continuing his work makes me very happy. His dignity and knowledge of tribal ceremonies of great power and clarity helped AIM get a good start in the early years. One can only wish those AIM people could have stayed closer to these ceremonial people rather than free agents lead by bully’s and homicidal “heroes” like Leonard Pelitier. Banai has given his energy and support to many great projects over many years. Here is a link to the original post I read.

It is impossible to fully understand how fantastic life can be. Real joy is perhaps unattainable. We become so focused on what is happening to us and around us. It can be hard to see how the mystery life carries us. If you are a really good dreamer, you might be able to catch a mide’wi-an dream from a man like this. One of the important mide’wi-an teachings is the dreaming.
The revolution that the ceremonial elders have proposed all along is to send out more dream songs and less bullets, fewer speeches in front of cameras. The revolution never ended, and many of us look at it this way. We wabeno’s have the work of sending out dream songs. These old songs help the dreamer in many ways. If you know those dream songs are out in the dream world, you could find one.

This is the best free advice you will get this year.

The Distant Dreamer (for Eddie Benton-Banai)

I am a dreamer, a distant dreamer
I am carried by the sacred wind along the path
Of the sacred water.
I am finding my skin again
The dreaming is inside the skin, the distance measured in memories
Dreaming, dreaming, I am a dreamer
A distant dreamer
The sky knows my song is there
Carried along the path of the sacred water
A dream can be left for others
A dream can survive for generations of dreamers, distant dreamers
Resting along the path of the sacred water
You might dream the distant dream again and so you will know
When you are there dreaming
You might carry the dream of distant dreaming across the winds of time
And hear that song open something up within you
And all the way around you.

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