Archive | Native American Teachings
In our tradition, the Summer Solstice is the one time of year when the people from all the different circles and locations come together to do ceremony. This year we are returning to the beautiful mountain site of Deer Creek where we did Summer Solstice Ceremonies for many years. Also this year, we are reawakening the Sweat Lodge Ceremony in our clan. We will spend much of Saturday gathering willow and stones, building the lodge, and tending the fire. There will also be Sharing Circles around the fire, drumming and singing, and a Letting Go Ceremony to release away the things that no longer serve you.
All our welcome- new comers and old friends. For in our clan, there are no orphans. So come find your place on the Medicine Wheel and receive some pure guidance for your life. If you can only make one gathering this year, this one will be well worth the journey.
Pre-ceremony: Thursday, 6/20/2013- starts at dusk with a sharing circle.
Ceremony Weekend: Friday, 6/21/2013, dusk to Sunday, 6/23/2013, 1 pm
Location: Deer Creek between Baker City and Sumpter, Oregon
Cost: No cost for ceremony. Food and firewood costs will be divided.
Lodging: Camping at the campsite or lodging at Sumpter or Baker City available. Bring friends. Bring children. Come with an open heart.
For more information: Contact Mike at 760-805-8750 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are cordially invited to: Ceremonies and sharing circles to align yourself with the earth’s energy of new beginnings. Come find your place in the Medicine Wheel so you can recognize the new elements that are awakening in your life.
Dates: March 22, 2013, 7:30-10 pm
March 23, 2013, 10 am-6 pm
March 24, 2013, 10 am-1 pm
Come for the entire time or some of the time.
Location: Vinegar Flats
1204 Coeur d’Alene St.
Spokane, WA 99224
Cost: Free (this time- so don’t miss it). Split cost for food for Saturday meal.
For more information: Call Steven Young 937-763-0017 or Michael Hoffman 760-805-8750
Come with an open heart!
Free flight. Allowing things to unfold (rather than forcing things) requires that you allow new doorways to naturally open and to step inside them when they do. However, Bart Anderson pointed out that “The first thing that presents itself in a new doorway are your past ways– because that is all you can see. If you can walk past those things and continue to look, new things will begin to emerge.” So the challenge becomes discerning between the old and new.
Anderson prescribed his tool of free flight to this dilemma. “Free flight is east (new beginnings) energy. Unattached; unencumbered; undefined.” It employs what Native American tradition calls eagle medicine. Anderson taught that the eagle pulls you outside of yourself so you can see the forest from the trees. It allows you to see all of your options and possibilities. “And seeing the possibility opens the door” he exclaimed. Free flight allows you to look into the new doorway without going through it. You can experience the feeling of your options so you can recognize them when they present themselves to you down the road.
Free flight also allows you to clearly see where you have been so you do not have to go there again. Anderson pointed out, “The kicker is knowing when the experience is complete. This must come from a knowing sense. The ego and its pictures will tell you that an experience needs to last so long in order to be complete.” This is not simply true.
There is a huge opportunity cost of missing new experiences while staying in situations that you’ve learned everything you can from. Anderson explained, “You can spend lifetimes trying to complete pictures via conformity and convention. You could have had fifty new beautiful experiences by now- rather than staying in an experience that you have no longer have a connection with.”
Today is the Winter Solstice. Among other things, the solstice is the transition between the days getting shorter and the days getting longer. It represents the time between the old cycle and the new- between last year and next year. Similarly, the infamous end of the Mayan calendar (which also happens today) is the time between the old calendar and the new.
What if we could suspend this time between the old cycle and the new- the time between the old calendar and the new? And disengage. That is, stop and sit still in that moment between the old and the new.
And then take a moment to reevaluate each aspect of your life. To simply ask yourself if that aspect of your life is still serving you and the people around you. And if it is still serving you, what is the next stage of that aspect of yourself? That relationship, that family, that project, that career, that passion?
Then simply add the next stages of the things that are serving you to the new calendar. And simply leave the things that are not serving you on the old calendar. The spaces left on your new calendar from with the things that you did not carry forward allow space for the new things that will present themselves to you this coming year. But you have to let go of some things to create room for the new.
One Native American tradition calls this time of year the time of introspection. It is a time to disengage and look inside. A time to stop and reevaluate.
And before you start moving forward again and engaging in all that activity that comprises your life, ask yourself: Are these things that I do really worth doing?
One of my clients is moving and wanted to know why I suggested he say goodbye to his friends. He suspected I wanted him to get in touch with his feelings. Yes, but actually the primary importance of saying goodbye is to complete the relationship. We are letting people know what they have meant to us and where they stand with us as we part ways.
At the emotional level, experiences and relationships that are incomplete drain our energy. Each incomplete experience lays dormant in our emotional reservoir trying to draw our attention to itself in order to complete itself. If you get enough incomplete experiences clamoring for attention, it can be emotionally exhausting.
It is good practice to complete experiences and relationships as you go (I also refer to this as closure- link to previous blog). Take that little extra time to bring an interaction to completion. You are leaving it complete for now–where everyone involved (including yourself) knows where things stand. Have you ever had a friend that just seemed to disappear? You called them and they were gone. I suspect you were left with the incomplete thought of, “I wonder whatever happened to him?”
Hoka Hey is Lakota for it is a good day to die. Crazy Horse shouted this when he went into battle. This Native American philosophy is to live life in a way completes things as you go and therefore if you died today- it would be complete or good.
When everything is complete, your attention is freed up to focus on what is in front of you. This allows you to be present or mindful. You’ve tied up all of your loose ends and everyone knows where you stand.
So if it’s a good day to die, it’s a good day to live.