Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Stand With You Against the Disorder by Jeanette Armstrong

I was extremely excited to read this article... I have learned so much from the Okanagan people. They have been a great source of inspiration to me in the past and have informed much of the work in BRA I have shared here.

"Okanagans teach that the body is Earth itself. Our flesh, blood, and bones are Earth-body; in all cycles in which Earth moves, so does our body. We are everything that surrounds us, including the vast forces we only glimpse. If we cannot continue as an individual life form, we dissipate back into the larger self. "

"As Okanagans we say the body is sacred. It is the core of our being, which permits the rest of the self to be. It is the great gift of our existence. Our word for body literally means “the land-dreaming capacity.”

"The emotional self is that which connects to other parts of our larger selves around us. We use a word that translates as heart. It is a capacity to form bonds with particular aspects of our surroundings. We say that we as people stay connected to each other, our land, and all things by our hearts"

"I do know that people must come to community on the land. The transiency of peoples crisscrossing the land must halt, and people must commune together on the land to protect it and all our future generations. Self-sustaining indigenous peoples still on the land are already doing this. They present an opportunity to relearn and reinstitute the rights we all have as humans."

Please take the time to read her words in yes magazine...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Living it

Living an animist lifestyle helps me to be in balance with all people of creation, whether I understand them as teachers, medicine helpers, brothers, or sisters. Listening to their sense of knowing and learning how that relates to my own sense of knowing and well being helps me to be a more well rounded person in my own right. It assists me in practicing empathy and compassion for all of my human and other than human community.
Intentional mutual respect with all people allows me to maintain a balance in my own life and helps me not to enforce my will, but to harmonize and blend with theirs to create a higher vibration in the universe.
Bioregionally practicing animism gives me a sense of place and belonging, as an individual, as well as part of the larger community. I also feel that having a bioregional philosophy only serves to strengthen my commitment to walking in my life ways and cultural teachings. There is something about being on your own soil or ancestral ground that gives you a stronger sense of who you are and more of a commitment to the future generations to come, which is a very big part of native teachings and way of life...The Seven Generations.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Synergy is Shamanry

syn·er·gy (snr-j)
n. pl. syn·er·gies
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

[From Greek sunergi, cooperation, from sunergos, working together; see synergism.]
[New Latin synergismus, from Greek sunergos, working together : sun-, syn- + ergon, work; see werg- in Indo-European roots.]

Years ago, sitting in my bedroom with my very good friend Eric, we passed back and forth Eagles and crows feathers... and we discussed the relationship between Law and Freedom. At one point I handed Eric a handful of eagle feathers... over a dozen I believe. They were to many eagle feathers for him to hold so he handed them back to me. I sat above him for a moment, and I wished that he would understand how to hold and work with an eagles feather. Spirit moved through my words at that moment and eagle filled the room as well as wolf. I told Eric that when he smudged some one with an eagle feather he was not "using" the feather, controlling it, but instead the eagle was there still a part of the feather and that all he must do is hold the intention in his mind to cleanse with the feather and smoke. The feather started to move his hand and arm on its own, and his face turned to a look of pure amazement. I could feel the insight and the excitement that comes from realization, at that moment spirit and I shared with him that shamanry is not using nature or spirit to our own end, but holding a larger intention that nature holds as well and WORKING WITH NATURE to accomplish what is truly needed. Eric bowed and was grateful to learn this, and I sat down next to him on the floor once more, just as much a holy fool as he.

I've discovered that the definition of the word synergy is what was being communicated through me, from the whole, that evening. It was eagles message and wolfs message to both of us that night. I had never known that that was how I worked or the insight that spirit was gestating within me for so many years until I had had an opportunity to teach it to my beloved friend. This point of view on shamanry and animism is what I try to share so much in my work... SYNERGY...
In so many ways, animism is the spiritual practice of natural synergy.