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Learn from the North American Indian  RSS feed

 
Mario Keltikee
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Hi folks,

I've been always fascinated about the north American Indian culture and their connection with nature.
I would love to learn more about their techniques/skills, their sustainable way of living and spirituality through a workshop.

If somebody has any idea where I can find information (I didn't find too much on the net), it would be great if you could share it with me.


Thanks a lot!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Mario, what you are seeking can be learned, but you need to understand that we do not hold "workshops" about anything.
It sounds to me like you are wanting an fast or easy way to learn things we hold sacred. (this is where I would shake my head)
Far to many people don't take the time to gain understanding of how we feel about these things and fewer bother to even try to understand those feelings.

I have helped others in the past, I have also denied many more than those I helped learn our ways, it usually comes down to the attitude I perceive and how the person acts.
It isn't that we aren't willing to share such knowledge, it is about trusting that knowledge will be used correctly.

You seek a path that is slow and deliberate.
It would be rare to find spirituality without taking a lot of time.
Contemplate this; the white man spent great effort to eradicate our food sources, our people, our cultures, even our languages were attempted to be rubbed out, yet we are still here.

Before you can walk you must crawl.
Look at the world the way it is, everything is living and has a spirit, the grass beneath your feet, the soil under that, the rocks, the trees, the air, the wind, everything is living and thus has a spirit.
To eat we have to take life, to not honor that life shows ignorance and is dishonorable.
Truly understand what that all means, and you are on the red road.

Redhawk
 
Mike Jay
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Last year I wanted to collect and process wild rice.  I watched YouTube videos and took a 4 hour class on collecting rice and was able to get a couple of sacks full.  Turning that "green" rice into finished rice was another matter.  I called a gentleman listed as a rice processor in a nearly reservation.  He invited me over to make rice. 

It turns out that he was an elder in the tribe and a healer.  Processing the rice together took about 5 hours with most of it involving stories of their tribe's origin story, meaning of rice, ugly history, current events and other topics that he felt were proper to share. 

I was blessed to have that time with him to learn how to turn green rice into finished rice.  But of much greater value was the time spent asking questions and learning about their way of life with the smoke from the fire getting in our eyes.

In my case it was a one on one experience.  I'm positive I could not have scheduled and paid for this sort of an encounter.  It just had to be us talking and meeting at just the right moment in time.

If you don't live near to a Native American population it will be hard to learn what you are after.  I'm sure there are some books that could give you some technical details of their techniques/skills and way of living but I'm pretty sure it won't tie that into their spirituality in a meaningful way.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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How long of a workshop?

The 5 minute little-ventured little-gained version: Next time you need fuel in your vehicle, leave your cell phone at home, and drive to the gas station barefoot, and without a radio. Walk inside, still barefoot, and pre-pay for your fuel. Feel the temperature of the floors, pavements, lawns etc. Pay attention to the textures.  Smell the primate-ness of the clerk, and the poisons in the cleaning supplies and her body products.  Pay attention to your feelings of breaking a life-long taboo -- regarding shoes and what it means to be civilized. I called this a little-ventured little-gained workshop. It can be very powerful and life-changing when the student is ready. I have watched such simple means radically alter a person's way of being... Cause once one taboo is broken, it becomes easier to notice and break out of other cages of western thought.

The overnight workshop: Sleep outside. Feel the breeze. Listen to the bugs, wind, humans, trees, birds, mammals, etc. Notice how similar they are to you. Enjoy the stars and moon. Feel/smell the earth, and the poisons being spewed by traffic. Eat the ant which crawls across your face. No cell phones, no Internet, no music. Just you and the world. The advanced version of this workshop would be to sleep outside directly on the soil, even just a nap. Perhaps prepare for it by floor-sleeping for short naps, half a night, and then all night. 

Trust yourself, and the feelings you feel. Don't worry about teaching them to or learning them from others. It's your interaction with the world and it's peoples that is important. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the stone people, the plant people, the animal people, etc... You are life. The world and it's people's are life. No need to live separately from life.









 
Mario Keltikee
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Mario, what you are seeking can be learned, but you need to understand that we do not hold "workshops" about anything.


Thanks a lot for your reply. Actually I probably used the wrong word "workshop".
I understand that there are things that cannot be learned but experienced and that requires time.

I'm quite connected to nature despite the fact of working in an office job and living in a flat. Fortunately in 2 months I will quit my job and will start crawling

I'm living in Europe right now and I'm looking for experiences around the world that can help me to strengthen my connection with nature and become self sustaining.

I've been always attracted and identified with the American Indian culture and this is why I would love to learn from them.
If the right opportunity arrives I would be happy to spend time and gain understanding openly and respectfully.

If you think you can help me in this path don't hesitate to send me more details.

Thanks!



 
Mario Keltikee
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Mike Jay wrote: I'm sure there are some books that could give you some technical details of their techniques/skills and way of living but I'm pretty sure it won't tie that into their spirituality in a meaningful way.


Hi Mike, it sounds a great experience, thanks for sharing!
Unfortunately I live in Europe so too far away to get a chance to cross any Native American.

I'm not looking for a book but for real experiences. As you rightly say I cannot find the spiritual and meaningful way on books.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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Mario Keltikee wrote:Unfortunately I live in Europe so too far away to get a chance to cross any Native American.

At a presentation given by the Ho Chunk nation they mentioned attending a pow wow somewhere in Europe, so while I agree it's rare it's not completely impossible.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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There are still indigenous peoples in Europe that practice the old ways. And more all the time are returning to the old ways without teachers, because the old ways are inherently built into our DNA as a species. It's like chickens developing authentic chicken culture, in spite of being raised in a sterile incubator and having no role models.

 
Mario Keltikee
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@ Thyri Gullinvargr  That would be quite funny

@Joseph Lofthouse  You're right, in Europe is still possible to find the old ways but I think it's quite different, specially in terms of spirituality and deep connection with nature.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Mark, I am glad you got to meet with an elder, the fact that he is also a healer makes it even more special since you probably got some very private knowledge if he happened to talk at all about healing.

One on One is just about the only way our ways can be learned and the Rez is the best place, since that is where you will meet elders.
As I know you found out, reading a book just doesn't help you learn about the nations especially when it comes to how we see the world.

Redhawk
 
Mario Keltikee
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
One on One is just about the only way our ways can be learned and the Rez is the best place, since that is where you will meet elders.
Redhawk


Thanks Redhawk, much appreciated.
I suppose my next step is to find a Rez and be lucky enough to meet an elder.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Mario, I would be happy to offer some direction for your journey. Just ask. I have always found it odd here at powwows that white men come too, they think it is a show, and is some ways they are right.
A powwow is a gathering, it has competitions in dance, regalia, drumming, and crafting. Items are offered for sale by many of the crafters who sometimes offer lessons in their craft during the powwow.
Let me tell a little story here that I hope will give you a bit of insight.
One of the strangest things that has ever happened to me at a powwow was when a woman approached my wife and I and asked for help with her daughter's illness.
She first asked how much it would cost, not could I or would I help her. (I would have sent her away but Wolf said to listen to her need for help, so I told her to tell me what was wrong with her child)
I then asked her who sent her to us and if she knew why that person would send her to us.
She replied that one of the elders at the powwow had pointed to us and told her "You should ask them for help". (this was odd to me, we were not of the nation putting on the powwow)
I told Wolf to talk with the lady while I went over to the elder to find out why he would send her to us.
He just said to me that he recognized me and thought that since my wife was with me that we could be the best help for the child.
This was even more odd to me since the powwow had two of the best healers already in presence.
I then went to talk to them, we smoked and I asked what they thought about this whole thing.
Their reply was good and made sense to me, so I went back to the lady who was still with my wife.
Wolf had already explained things to her, I knew this because the woman had produced the items we needed to do our work.
While Wolf made the herbal blends for the child, I prayed for creator to work through me and heal the child.
Some weeks later we found out the child was no longer ill and we were happy to be told this.
By the Way, there is never a charge for help, but you do have to ask.

If you go to a Reservation you will want to go to the main office first. Ask if it would be possible to meet with an elder, mention that you seek permission to learn.
Also mention how long you are able to stay for this knowledge.

Redhawk

 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau kola Lofthouse, what you say about things being in our DNA is true, one can meditate and find the red road.

I have a friend that is a follower of the Buddha who told me about seeing several "chiefs" in a circle while he was meditating.
He told me about this so he could ask me what I thought it might mean.
I told him that only he would be able to know that, but he should act out this vision so that it would bring the medicine of the vision to him.

I think that one of the problems most people have is that they fail to listen to what they already know inside.

Redhawk
 
John Weiland
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Mario Keltikee wrote:
... in Europe is still possible to find the old ways but I think it's quite different, specially in terms of spirituality and deep connection with nature.


While I suspect as well that it may be different in form, the difference may be more related to regions and what the indigenous of those regions considered places of power and sacredness....the fundamentals of that connection and spirituality may be more similar than first envisioned.   See for example Vine Deloria Jr.'s writing "C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions: Dreams, Visions, Nature and the Primitive":    https://www.amazon.com/C-G-Jung-Sioux-Traditions-Primitive/dp/1882670612

I can't imagine that at some point in that history there was not something pretty similar between the Americas and Europe in terms of spirituality and a deep connection with nature, but other forces over-ran those subcultures and may be hard to find those sentiments that you desire here.  But certainly as Redhawk and others have noted, there will be extremely valuable ways of (re)looking at the world/cosmos that comes from indigenous America, offering an existing wisdom for healing the earth and ourselves.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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If you compare that which we today know of the Druids and the Celtic culture to First Peoples in turtle island, there are many similarities. the book you mention also brings to light similarities found by Jung (great book).

Since we think in a circular manner (as compared to the usual linear manner of thinking of most) it is understandable how so many become attracted to the idea.

In college you learn that everything is separated somehow, this to me is the great disconnect, what has allowed so much harm to be done to that which gives us all life.

In my world, everything is connected to everything else, you can not do something to any part without it effecting all the other parts.
Thus one does not say, totally disrupt the soil and spread poisons without thinking of how that action will effect us when we eat the food that land produces, what will happen to the water quality, the air quality, what happens to the trees, the worms, everything will be touched by any action we take, anywhere within the great hoop of life.

Trying to get people who are used to thinking in a singular manner to think in the circular manner is a difficult thing to accomplish.
Interestingly, it is those who have stopped to think with their whole being that begin to understand that you can not swat a fly without it affecting things as if a line of dominos were before you and you flicked that first one towards the next one.

Redhawk
 
Mario Keltikee
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Thanks RedHawk.

I also believe everything is connected.
Your comment made me think in the "butterfly effect"

For instance when we talk about health, many people focus on the physical health without taking into account the emotional, spiritual and environmental factors. Big mistake.

Life is a cycle therefore everything becomes the same... what makes the difference is the fact of being aware of that and behave accordingly.

@John, thanks for the book suggestion. It looks very interesting. In Europe there were interesting cultures in terms of spirituality however it's quite difficult to find tracks or people with a good knowledge today.
One of my favorites is the Celtic culture with some legacy in the Northwest of Europe but many things have been lost.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Exactly right on the health subject Mario,  Healing is about bringing the body, spirit, and mind into harmony with mother earth.
When a being is in harmony then the earth mother can help heal that which is out of balance and thus making the body sick.

The earth mother is full of energies that most have forgotten how to use, they forgot these things because of the advent of "modern medicine".

Some times the best medicine is to find a secluded place and sit on the earth mother, naked so her elements have full access to flow her energies through your body.
If you are also still of mind, you will feel this happening.

When one chooses to walk the medicine road, much of what was perceived falls away the more you learn.

Redhawk
 
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