"The first peace, which is the most important, is that
which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship,
their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that
at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center
is really everywhere, it is within each of us. "
by Black Elk
There is a journey awaiting you
It comes in truth and promise
When you reach the point of not knowing who you are or where to go
This most precious but often painful passage is the journey of yourself
You will travel to places never before visited,
Where you meet unspoken fears and unearth buried truths
You will climb high and perilous mountains...those that rise up from inside yourself
You will explore forgotten waters held deep in the sea of your soul
You will be stranded in the wilderness and find a way through pathless land
You will be lost before you are found...You will be empty before you are full
You will cry the deep sobs of the earth and tears of rain will cleanse the house around your heart
In time...because life, like birth and death, knows its own time
Your fears and struggles and unknowing will be transformed
You will become a mountain place where eagles soar
You will become a reflecting pool which sees and knows the mysteries of your life
Your heart will be light like a butterfly as you follow the currents of its true desires
The flight of the honeybee will be yours as you seek the nectar of what brings sweetens to your daily life
Most of all you will become who you truly are
Your life will hold truth and promise and meaning
And the heart of the heavens will hold your heart.
by Susan Squellati Florence
FIRE IN THE SOUL
It's that burning fire that we are all one,
It's that burning fire that what I do to
my brother and sister I do to myself.
It's that burning fire that I must be
strong and tell the truth.
It's that burning fire that I do have
the unlimited fuel to be present and make the contribution
I was put here to make
It's that burning fire of really seeing my gifts
and sacredness of this Divine Appointment on
Earth at this time
It's the burning fire which has illuminated the often hidden
truth of why I'm here and
what I'm to do to make my love radiate to All My Relations!
It's that burning fire which has helped me to
survive up until now but, also to see the survival ember
NO longer works
Living the Sacred life now is the only fire
that now allows me to see those shadows in the corners
and closets which I am now embracing and seeing in a
profound, painful, honest, loving way I've never done
at these depths before.
It's that burning fire that has allowed me to go into
my fear, anger, sadness, and surrender of self to become that person
GOD wants me to be rather that what I wanted to be.
It's that burning fire that gives me the courage to
Continue this Sacred Path not only for myself, but for my brothers and sisters!
by Carol Hannagan
It started when we lost our drums.
We were lazy one month and didn't bother with them.
The spirits got angry and took them away.
We were silenced except for our tongues and our brains.
Without the drums we forgot how to listen
Our hearts and our minds grew crusty with lack of use.
Our power declined.
We lost our ability to communicate.
Our bodies forgot they had spirits.
Our spirits forgot they had bodies.
We got lost and started believing we were machines
so we built other machines to pass the time.
We became surrounded by machines
and thought they were our brothers.
We had no sisters but we didn't know it mattered.
Since we thought the machines were brothers,
we let them advise us.
We thought they know more than we did.
We did everything they told us.
We forgot how to breathe.
We had to struggle to be happy and we were confused about love.
We tried to kill or stifle anyone who didn't act like a machine.
We treated our bodies like machines and they began to break.
We tried using tools to repair them but it didn't work.
We grew old,
But we didn't die. We just divided and multiplied
until we filled up the whole planet. We began to suffocate.
Then the spirits took pity and returned the drums.
At first we thought they were toys.
We used them with our sound machines.
But gradually their power seeped into the backs of our memories.
One by one we learned again how to use the drums.
We resumed the beating.
The rhythms began intertwining again.
Our hearts labored up
and began loving of their own accord
without the brain to organize and confuse.
The brains took a much needed rest.
The machines fell into a cold, brittle sleep.
We found our sisters again and our bodies woke up
And remembered how to die.
With the return of death our power came back in full.
We used our tears and blood of the sisters to heal the damage we
had done when we thought we were machines.
The damage was immense and also irreversible.
But the spirits returned with the drums just in time.
It took many years and some new rhythms added to the old.
But now the Earth is green again and we breathe deeply and walk the sacred path.
-----the Northern People
Once, a poor stonecutter worked everyday, chipping away at huge stones on the mountainside, but he was dissatisfied. He saw a rich man passing by, and thought, “I wish I was that rich man.” A magical spirit was listening, and granted his wish. He became the rich man!
As the rich man, the stonecutter felt infinitely powerful. He gave his servants order after order. But one day the sun shone hotly on the rich man. “The sun is more powerful than I. I wish I were the sun!” The magical spirit granted his wish,
Now he was the sun. He shown down on the earth, scorching it mercilessly. But one day a cloud passed in front of him. “The cloud is more powerful than I. I wish to be that cloud!’ Again, the magical spirit granted his wish.
As the cloud, he blocked the sun day after day, causing darkness and cold weather. But one day a wind came up, and blew the cloud away. “I want to be the wind!” Again, the magical spirit granted his wish.
As the wind, he blew dust storms and hurricanes. Nothing could stand in his way. But one day he came to a mountain and couldn’t move it. “The mountain resists me. Let me be the mountain.” Once more, the magical spirit granted his wish.
As the mountain, he was immovable. Nothing could budge him. But one day he felt something chipping away at him. It was a poor stonecutter. “The stonecutter is mightiest of all! I wish I were a stonecutter.” One last time, the magical spirit granted his wish.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken.
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
I you risk nothing and do nothing, you dull your spirit.
You may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But you cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, and live.
Chained by your attitude, you are a slave.
You have forfeited your freedom.
Only if you risk are you free.
And the day came
When it was more
Painful to stay closed
It is to be open and radiate
LIFE, JOY, LOVE!!!
(Written by a 13 year old boy in prison for murder.)
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting you heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon, I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or if you have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine and your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true, I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see the beauty even when it is not pretty everyday and if you can source your life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver moon, “YES!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are or how you came to be here, I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied, I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
By Orrin Mountain Dreamer - Native American Elder
The Road Home
You must travel your road like there has never been another before you.
And each mountain you climb will be easier if you leave the last one behind.
Let each river you cross cleanse and quench you for you can only drown
in your own fears,
or loose the road in blinding tears.
Travel that road like there will never be another before you.
Inspect it and feel it every inch of the way.
It’s a road you should know,
for all of it’s beauty and struggle,
its mountains and valleys are made from your mind ----
It’s your choice.
Your Spirit -
Come to the mountain,
Where we stand,
Above a sea of clouds and soil high.
Come to the mountain ,
Where we hear,
The symphony of praise from winged musicians.
Come to the mountain,
Where heights is immeasurable:
In stillness we feel the earth move beneath our feet.
Come to the mountain,
Where we can close our eyes and see our dreams.
Come to OUR mountain,
My sweet friend,
Where together we will speak of all we may become!
By Anne Radmacher