Sunday, February 10, 2013

An Indian Prayer


My sister in law sent this to me so that I could post it here. 


An Indian Prayer
O' GREAT SPIRIT,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, I need your
strength and wisdom.
Let Me Walk In Beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make My Hands Respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make Me Wise so that I may understand the
things you have taught my people.
Let Me Learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I Seek Strength, not to be greater than my
brother, but to fight my greatest
enemy...myself.
Make Me Always Ready to come to you with
clean hands and straight eyes.
So When Life Fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you
without shame.
(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)
published in Native American Prayers - by the Episcopal Church

The twelve Principals of Native American Philosophy

1) WHOLENESS

All things are interrelated.Everything in the Universe is part of a single whole. Everything is connected in some way to everything else. It is only possible to understand something if we understand how it is connected to everything else.

2) CHANGE

Everything is in a state of constant change. One season falls upon the other. people are born, and die. All things change. There are two kinds of change. The coming together of things and the coming apart of things. Both kinds of change are necessary and are always connected to each other.

3) CHANGE OCCURS IN CYCLES OR PATTERNS

 They are not random or accidental. If we cannot see how a particular change is connected, it usually means that our standpoint is affecting our perfection.

4) THE PHYSICAL WORLD IS REAL - THE SPIRITUAL WORLD IS REAL

 They are two aspects of one reality. There are separate laws which govern each. Breaking of a spiritual principle will affect the physical world and visa versa. A balanced life is one that honors both.

5) PEOPLE ARE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL BEINGS

6) PEOPLE CAN ACQUIRE NEW gifts,BUT THEY MUST STRUGGLE TO DO SO

The process of developing new personal qualities may be called "true learning".

7) THERE ARE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF TRUE LEARNING

A person learns in a whole and balanced manner when the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional dimensions are involved in the process.

8) THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HAS FOUR RELATED CAPACITIES:

*the capacity to have and to respond to dreams, visions, ideals, spiritual teachings, goals and theories.

*the capacity to accept these as a reflection of our unknown or unrealized potential.

*the capacity to express these using symbols in speech, art or mathematics.

*the capacity to use this symbolic expression towards action directed at marking the possible a reality.

9) PEOPLE MUST ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR OWN POTENTIAL

10) A PERSON MUST DECIDE TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN POTENTIAL

The path will always be there for those who decide to travel it.

11) ANY PERSON WHO SETS OUT ON A JOURNEY OF SELF-DEVELOPMENT WILL BE AIDED

Guides, teachers, and protectors will assist the traveler.

12) THE ONLY SOURCE OF FAILURE IS A PERSON'S OWN FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS



Top of Form

Native American Family Practices, Beliefs and Traditions
The family structure varies from tribe to tribe including gender roles, from the matriarchal structure seen in the Navajo to patriarchal structures.  For example, among the Haudenosaunee people, women are regarded as powerful physical beings in their matriarchal family structure (George-Kanentiio, 2000). 

Family practices within the Native American culture are as diverse as among the different Asian groups' family practices and traditions. Yet, despite this enormous diversity, there seems to be common core values and beliefs that characterize traditional Native American culture across tribal groups and geographic regions.  Most Native American families are extended and often include mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It is not uncommon to have adopted relatives in the household and all living in very close proximity to one another (Allison & Vining, 1999).  Native Americans tend to have a high fertility rate, a large percentage of out-of-wedlock births, strong roles for women and families headed by a single mother or another family female adult (Sue & Sue, 2003).

Native Americans highly value traditional beliefs concerning relation, harmony, balance, spirituality, and wellness; as part of valuing "relation" all these beliefs are interrelated. 

Relation. Central to Native American spiritual traditions is the importance of "relation" as a way of existing in the world. The power of relation is symbolized by the Circle of Life, represented throughout the traditions, customs and art forms of Native people (Dufrene, 1990). This Circle of Life is believed, in many tribal traditions, to consist of the basic elements of life: fire, earth, water and wind. These four points also denote, as for example in Cherokee tradition, spirit, nature, body and mind, referred to as the Four Winds (Dufrene, 1990). Brent Toadlena explained that the life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and that there are important ceremonies that depict this (personal communication).

Also life, from a traditional Native American perspective, is viewed as a series of concentric circles. The first circle is the inner circle, representing our spirit. The next circle is family/clan. The third circle is the natural environment and all our relations. And the fourth circle consists of the spirit world. Considering the power of relation, all life exists in an involved system of interdependence in a dynamic state of harmony and balance (Garrett & Carroll, 2000).

Harmony and balance. Among the many aspects of Native American culture is the emphasis on unity through seeking harmony and balance both inwardly and outwardly. Generally, Native American traditional values reflect the importance placed upon community contribution, sharing, cooperation, being, noninterference, community and extended family, harmony with nature, a time orientation toward living in the present, preference for explanation of natural phenomena according to the spiritual, and a deep respect for elders (Garret, 1999). While visiting the Barona Mission Museum, many displays reflected the general practices of this beliefs and values of the Kumeyaay people. Displays illustrated their thoughts about the earth and the family's responsibility to value one another as well as their environment. For example, one display presented the use of the land and protecting it as well as utilizing its resources and the strength of oral traditions to perpetuate these practices. 

Wellness. Traditional Native American views of healing and wellness emphasize seeking harmony within oneself, with others and with one's surroundings (Garrett & Carroll, 2000). In the traditional Native American way, medicine can consist of physical remedies, but medicine is also much more than a pill you take to cure illness or correct a physiological malfunction. Medicine is everywhere; it is the essence of their inner being that gives inner power (Garrett, 1999).  The Native American elders often hold healing positions such as medicine men and other authoritative positions in the community due to their highly valued wisdom and experience.

Spirituality. Unlike Western spirituality, religion is a way of life (Atwood, 1991).  In many Native American languages, there is no word for "religion" because spiritual practices are an integral part of every aspect of daily life; spirituality is necessary for the harmony and balance, or wellness, of the individual, family, clan and community (Locust, 1988).  

If a person believes in the Native American spiritual path they act accordingly which mens they do not threaten another person, beat-up another person, etc. then use their mental and physical illnesses as an excuse to do either physical or verbal harm to others. Verbal harm is lying about others to save face or to get even which causes harm to others. Walking in balance is just that in balance means dealing with all aspects of ones life in a way that causes no harm to another living thing. Harming others is not in balance! Do not say you walk a spiritual path is you are not in balance with life!


4 comments:

  1. Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Liked the prayer at the start, filled with life as they are. Interesting facts too.

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  3. This is very interesting. I thought the prayer was lovely.

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  4. Glad you all enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete

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