In Native American cultures, The Great Spirit is a deity intertwined with the fabric of the Universe itself on the large scale and yet personally engaged with the web of living things and the world on an earthly scale. I am creating a spiritual practice by borrowing a little from the Buddhists and the practice of mindfulness, but mostly from the strong connection I feel for the worship of Earth as taught us by our first nations. For those who hunger for the connection of a spiritual practice from someone who is learning to braid her own.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Connecting with the Thanksgiving Reader
I attended an herbalist conference because of my interest in original wisdom and our ancestors' close communication with plants. Pretty much across the world. More about that in a future post.
Two weeks later I find the words of the keynote speaker rattlin' 'round in my head. There were a couple things about him that were notable. He began by pausing, calling in the former inhabitants of the space, those whose lives were affected by deeds of the past in the locale. Next he offered a visualization where he connected each of us to the center of the earth through our sex and to the Universe through our crowns (his narrative was riveting). Not going to lie, this scholar's main message was lost on me. However, one thing stuck.
A young man from the audience who identified himself with ADHD, explaining the difficulties, especially employment because of his inability to adhere to office protocols, asked the speaker, "How do you live with the dissonance between where we are (this society and its expectations) and what we believe?" The speaker advised, "Carve out temporary autonomous zones where you have the space, and time, to practice what you believe, and talk about what you believe to relieve the stress." Simultaneous personal benefit and spreading the practice of making a better world.
It was easier to raise a gaggle of kids who were quiet about such things, so speaking up about anything political wasn't encouraged by the elders. But this isn't the legacy I want to leave my family. We didn't pray or sing with gratitude when we were growing up, though we worshiped party and food ritual of holiday celebrations. I have been looking for a way introduce some piece of what I have been doing in developing my own spiritual practice, likely song or flute to help connect my family to each other and the earth. I even had a charm made at the conference that embodies a reuniting and nurturing of our family. But I want to meet them where they are, and heaven forbid not chase off this year's guest. So low and behold . . .
. . . the most recent happening is my newly ignited relationship with Zappos. I am a fan of this culture-rich company and its CEO Tony Hseih. I am now a customer and as a result I get linked to all of the crazy, lovely, heartfelt things they do. Tonight in my inbox is an email from Zappos that contains a link to Seth Grodin's Thanksgiving Reader. It is intended as a worldwide, somewhat simultaneous reading of words that reinforce our connectedness. I cannot wait.