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 A Message From the Hopi Elders

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Diana



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PostSubject: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:41 pm

This was passed on to me today...excellent teaching and advice.

A Message from Hopi Elders

You have been telling the people that this is the eleventh hour.
Now you must go back and tell people that this is the HOUR.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in the right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river now flowing very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
Push off into the river,
Keep our eyes open
And our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are taking nothing personally.
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.

The Elders
Oraibi, Arizona
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:15 am

Diana, I think that this statement is indeed excellent teaching and advice--on multiple levels. It recognizes our escalating global crisis, and is a call for waking up, and paying attention! I came across it a while ago; and I especially like the essence of its teaching, wrapped up in the summary:

"Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration."

Thanks for posting it!
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:45 pm

Hey Diana

Not much to say but...OH YES!

Thanks for sharing.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:29 pm

Great post Diana. I keep coming back to read it again and each time a different line jumps out at me, with a new meaning.
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Robert
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:29 pm

Thanks for sharing these words with us all Diana.It has some powerful images and messages in it.

For some reason, part of it reminded me of a college teacher from New Zealand who told me that the Maoris don't have a word for "mine" or "my" as everything is available to everyone and has more of a sense of "ours to cherish and look after" than ownership about it - that's if I understood her correctly!
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:49 pm

I'm glad everyone is enjoying this message. I go back and read it frequently as well.

Robert,
My supervisor gave me this and it was given to her by a Hopi elder. I work for one of the Apache tribes here in New Mexico. Interesting that you bring up the Maori's. Last month a group of young Maori's came and gave a perfomance for the Apache tribes. I was lucky enough to be invited. They performed some awesome dances, really powerful. One of their elders gave some advice. There were several points, but I only remember 2 right now. The first was a plea for everyone to help heal the earth. The second one was directed at the youth; he said that most youth have a mistaken identity and they think that they are separate and that the world revolves around them. He pleaded with them to stand together as a whole for their community. There was a lovely blessing by one of the tribal elders at the end. It was in Apache and I didn't understand one word, but I sure got the message.

One thing I have always struggled with in Zen and Buddhism in general is the collectivistic outlook. I can't help it- my culture/ethnicity is Anglo/individualistic. I understand collectivistic societies, but I don't live in one, which makes it difficult. Unless, that is, I am on the Reservation and working with the tribal members. They are the ultimate Buddhas to me; teaching me every moment. Sometimes when I've been on the reservation a while, it is hard to come back into the city. I used to feel that way after a retreat. I think that's what I miss about living in the monastery- that feeling of community and working for the greater whole.

One thing that has been pointed out to me is that we (white people) are so linear that in order to understand native people, we need to learn to be more circular. This is very difficult to do!!!! I have communication issues all the time! I once went round-and-round with a fellow therapist who happens to be Navajo. I swear, it was even more difficult than training with a Zen master. And afterward, after I gave up trying to understand, she smiled at me with a sparkle in her eye and gave me some encouragement.

Always so much to learn...
Peace,
Diana
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:34 pm

Thank you, Diana. I continue to be amazed at the teaching coming out of this forum.
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Nicky



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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:27 am

Me too .
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Robert
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:52 pm

Thanks Diana. It seems we have so many opportunities to learn when we step outside the mainstream into circles that so many seem to look down on despite knowing nothing about the true wealth encompassed in the heritage of different cultures. I've been quite lucky to meet people from different "Native American" groups, mainly at trans events where the Berdache have come to share their experience both with the western trans community and with each other. I'd be interested to spend more time exploring their world and seeing their teachings happening in practise. It seems a very complete and wholesome picture somehow.
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:19 pm

Just had to read this again...great New Years message!

Robert,
There is so much going on with LGBT Native Peoples. They are well respected and organized from what I have seen. There are support groups in the schools, etc... I don't know much about all of it, just a little. The most interesting part for me of course, is the spiritual issues, the "Two-Spirited" philosophy. I thought about this when I heard your story. I can't remember if I commented on your story now or not, but if I didn't I must say that it is very moving, and thank you for sharing it. The Two-Spirited ones have always been around and are respected and revered. It's completely natural. I think that is a perfect model and I wish every culture could adopt it. I haven't heard of the Berdache...where are they from?

Peace,
Diana
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Jan



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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:41 pm

Thanks for the beautiful message from the Hopi Elders. I particularly like the last three lines this morning:

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.

Joyful New Year to all!

Jan
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Robert
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:28 pm

The poem is a good one for a new year somehow and it's good to re-read it...

Diana, thanks for your kind words. I guess none of us wish to be able to share the kinds of experiences we've had with the OBC especially as so many are so very damaging and unacceptable in any circle, let alone Buddhist monasteries. Sadly it seems the number of damaging experiences from former members just grows with the forum. If by writing of my experiences it helps another then it's been worth sharing it.

The Berdache, Winkte and Two Spirits people are, as far as I know, different words for the same concept. I'd only heard of Two Spirit people at first but was told that Winkte was more up to date and now Berdache seems to be PC, but that may well depend on who you're talking to and where they're from. In the Native American culture, the Shaman is apparently not able to perform the ritual until the Two Spirit person has stated where the ceremony will happen. When a child is born, it is the Two Spirit person who gives the child their "true" name - I guess that might be like a Dharma name but am not sure. While a Two Spirit person will receive a horse or some other gift for giving the child it's true name, the Two Spirited person's family is also held in high regard in the community. How different things are around the world!
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luzianne

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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:06 pm

Thank You for this it is wonderful.
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danstaples

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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Mon May 14, 2012 6:40 am

After I accidentally wandered off from Shasta and ceased to meditate - at least at 5:30am in the lotus position - I had a number of instances involving American Indians that provoked association memories with Shasta. I worked a number of summers in Glacier Park, the Park carved from the Blackfeet Reservation. After a couple of summers there, the ambiance of the Blackfeet began to settle in.

It was truthfully as if I had discovered the Fountain of Youth. I was in my 40's and none too distinguished other than in perhaps my own span of doing something about myself. Without my realiziing it, I began to forget about any "failings" - nondescript grades at Gonzaga University, a large variety of jobs and job locations - and a very positive image of my life emerged... I had perfect health, no vices and had been very carefully pacing myself... I had a broad education and set of experiences on top of a sound constitution and spiritual nature. In short, I was poised, capable of anything...

At Shasta, I had gotten over some sense of failure but it seemed I had to really be a ball of energy every minute or I would "fail" and fall back into being something like a dog sleeping in the sun. In East Glacier, there was no temporariness about the transformation. It was real. I was sound, full of energy and ready to continue on to a goal or goals with solid energy and wisdom. The sured positiveness settled in and became a part of my life. So much so, that I only recently realized that I had gotten away from it with a number of years away from the Park. I remember at Shasta learning to not cling to the past, however poignant, in order to get fully into working on ourselves now but, as I did stop mulling over past roadbumps, there was always insecurity as to how I could cling to the tendril of merciful hope. At the Glacier Park Lodge, I was a newly discovered wise person with nothing but solid wisdom to show for a rainbow of experiences, preparing me better than ever for moving ahead in whatever direction I chose and all were available to me.

In another gig, I drove tour buses in Alaska - land of totem poles and midnight sun. Yes, we had old and new totem poles and yes, unfortunately, it seemed to never be dark. However, something that reminded me of terms and goals at Shasta was brought on by a tragedy. One of our drivers made some pointed statements and then committed suicide. All the drivers lived in a large house and were traumatized to various extents. The Klingit tribe, one of the three tribes native to the area, offered to do a "healing" ceremony - to make something like the hole in the ozone go away. The ceremony was accepted and performed although I felt it would probably amount to positive wishes expressed briefly and then nothing more.

Was I ever wrong. I remember all sorts of things said at Shasta. Zen mind. Beginner's mind. Letting go. Going may be staying. Staying may be going. The shared concsiousness of the tour bus company changed like the moods of summer campers when the rain stops after days... The next day, the foreboding air was gone. It was as though months of youthful life had intervened - the shadow of the troubling event was already distant and a quiet new light prevailed. The tourbus company truly was healed.

No mind. Duality. Mind of distinction. Many terms I heard in Zen made sense when dealing with American Indians. I live in a motel. It is also the housing of some Navajo steel workers. The Dalai Lama visited Navajo country and is quoted as saying how surprised he was to see so many similarities they had with Tibetans - from sand paintings to the nonverbal communications.

More than 10 years ago, I lived in a hotel run by a friend who was half Navajo and half Mexican. He always surprised me with his ability to add one more person in need to his support system with no second thought. Indians sometimes seem to see whites as spoiled children. When you visit someone's house and their kids are spoiled, you don't comment about it and when possible, you try to point them in the right direction. With the hard crew living in that hotel, I was alright because by my friend someone who did not do drugs or drink could be generous, almost avuncular. It was not much of an effort for him, almost second nature.

I see the Navajo that I live with now are rich in emotion and communication without much talk because over the years I have finally tumbled to the fact that whites are insecure comparatively and somewhat put in a box by our striving for material things.

The Navajo I know see me dragging, discouraged and push me without words in a positive direction. The Blackfeet would beat you up, but it would not be over money and they would never stoop to badmouthing someone in a competition for material position or money. They provide an ambiance in which dying is inevitable and for which we are prepared if we are only acting - what is for them - in accordance to a general moderation and blending-in philosophy. Nothing, however noble, is worth self aggrandizement and a day's end ends a day's efforts.

I believe this return to a slowed sense of what were the day's efforts - to be revisited tomorrow - is one part of the Zen goal of meditation. The farmer's way, using the mind of meditation as a base from which to issue... The state of mind sought seems suddenly understandable surrounded by nonrapacious Indians. Yes, they have faults. The Blackfeet have a deep philosophical difference with the Shoshone. The Shoshone way of life translates into betrayal when put side by side with the Blackfeet mode and the latter travelled miles to decimate their traditional enemies on that account in years gone by. However, for Zen trainees looking for an end to insecurity, inconsolability, discouragement, personally I saw for real and very 100% thoroughly Indian tribes have that without it being a marathon climb of stupendous effort.

My thinking is some Zen monks/scholars could perhaps be in residence with the tribes - something as visiting anthropologists study other cultures - and see if there is not a transferable relevance that could be brought back to the training monasteries.

Gassho.
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Tue May 15, 2012 1:12 am

Dan, thank you for your wonderful and insightful posting!

The karmic consequence of genocide, historically perpetrated against indigenous Americans, by (us) European colonizers, will never go away. And it will remain unhealed--until we own up and acknowledge what has been done.

Because of our collective denial, this remains a very real and ever present issue, to this day.

And yes, as you say:

"My thinking is some Zen monks/scholars could perhaps be in residence with the tribes - something as visiting anthropologists study other cultures - and see if there is not a transferable relevance that could be brought back to the training monasteries."

My only comment in response is that we don't need to be in residence to determine relevance. We need to be in residence to learn!


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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Tue May 15, 2012 7:54 pm

Don't know if anyone has ever heard of a little book called, "A Century of Dishonor" by Helen Hunt Jackson, who was a writer and American Indian rights activist in the eighteen hundreds. Anyone interested in all things Native American might care to read this. In one of the chapters, "The Conestoga Massacre", there appears a reply by a Conestoga Band Chief (I think Seneca), to a sermon that was given by a Swedish Missionary who came to preach to the Conestoga on the subject of Original Sin. The Missionary was so impressed by the reasoning of the Chief that upon return to Sweden he posted this reply at the University of Upsala after writing it down in his best Latin. You can simply google 'the Conestoga Massacre", then go to www.nanations and the speech appears in the chapter of "The Conestoga Massacre". Well worth looking up.
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Tue May 15, 2012 8:54 pm

Kozan wrote:
The karmic consequence of genocide, historically perpetrated against indigenous Americans, by (us) European colonizers, will never go away. And it will remain unhealed--until we own up and acknowledge what has been done.

Unlike African Americans who have fought for equal rights and the acknowledgement of their slavery, Native Americans were so utterly destroyed that the shame and culpability which should have eventually been owned by our society have become part of the unconscious shadow. We go along imagining America as the land of the free, oblivious of the genocide that was an inseparable part of the fashioning of the nation.
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed May 16, 2012 12:09 am

breljo wrote:
Don't know if anyone has ever heard of a little book called, "A Century of Dishonor" by Helen Hunt Jackson, who was a writer and American Indian rights activist in the eighteen hundreds. Anyone interested in all things Native American might care to read this. In one of the chapters, "The Conestoga Massacre", there appears a reply by a Conestoga Band Chief (I think Seneca), to a sermon that was given by a Swedish Missionary who came to preach to the Conestoga on the subject of Original Sin. The Missionary was so impressed by the reasoning of the Chief that upon return to Sweden he posted this reply at the University of Upsala after writing it down in his best Latin. You can simply google 'the Conestoga Massacre", then go to www.nanations and the speech appears in the chapter of "The Conestoga Massacre". Well worth looking up.

Brigitte, thank you so much for this information!

The Conestoga Massacre account is overwhelmingly tragic. Not surprisingly perhaps, the basic dynamic has been solidly confirmed to extend back to Christopher Columbus himself; and it extends forward in overt forms to the end of the 19th Century, and in more covert forms to this day.

A direct link to the Conestoga Massacre account that you refer to:

http://www.nanations.com/dishonor/conestoga-massacre.htm
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed May 16, 2012 1:33 am

Isan wrote:

Unlike African Americans who have fought for equal rights and the acknowledgement of their slavery, Native Americans were so utterly destroyed that the shame and culpability which should have eventually been owned by our society have become part of the unconscious shadow. We go along imagining America as the land of the free, oblivious of the genocide that was an inseparable part of the fashioning of the nation.

Isan, you are so right on the mark here. It seems to me that this issue pervades our collective psyche unconsciously. We, in America, have become global dominators--and in consequence, at a collective level (like all dominators), now live in fear.

It seems to me that there is a remarkable parallel here with the history of the OBC. The two are not equivalent by any means, but parallel in terms of similar, general, causal dynamics.

At a collective national level, we need to own up to the genocide that we have perpetrated against indigenous Americans, and (perhaps as a consequence of denial) are now perpetrating against others globally.

I think that this is the prerequisite for healing the collective trauma that we carry--and transforming the ongoing dynamic of exploitation that we perpetrate (together with other industrialized nations) against the planet.

At a collective OBC level, we need to own up to the history of RM Jiyu's personal shadow, the dynamic by which it has become confused with her genuine teaching, the trauma that has resulted for some, and the more subtle confusion that pervades.

I think that this is the prerequiste for healing our collective constriction and (sometimes) trauma--and transforming the dynamic that perpetuates this dysfunction, the saddening of the heart that follows, and the undermining of spiritual practice that results.

Fortunately, in every case, the primary requirement for healing is--awareness! And the primary requirement for transformation, I think, is simply a desire to get it right.
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Wed May 16, 2012 11:25 am

Thanks for the direct link Kozan, much easier Smile.

Brigitte
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Thu May 17, 2012 4:41 am

Yea, the "settlement" of America was one of the saddest things that ever happened.....ever. What a rich and heterogenous collection of cultures, ideas and beliefs that the world is missing out on. And the decimation of some of the worlds biggest ecosystems (Canadian Prairies).............

Dan, I've been following your tales and they are helpful to me. Nice one.
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PostSubject: Re: A Message From the Hopi Elders   Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:59 am

As I go through the summer here on the Blackfeet Reservation again, I am amazed at the minds I occasionally glimpse. My social science education makes me think they are most distinguised by their lack of expansion, i.e. the Blackfeet number only about as many as when Lewis & Clark ventured this way. That maybe allows them to treat more of their community as family and less as competition and allows for the development of many facets of the mind I have never witnessed in many Anglo locales.
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