Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lay Your Burden Down


Some of us come into the world feeling that we are here to make some significant difference spiritually, but don’t know where or how to make that difference. That’s how it was for me when I met my first Native teacher.

She saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. She saw the healer in me that I was beginning to discover, and she saw the ceremonialist in me that I had not yet recognized. As I began studying in the medicine circle and she required me to fulfill certain responsibilities in ceremony, I discovered a part of me that I had not touched in many, many years.

As a young child, I used to put on my robes and play priest by holding a mass in the basement of our home for all the neighborhood kids. I always was a ceremonialist. I just had never found a way to live my true calling, so I abandoned it.

For many years, I looked for my purpose, mission, and service in the world. That search became a burden, especially as I refused to associate with any religion or spiritual path. Although in later years and prior to meeting my elder, I held ceremonies of my own creation and learned a great deal in doing so, what I didn’t realize I was missing was the strength of the ancestors that comes through any established path.

When I finally settled in on a path connected to my own Native roots, I could grow in the wisdom of those who had gone before me. I could rest a little bit in their wisdom as I developed my own inner knowing. I could become even more creative in my ceremonies as I learned to trust that my ancestors would help me attend to what had been learned through history that was most effective, and help me see the best ways to incorporate concepts that kept the ceremonies fresh and current.

I discovered depths of ceremonial experience that I had only read about or didn’t even know existed as my elder quested me under the watchful eyes of our ancestors on the other side of the veil.

Ceremonies that call upon the ancestors for their help and guidance have a way of helping us more effectively access the mysteries where we discover our true selves. In our world, most of us live in some stage of spiritual sleepiness and our task is to awaken. But the ancestors are often fully awake and so they beautifully hold space for our unfolding.

Over the next few weeks, you are going to have an opportunity to learn about our Keeper Apprenticeship for the Water Ceremonies in the Path of the Sacred Feminine, our elderhood initiations, a class on how to become a true ceremonialist, and to consider your own vision or song quest.

Why is it all happening now? The apprenticeship, initiations and quests require the better part of a year to prepare. So we begin our preparations in September for initiations and quests at SpiritQuest in June.

If you are thinking it is time to lay down the burden of your seeking, I’d like to offer you something for consideration. Such explorations are not for the faint of heart. Such explorations are not for dabbling. They are callings.

A calling means that something inside you knows you need this for your awakening, and that it requires dedication and commitment on your part. You might also find that your fears try to keep you from immersing yourself in your path of self-discovery.

Therefore, you must be ready to meet each of your fears, doubts, and judgments with love, as they arise throughout the process. You must be ready to meet all of who you are and willingly accept yourself with compassion.

I was blessed that my elder pulled me aside at a friend’s house and said, “I want you to study with me.” I had said a prayer asking to be taught in my Native tradition, and I knew she was my answer.

If you have wanted to go deeply into your own self-awareness and have been looking for a path through which to do it, and if what you have read here on this site speaks to your heart deeply, consider yourself called.  And consider yourself invited by me to explore with my and New Dream’s loving support. 

Here and now, if you choose, you can lay down the burden of seeking and enter into the depths of the mystery of your true nature.