sometimes the things which will ultimately have great influence over our choices and paradigms come to us before we understand them.
i have a story. a friend of mine and i would spend countless hours in his kitchen, outside, at various events staring into each others eyes. i’m not sure where we got the idea to do this; it sprung up naturally between us. we would sit in his kitchen after he prepared delicious natural & simple foods for us. as we stared, the space between us would become smokey & blurred, the edge of reality & the fantastic lessening in clarity. as i said, we would do this for hours. i would see multiple faces within his face. from past lives, we conjured.
one time we tried this one playful afternoon outside. we ran around the forest yard behind the house i lived in. we climbed trees and chased each other through brambles. we layed on the ground and laughed. it started to rain, to lightning and i resisted the urge to go inside as he pleaded with me, enjoying the feeling of being one with it all and therefore safe with it all. yet before this, an interesting thing had happened on a place i henceforth called the sacred hill. as we ran around, we stopped in a grove of trees on the edge of the property which abutted a cemetery. we stopped in our tracks and stared at one another, into one another’s eyes for a time. as i stared into his face, our feet on this sacred spot of earth, hundreds of faces passed over my friend’s face. i know not how long we remained there, yet something was imprinted within me.
it was as if from the ground countless indigenous people reflected to me through his form. face after face transitioned. looked at me. i saw faces with extraordinary pain complementing deep deep strength. one in the same. i knew intimately the deep atrocities brought about from the oppressive dominator cultures come to their lands, exploiting existing people & place. i knew the feelings they encountered in this devastation, this travesty, this theft in the horrendous relations with the oppressor. i saw the sadness, i felt the ache and i was in awe at the strength. for these people i saw reflected back were the wounded warriors of the land. yes, wounded by the atrocities of the non-earth-based exploitive peoples, but So So strong. strong from their connection, from their relationship with Source, Spirit, however one wants to call it. their relationship with the land and deep spirituality.
recently i took part in an ayahuasca ceremony in peru. near the end, the ayahuascera, an indigenous healer from peru, spoke to me and said, you are of the new indigenous. it is a touchy subject, i feel, because cultural appropriation is a sore spot. it is painful to see the atrocities committed to indigenous peoples. stealing of land. exploitation of land. total lack of respect & power plays. lies. deceit. horrible horrible stories which are largely hidden from our cultural framework which enforces the stories we tell about ourselves. for this reason, i feel to be called or to call myself in turn a new indigenous, nueva indigena … feels like ground to walk gently, cautiously upon. i think it is ground that needs communicating to be walked. we need to have dialogue. to hear the wounded indigenous. to hear the stories of their past and of their recovery. to hear their perspective which is so pressed-down currently.
when in the field with my friend those years ago, i had no idea my life /spirit would lead me to feel the need to manifest a “new” indigenous lifestyle. that i would be called to live close to land, to revive old traditions and make new ones. to breathe life into old stories. to become a storyteller. to take on the name of a new indigenous. to speak and give voice for indigenous people. i only knew what i saw on that hillside and that it was miraculous. countless men and women of all ages floating through my friend’s face. faces of strength. faces of pain.
it is intimately important that we revive the indigenous perspective within ourselves. the cry is rising within us in the longing for change, yet i often hear it covered up by the cry of survival. the common ” I can’t because i don’t have time” “don’t have knowledge” “don’t have skill” “it will be / is impossible”. i no longer believe these. what happens when we believe our own thinking as true? we are the ones we have been waiting for. why wait? sometimes waiting is good, yet we can also reach a ripeness time. and this is when we must manifest and bear fruit. this is when the faces seen on the hill come full circle & i realize i was called long ago and it is just now ripening into fuller meaning for me.
indigenous is a term we give to people groups. yet indigenous simply means of a place. which we all are. we are all of a place. yet many of us feel disconnected from place because our lives are not interconnected to the land in the place we are from. towns across america all look the same for this reason. the same conglomerate chain companies own countless acres of real estate. they own the edges of the high ways. this is what the person traveling across the country will think is america. it is not easy to feel of a place when raised with complete lack of land-connection. oftentimes the culture, especially modern religions, prize the head instead of being in the body. feeling from the body. listening to body knowledge. they prize a man in the sky and words from an old book. many christians will understand more intimately the social climate in which jesus lived and was persecuted than the social dynamics of their own cultures. this, too, is a travesty.
within this there is a great loss of What Is. for What Is is outside of each of our doors. yet many are trained to wait for a precious hereafter where all sins will be wiped away. there is no future. there is no future heaven or hell. it is all right now. and if we truly look outside of our doors, get out of our heads and the innocuous, pervasive brainwashing of our religions and social structures, we see that there is a great divide between the structures that govern and dictate our society and economic systems. they are ungrounded. they are unsustainable.
this is a call back to the earth. hear the stirring inside of yourself. if you are reading this you are a new indigenous. we are all called back to the land. it is an intimate part of the evolution of the human species. for a time we have departed, forgotten, been lost, and now we return. we create new indigenous of a place traditions. we revive. we create. we story-tell. we listen from our hearts. we hear our bodies and the cries of the cultures the dominant oppressive cultures have pushed down. we hear them. we integrate. we all move forward. this is how the new indigenous, of a place, culture is created. where we ground, where we already are, with heaven and hell inside of us, choosing to do the right things which are not questions of the mind, but knowledge from within our hearts, our spirits. to say, be a good person, is hard to understand if the person is a liar. sometimes it is hard to know the best decision. but ultimately, each of us, from the spirit inside of each of us, knows the right thing to do. we don’t need anyone from outside of us to tell us. we are good. or, we can choose the good. and from this we move toward the new indigenous culture following the golden rule given to us from the light.
may we choose to walk in beauty. aho.