Reflections:   July 2007.    3rd Qtr 2007

more » « less

Greetings Relatives,

A rich and remarkable quarter it has been…

In the previous newsletter, I expressed excitement for my pilgrimage to New Zealand. It was certainly justified. My first few days were spent conducting ceremony and sharing teachings among my adopted family on the West coast of the North Island- in one of the strongholds of Maori culture and tradition. The moment I departed from the States, the Wakinyan (Thunderbeings) preceded my arrival, bringing much needed precipitation - so much in fact that a lahar occurred in the mountains mere kilometers from where I was teaching (a phenomenon that had not occurred there in over fifty years) - fortunately, there were no injuries. In fact, the community expressed gratitude for the assistance - they were anticipating the event. On the East coast I harvested mussels directly from the pristine beach (all of our succulent seafood was freshly caught by the locals), visited the longest place name in the world, (which describes the story of a Chief who plays a lamentation on his flute in honour of his deceased brother) and reenacted the story by playing my own flute there. Staying first in a Chief's home and then on the Marae (the traditional ceremonial Ancestral house), as per protocol, I was granted the honour to speak on behalf of the group with whom I was traveling (the Maori have a refined art of oration) and received a patu - the ceremonial weapon that Chiefs carry. Once presented, I was ritually challenged by one of the formidable warriors in full regalia who wielded a taiaha (a spear with double edged blades on either end). A day before my departure from Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud), the Wakinyan honoured my petitions for rain in the ceremonies I conducted to dissolve the drought and initiate the next season. Though the Maori grapple with the very same issues as other indigenous peoples throughout the world, experiencing the strength and beauty of their culture, it is understandable how they are, in my estimation, even after Western contact, the least colonized of Native nations. Their solidarity and self-determination serve as a powerful example.

Completing my EMT recertification in April, I celebrated by immersing myself in the Dharma, spending three amazing days with his Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Francisco. It had been six years since I was last directly in his presence. The transmission and elucidation of Hymn to (The Buddha) The World Transcendent as well as In Praise of Dependent Origination was profound and illuminating.

In May, the Tunkasilas (Ancestors) were merciful and generous on our Hanbleceya (Crying for a Dream)- the weather was glorious, they were gentle with the Vision Questers and both Questers and supporters alike received strong, life-altering Medicine.

Currently in the midst of High Ceremonial season, next week I depart for one of two Wiwang Wacipis (Sun Gazing Dances) this summer. Mid -July will find me conducting ceremony and teaching workshops in Idaho and Colorado and I will be attending another Sundance in the end of that month. I return to Puerto Rico in August, spend the labor-day holiday in ceremony in St Louis, travel to Mexico to teach in September and complete the month with our annual intensive in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, for Medicine Wheel Teachings and to honour the Equinox and Full Moon, surrounded by the Ancient Ones.

Prayers for Health, Safe Journeys & Blessings on your Enfolding Adventure,

Phillip

Last updated Jun, 2007