Reflections:   April 2012.    2nd Qtr 2012

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Spring Salutations Relatives,

Being the medium of storytelling in the modern age, I am fond of films.  Though I enjoy the cinematic experience in general, I am troubled by the wake of destruction -- litter strewn about the floor and aisles, left in armrests and upon chairs -- caused by those who have departed the theater. It is a deeply disturbing and potent metaphor of the manner in which we treat and regard our Mother Earth -- mindlessly abandoning our refuse, expecting others to clean it up. Spending a considerable portion of my youth in communion with and learning the means to survive in the wilderness of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York, further reinforced by my Indigenous Medicine teachers and elders in my years of association, I was trained to leave as little trace as possible and the landscape in better condition than when I entered. In other words, be aware of my impact and pick up after myself. These simple, respectful acts alone would radically alter our relationship to the Natural world as well as to the quality and appearance of the human environments -- homes, towns and cities - in which we dwell.

This metaphor slices deeper for it equally applies to the inner garbage for which many do not take responsibility either. The pollution that plagues the waters, air and earth are direct reflections of the contamination within the minds, hearts and bodies of humans. Again, I was taught to track not only the external behaviors and interior worlds of others but, most importantly, myself. This is the foundation of wakefulness. There are many whose toxic thoughts, emotional imbalances and unresolved issues are released into the world without any awareness, fouling, irreparably harming and ultimately destroying relationships. Besides the perpetuation of suffering in the human stage (the endless cycle of dysfunctional pattering), others -- essentially collateral damage- are left to make sense and pick up the pieces while the blind ones blithely leave one theater (so to speak) to enter yet another cinema --
ad nauseam.

In this season of emergence, it is time to clean up our act. It begins at home -- literally and figuratively. Consume clean water and healthy, wholesome foods free of impurities (locally grown, sustainably farmed, wherever and whenever possible). Purchase products with less packaging. Organize your home, removing and safely disposing of items which are poisonous to the environment (and by extension, your family and self). Replace all soaps, shampoos, detergents and cleansers with natural options. Reuse and recycle. If the latter is not available in your area, create a campaign to implement a program. Discard your litter in appropriate receptacles -- wherever you may be (if none are available, take it home and toss it in the refuse bin). When outdoors, if you encounter a piece of trash upon the earth that you did not mindlessly cast aside, do not pass over it, turning a blind eye. Pick it up and properly dispose of it. Simple, really. These are the antidotes to indolence, sleep and apathy and which foster a healthier world.

As for the toxins and debris generated from our interior worlds and conduct, cultivate the courage and commence to examine the wounds of the past and present. Show up and take responsibility for your issues rather than projecting upon others. They are not culpable for your pain. Resolve conflicts. Forgive. If unable to locate the source of your suffering, be humble and seek assistance from those whom you trust. Be prepared -- healing is never comfortable yet it is the vehicle for purification and liberation. As a consequence, not only yourself but your relationships and the Earth herself will be cleansed.

In the end, it is our movie -- how will you leave the theater?

Chief Tsunka Wakan Sapa

Last updated Apr 03, 2012