Reflections:   July 2014.    3rd Qtr 2014

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Summer Salutations Relations,

It is with profound gratitude, joy and humility I announce this month (August) heralds the official 20th anniversary of Ancestral Voice – Center for Indigenous Lifeways in the San Francisco Bay area!

Reflecting upon the healing, learning and evolution that has occurred - within the Center, for all of those who have participated within the last two decades as well as for myself - is deeply moving. It is an honour and privilege to journey the globe, sharing and collaborating with colleagues in Indigenous cultures to ensure the preservation of their legacies for future generations. To date, I have visited with Medicine people and Chiefs in such countries as Brazil (Amazon), Botswana (San/Bushmen), Canada (Pacific Northwest Coast and 6 Nations), Egypt (Bedouins), Europe, Malaysia, Mexico (Mayan), Mongolia (Nomads), New Zealand (Maori), Norway (Saami), Palau, Peru (Quechua), South Africa (Zulu) and Tanzania (Maasai) as well as many Tribal Nations throughout the contiguous United States and Hawaii. In addition, Wisdom keepers from countries not mentioned above have graced the Center with their presence, imparting their knowledge to eager and listening ears. Though often separated by great geographic distances, there are both remarkable similarities and unique, rich variations in their Sacred practices – underscoring the commonality of our humanity and connection to the Mystery, Ancestors and Earth.

In this span of time: I was shattered beyond recognition by the untimely and unexpected passing of my Beloved wife Cecilia into the Spirit world (it is she who assisted me in breathing life into the Center and instrumental in its daily operations). I was conferred with the role and responsibilities of a ceremonial Chief in the Lakota tradition (a distinction for which there are no words) and have been a faithful member of the Native American Church. I received transmissions from his Holiness the Dalai Lama and considering Chögyam Trungpa as my root Buddhist teacher (apparently he often invited Native Medicine people to teach at his University), I matriculated to Naropa University and completed a Masters degree from its satellite campus in Oakland (Principles and Practices of Indigenous Warriorship was my thesis). In addition, I have been adopted by families in the Lakota, Arapahoe/Cheyenne, Hawaiian, Tewa and Maori traditions – abiding, lifelong relationships which I cherish and uphold with great respect, sincerity and responsibility.

It has been gratifying to serve the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of seekers and aspirants who have participated in the myriad ceremonies, intensives and healing sessions throughout the years – introducing, educating and reminding them of Indigenous ways of living and being, which in my estimation, is vital for the survival not only of ourselves and all of our relations but the very planet, herself. It has been and will always remain an Open Altar, where all people may discover and receive healing, knowledge and understanding.

In recognition of our twentieth anniversary, on the 17th of August, the Center will be celebrating with fine food, music and merriment from 2 – 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the festivities. Additionally, one of my favorite intensives is scheduled in the same month: Road to Fearlessness – Path of the Awakened Warrior. It is indeed intense for employing Indigenous practices and wisdom, we liberate ourselves from the shackles of wounds, fears, issues and attachments, which keep us from truly living and loving.

At the end of this month I return to my community in Boriken (Puerto Rico) to celebrate nearly eight years of frequenting that beautiful Island - teaching and spending time among the amazing Taino people of whom I am deeply fond and who are close to my heart. Besides the usual ceremonies performed on the beach and in the jungle, the fearlessness intensive will also be offered there as well as Healing the Healer, a wonderful intensive for therapists, health care providers and anyone attempting to achieve balance in one’s life.

September finds us back in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico to navigate and explore Medicine Wheel Teachings. This year is particularly auspicious as we inaugurate the week with an Equinox Ceremony the first evening and conclude the final night with a New Moon Ceremony. Blessed with two celestial events in the same window of time, the Ancestors will certainly be present snd palpable - powerful Medicine, healing and insight awaits.

I am delighted to reveal that I will be a published author! The piece I composed regarding my initiation (please refer to the reflections in the 1st quarter of this year) was submitted to an anthology on Shamanism, which the editor has accepted. It will be published by Bear & Co. Further details as they develop…Also, in terms of writing - stay tuned for another installment of personal stories of my life - this time in relation to Food as Medicine.

If inspired to join in the celebration of the Center’s anniversary by attending this month’s ceremonies and intensives in Novato or Puerto Rico, Medicine Wheel Teachings in September or to commit to deeper inquiry, healing and praxis through any of the Indigenous Lifeways Moon Cycle programs (there is a rolling admission so it is permissible at any time), we would be honoured to serve and share with you. Feel free to contact me for further information or to secure placement.

I am grateful to the Mystery, the Ancestors and the Earth for the clear Vision and instruction during my third Sundance to birth the Center into existence and I express my sincere appreciation to all of you for the years of belief and support in order for the Dream of Ancestral Voice to manifest and flourish…Prayers for another twenty plus years!

Blessings, Love & Gratitude,
Chief Tsunka Wakan Sapa (Black Horse)

Last updated Aug 08, 2014