|First of the year's Kombucha batch|
|First of the year's Kombucha batch|
|November Twilight By David Hoffman|
Last night was the first good rain we had in Del Norte for a very long time. I woke up by my husband's snoring at 4:30 am. I was a little annoyed because I had to be up earlier than usual to prepare for LUTEA's monthly morning meditation, and I knew there was no way of me returning to rest once awake.
However, in adjusting to the darker morning awareness, I realized I heard raindrops on the skylights. I waited in anticipation as we all knew there was a possibility of rain, and have been anxious for it within this long drought, but I also did not want to be disappointed if the rain passed us by. So I lie there waiting for more drops. And, slowly they gathered a momentum where the sound of the rain was so marvelous that I felt that cozy warm feeling that a fall rains brings. The one that lulls you to sleep and the same one that holds you still in bed feeling like in a warm cocoon, and not wanting to leave the embodied connection of comfort's embrace. It's a feeling of beauty. How do you feel beauty? You just know it.
David Hoffman's photo above, of the vibrant colors and the stark dark images and shadows emit beauty and power both contributing to an equal value because of the intensity of differences. I believe that beauty is life experiencing equality and being conscious of it. It is not so much an aesthetic, (even though our society likes to classify things into a category or label) though I believe it can become an aesthetic once experienced.
Many compare being in love to finding beauty in life. Love does offer many antidotes to life, i.e. peace, harmony, value, and balance. When one feels love, it does not necessarily equate that the object of the affection is also feeling love. He, she, they, may, may not, but when one embodies love, the beauty of it overpowers the need to make sure. It just exists. Even if the world may be falling apart, those that embrace love believe that they can weather through the storms of life. How? By traveling through the differences of what the Navajo explain as being of smooth mind. And there is a word for this state as balance or Hozho.
Hozho is the word for balance and also a sacred reference to the name of the Creator in the Navajo or Na-Dene linguistic family. It comes from an ideology of possessing a deep relationship between place and Self. Such a connection would definitely have a divine influence. To achieve such a relationship, a person/people experienced a very long history of events within their regional environment for centuries. Such a relationship I would say lives within the DNA, There was no need for an Audubon, Linnaeus, Agricola or Jung, as each person through oral history and personal connection to the landscape and all life in the environment embodied the knowledge and wisdom of their seen and unseen world.
All indigenous people have a very similar ideology. The Navajo, just have a beneficial way of articulating this consciousness for the general populace, brought through non indigenous author Keith Basso, who studied them.
Many indigenous peoples did not have words to identify imbalance because the focus was primarily on peace, harmony and goodness. Even when storming the seas, there was always a fundamental vision towards getting back to wellness and to the flow in life. I would say this is human nature. To find wellness. Therefore, to punish, and to lose faith and hope for a future in anything, was the last thing deliberated upon.
If we examine the Hawaiian language, there is no word for goodbye. My matriarchal indigenous heritage also carried a similar ideology. For Hawaiians Aloha is love and is used for saying hello and also goodbye. In my ancestral Coastal Miwok language tamal machchawko, when greeting each other one asks “Are you good?” And when parting typically what was said, “Don’t forget me.” Furthermore, there are no words for religion, or art or justice or out of balance. The focus was on balance, and its embodiment was active. When there is no embodiment, there is a search for it outside of ourselves.
When I share my thoughts on balance and refer to Indigenous people, that includes all people and their ancestral connections. All of our ancestors came from somewhere originally on this planet and lived there for a very long time. They had a relationship with their environment and they also held expert knowledge from that environment, and that place gave them a sense of belonging, wealth, and beauty. I'll also use the word that everyone is catch-phrasing to the max today, as "identity".
Since the influx of settler consciousness, in our most ancient knowledge-keeping world (considered since contact, as the "New World") the attitude of place is ... its monetary value must hold up to make a good commodifying profit. Settlers look at the environment on how to modify it quickly as possible with the least amount of dollars so that in the near future they will sell it for the most they can get. There is little time or effort taken to consider the needs for environmental cohesiveness or the impact that their modifications are doing to the entire region. The true value and wisdom of the region gets bulldozed, covered over and disappears.
There is another scenario, that I refer to regarding my homelands of California. Spanish settlers modified the environment to make it look like Spain and called California "New Spain". They cut grass lands that began the demise of the wetlands. Land was modified to build rancheros and missions. The tradition continues. From the beginnings of such contact historical documentation refers to the flooding, drought and erosion of land that began within modified regions. Very little has been left to its original state and is continually being modified.
Why do I bring up such discouraging information? I bring these facts up to consciousness because we must understand that we can not fix something that stems from a belief system that is foreign to the health and welfare of the ailing source. In simplest terms, when we are ill what works best for the welfare of the infirmed is from the wisdom and knowledge and sources that support the wisdom and customs of the lands and peoples.
Today many colonial developments are reexamining indigenous knowledges and consciousness that was eradicated by their own initiatives. It's safe to impart that most of the technologies and knowledges for wellness in all the world have come from indigenous knowledge and resources, then commodified and mis-appropriated to benefit the egos/status and pockets of the scientists, pharmaceuticals, and the legal business of ownership and power.
I reiterate that wellness was always the foremost focus within indigenous communities. Spiritual, emotional, mental and physical, pretty much in that order. In the dominant society it is in reverse order. When folks who are suffering spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally are given food and psychiatric care from a person who is usually very privileged and has no consciousness of the issues that befall their client and are being paid to do so. How can there be genuine empathy and urgent compassion to support wellness? There is usually judgement, classification and detachment, as all western science praises objectification.
We at LUTEA, come from a legacy of brokenness brought about through the historical and consistent impact of the colonial culture and we find healing and wellness with a return to ourselves and our heritage. We have learned to accept the darkness and the light and to walk in the beauty of knowing that the vision is embodying lifeways that support wellness for all relatives on the land and hopefully support this return to others.
We work to uphold the White Bison teachings that were originally produced to be shared to all peoples. Typically, these teachings are offered and funded predominantly through Indigenous communities.
Though we have supported several indigenous communities in California. As a nonprofit we advocate the Elders original request that the workshops be made available for everyone. We do not work for any tribe/organization other that to support our Del Norte community and beyond, especially those who do not belong to recognized tribes or are living amongst communities where they do not feel they belong as well as for anyone who is looking for a traditional manner of healing that is aligned with and affiliated with Elders and their teachings and culture. Not only are we staunch advocates of the teachings and protocols, we are Indigenous Elders and registered certified facilitators with White Bison. We walk the Red Road as a give away to those who are committed to doing the work to return to themselves.
Join us every third Monday of the month for our monthly talking circle. Everyone is welcome. However, as with all intimate events and workshops each person much ask to participate for themselves. We know that all of us know of someone who we care about that would benefit with these practices but the person must come forward themselves. Everyone is welcome.
Presently, we offer two long running workshops a year. We recently finished our Mending Broken Hearts workshop that addresses grief, trauma and loss. This workshop is a 16 week journey. There is no homework. All the practices are accomplished at the weekly meetings together. Each person must be willing to be open to participate and to learn ancient methods yet new ways compared to those from colonial society for being with others. We will open this workshop up again in the spring of 2022. We will open it for online and perhaps in person participation as well. If you are interested please contact us.
In addition, we offer the Red Road Medicine wheel 12 Step workshop. We are presently underway with the program. Those that began the journey with us are getting acquainted with the Elders' teachings and methods to work the program. If any of you are familiar with the program and presently working on a particular step, and would like to join us when we start to work your step; contact us if you'd like to join us for that session.
As we enter the time on the planet once again when all life witnesses the changes towards living in balance on the Autumnal Equinox, seeking internal work is a natural process. Our teachings tell us that change comes from within. Something stirs within us to urge us to pay attention to how we feel about our lives, and our world. The seasons always help us to step back and pay attention. I believe the seasons make me realize that the great mystery is governing the universe and our small part in it on our planet is being guided in real time. Such a omnipotent realization.
I always look forward to hozho.
Greetings and blessings in this new joyous season! We are amid the strongest of Springs' spirit, and it is beautiful. Mid Spring. In my ancestors' words, we are grateful for this day. In our ancestral language of Tamal Machchaw, day and sun are the same words. The sun never leaves us as day is experienced by many people on the planet even though others may not. The sun may dim, yet it comes out again. And our lives reflect the sun as well. We are still here. The sun gives us hope. Despite the dark winter and journey of last year's covid trials (in all our lives,) we are emerging through the gift of vaccine and the work and efforts of so many of our relatives that help keep us afloat. Today as I write I am so very grateful to look out my window and see the plants in my garden show their green colors, and I know that the spirit of life once again is returning to us.
My Indigenous ancestors believed and prayed for the future. When life unfolds upon the planet, life as a living testament reveals the world is good. It is something to rejoice in. Ceremonial celebration expresses the joy to being here in the world, living a good life in goodness and in wellness. Wellness and goodness were and are today highly valued qualities of being a human being in an indigenous conscious society.
My ancestors also understood when life would be difficult. They lived and died through 500 years of diasporic history upon their own lands. However, they are not the only humans that have within their genetic consciousness trauma, loss and unresolved grief. All our ancestors have passed down to us historical trauma embedded in our DNA. Many had left their own homelands to find safety and a good life because of the war induced experience they survived from. War in its many identities and definitions has been the culprit for the tragedies, trauma and the brokenness of our humanity. Unfortunately, the war business has the science and medical fields in a constant mode of research and invention. As technological advances produce more lethal and toxic manners of operation, they tax the medical field to generate methods of mending the wounds induced by war technology. As colonization has built our society, it follows suit that our people revolve around technological advances to protect us, give us more power in everything we do and acquire within the physical world necessities and enhancements in physical capabilities and attributes. However, what about the mind, heart, emotion and spirit? Isn't the internal and spiritual qualities of being a human being as valuable as the body for wellness? Our society today holds humanity's internal nature in a stepchild position regarding values within the order of healing and care compared to the physical aspects of wellness.
I return to my Indigenous ancestors. For the last 500 years, indigenous peoples have had to travel a road of healing and recovery silently and invisibly. Interestingly, within indigenous societies there is less shame or fear to find that road because they highly value healing and wellness. Being well wholistically was and is a honorable pursuit in life.
For many who do not know the histories of indigenous peoples on Turtle Island (the land mass of North/South America, Canada and Yukon/Alaska) most Indigenous peoples avoided war and held protocol, and healing practices for their community members that were preventative. Trauma and loss are life experiences and there were countless levels and modalities of healing practices applied so that our relatives could return to the community as contributing members of the society. Wellness and health is a fine guarantee for a nation to discover its excellence. Excellence for indigenous communities is that its peoples believed in a wholistic approach and awareness for life. Therefore, the spirit, emotional, intellectual and physical aspects of the human being were all incorporated in wellness and healing practices for balance. Many times trauma predominantly affects the emotional and the spiritual qualities of a person and thus was attended to first in order to prevent any possibility of a long term physical symptom or ailment. In addition, each person was treated in respect as an individual situation. Everyone experiences trauma, loss and grief individually. No one comes out of a stressful occurrence the same.
Humanity has been experiencing exponentially (and continues to experience trauma and loss), from the recent COVID-19 viral condition which has spread across the globe. Loss of jobs, homes, partners, loved ones, and security have left many in doubt, fear and despair. Though there have been vaccines administered to get us out of fear and back in the running of a more "normal" life, (as well as relief funding), the wellness methods that are available for supporting the emotional, mental, and spiritual effects of trauma within a global context are subordinate, limited and minimal compared to the medical applications toward physical conditions of trauma. A method that would offer a fuller capacity to heal, would be generated within a community because then as a social consciousness, healing for wellness is elevated and a wholistic perspective is acknowledged and practiced.
Society is slowly acknowledging the need for mental health wellness. Unfortunately, not fast enough for humanity. We must step up to regain a balance towards living. Indigenous ancestors did not wait when something had to be done. Elders who have been able to offer wisdom and understanding as well as guidance towards wellness and healing benefitted their communities. The true traditional Elders never held back knowledge but lovingly gave to the people so all would be well and wise. There were no businesses to benefit one over the other where bits and pieces were given for a price. If everyone is well then everyone benefits.
Our Elders are so revered. In Our Ancient Lands podcast we feature TerryAllaway, our local permaculture wisdom keeper. She understands the workings of an Elder. We are so grateful for her time and sharing. Take a moment to listen to her knowledge and story.
LUTEA offers support workshops and talking circles in the similar manner and practice passed down from the Elders. Our basic foundation work is from the White Bison movement and we are certified facilitators. The workshops are free, however we will gratefully accept donations.
Mending Broken Hearts Healing Journey Workshop May 23, 2021
We offer Mending Broken Hearts Indigenous Healing Journey annually. This workshop is a 16 week workshop that takes place weekly for 2 hours for 16 weeks. We open this to everyone who is experiencing, trauma, loss and unresolved grief. Held on Sunday nights at 6:00 pm to 8 pm presently online. This is the only Mending Broken Hearts workshop for this year. Please contact me if you would like to talk with me for more insights and information.
Medicine Wheel 12 Step Program Fall 2021
We offer the Medicine Wheel 12 Step program annually. This program can take up to 22 to 26 weeks and is planned for this coming fall. We open this to everyone who is working through sobriety, addictions, and character defects. Held on Sunday evenings as well at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and online for this year.
Wellness Talking Circle ongoing monthly
We presently facilitate a wellness talking circle online for those who wish to check in for support during the month. Once our workshop and program get under way, we will offer the talking circle weekly for more available support for participants. Held on the 3rd Monday evening of every month at 7:00 to 8:00 pm. May 17, 2021, June 21, 2021 and July 19, 2021.
Monthly Morning Meditation Session
LUTEA is facilitating our monthly morning meditation session on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 9:00 am until 10:00 am. Presently the session is online. However, our plans are to open it up for in person attendance once the weather is consistent for outdoor participation. We hold it near our water garden so conducive and for relaxation and for the connection to natural beauty. May 15, 2021, June 19, 2021 and July 17, 2021.
For further information or for any questions, please contact me. I look forward to meeting and sharing.
All are welcome to the circle of healing.
|Laura and Diveena|
|Springtime Rhododendrums in front of my house.|
|Mammoth Sunflower 2019|
|Eastside of Battery Point Light House during winter in Crescent City, CA|
|" Cosmic Connection" graphic rendition of Medicine Wheel. D Marcus|