Are You Teaching Native American Spiritual Practices?
My programs are rooted in the shared, nature-based wisdom traditions of all our indigenous ancestors, around the world. This includes the spiritual traditions of European, Asian and African cultures. My own ancestors are from the Celtic tribes of central Europe and the Anglo-Celtic Isles. I do not claim American Indian heritage, and I do does not have a grandmother who was a Cherokee princess.
Much can be learned from the beautiful traditions of Native American wisdom. And our world is crying out for the very nature-based, earth-honoring wisdom these nations have always held sacred. But non-Indians have done a lot of harm misappropriating Native American culture and that includes some of my own peers holding themselves out as shamanic teachers and healers.
I have worked very hard to listen, honor, and learn from the indigenous elders who were willing to share their traditional ways with me. These include spiritual leaders of the Oglala Lakota people in South Dakota, First Nation Cree elders in Canada, the Quechua Taita Iachak of South America, the Cherokee path of my first teacher Mikkal, and the contemporary Mexican Toltec system of healing.
But the purpose of my programs is not to "play Indian" or teach the specific ways of any culture. That is not the point and it is not necessary for healing, transformation, and walking a more joyful path. The point is to reconnect human beings with nature and the sacred things we all share: the heart, the earth, and the Spirit world. I do not teach native American spiritual practices or charge fees for sacred ceremony, sweat lodges, or special blessings. I share the general, earth-honoring wisdom common to all of our ancestors, around the world.
We all come from indigenous people somewhere. And we all have a responsibility to open our hearts and walk a good path that honors the Creator and Mother Earth.
This is what I have learned from my indigenous brothers and sisters. I am deeply grateful for their teachings.