Posts Tagged ‘lakota’

Sometimes there are words that have importance to all those who read them.  In a world gone crazy, we all need to find a more positive perspective on our life.  A place where we can comprehend those things that are truly important.  I hope you find a strength of spirit and life in these remarkable words.

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.

Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun.


From the Lakota Perspective, the Sacred Space
is the space between exhalation and inhalation
(contentment). To Walk in Balance is to have Sky
(spirituality) and Earth (physicality) in harmony.

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Seeing that I have yet to figure out how to place a slide show (including music) on WordPress and not really feeling that I want to unload $99 for the ability to do so, I am dumping some of the work from the slide show into this post.  Hope you enjoy.  I will continue my quest for something that does not require money to display my hobby.











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In the past couple of months, my writing, or my attempted ramblings have been placed on the back burner. This in itself is obvious, to say the least. They say that to become a talented wordsmith, one must write everyday. If that was the case, I should have a best seller on the market by now. I do write everyday, but what I write does not make for good reading. Topics such as treatment needs, progress notes and sticky notes to remind me of what I need to present each day leaves much to be desired in the literary world. What lessons were discussed and whose behavior needed a few extra adjectives is not only tedious but mind-numbing to boot. The only talent here is to be obvious to those in group and to know 6 different ways to write the same subject matter so it does not look like copy and paste crap.


After spending half a day inserting this stuff into reports and spending the other half of the day conducting sessions, it becomes a blur. Yes, it sounds like I am a soon to be burnout, but this whining is just that…whining. The bottom line is that I, like many of those who work with youth, is that the one thing, the one motivational drive that keeps us writing those repetitive reports is that we have an opportunity, though a slight one, of making a difference between a youth falling through the cracks of life or taking something they heard us say and using it to make a positive change. One that might keep them from becoming junkies, alcoholics, convicts, abusers or victims. Just one thing they remember that turns something around in their young lives and gives them the hope, inspiration or motivation to find success.


Many of the youth I work with come from environments that most people could not imagine. Abuse in all forms, violence in all forms, abandonment, rape, parents who give their children the same poisons of chemical substances that they themselves are addicted to, gang mentality and criminal thinking are the only things many of these youth know of life. These are “normal” ways of life for them and they have nothing to compare them with. The second challenge is the youth themselves. At their age, with hormones running wild and brain matter that will not mature for another 10 years, it is difficult to get them motivated to make any changes in their thinking or living patterns. They are invincible, all the bad stuff happens to other people and they think they know all the answers to life. Their substance abuse only hurts them, no one else, and they have difficulty connecting the dots between their choices and their consequences.


In many other jobs that show such minimal successes, or successes that are rarely observed, one would probably walk away in frustration. But not here with this work. Hope can outweigh resignation. For now, these young men are caught in the system due only to bad choices, bad role models and bad environments. Some are eager to make the changes needed to succeed in their journey while others are not yet ready, and some never will be. But coming to know them personally, they are good people, once innocent, now learning the lessons of life the hard way.


Yesterday was one of those days that the stars themselves became aligned, the world was a better place to be and hope fired on all 8 cylinders. Words forged of iron were spoken on our last day by all those who had participated in this group and the dreams of success echoed in between those words. The final act of these young men, one that offered respect and received a blessing, was a prayer song shared by a young Lakota warrior. His prayer song seemed to awaken the spirit in those present and the drum beat made the heart stronger. It was a good ending, it was a good day and it is a good new beginning.




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Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to sit a talk with many young people. We talk about things that most people discuss in conversation and in time, through building a level of trust, talk of deeper things. Usually, I just listen as they dig deeper into their psyche and reveal those feelings that have caused them to abuse drugs, to self hurt themselves and to believe that they are alone. In these past years, I have heard many stories. Stories of abandonment, of violent abuse, of poverty and a sense of complete hopelessness when looking towards their future. Many are caught in a vacuum and some do not have the strength or the skills to find an escape. Where I earn my paycheck now has been and will continue to be my greatest challenge. Most of what I have done in the past years does not work here. Here, I am not only a teacher, I am also the student. Here, we all learn and some of those lessons can hurt.

Life on some of the Indian reservations is difficult at best, lethal at worst. The high rate of drug abuse and addiction is just a prelude to the highest rate of teen suicide in the nation. And chemical abuse is only a band-aid to what lays deeper. When someone reads about these conditions, they see only words written on paper, or in this case, a computer monitor. It is only when you sit next to them and not only hear their words, but see the effects those words have upon their spirit, to see the tears and to hear the voices, soft and low, does one become in tune with what is happening in their young lives.  

What is the answer? There is no single answer. Only when the people come together for the community will the healing begin. There has to be a vision. One of peace, forgiveness and of spirit. Only then will the changes needed begin to blossom. And it will take strong leaders and it will also take strong spirits. The teens I see every week, many have this spirit, this warrior’s spirit and need only guidance to find the path they will walk and to recognize the battles they will need to fight. If they are anything like their ancestors, which were some of the greatest warriors that inhabited mother earth, they will succeed.  



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It is very seldom I plug a product in my blog, but, damn, I need to eat once in a while…and besides…It’s a great product from a great company.

Native American Natural Foods

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit

“Tanka” is used in reference to delivering your best with all your heart, mind, body and spirit. It is the choices that you make and the actions that you take to be who you are. Whether you’re Native, white, black, yellow or brown, it is your ability to overcome, to extend a helping hand for those in need, to defeat racism, to protect our Mother Earth, and to love all others on our planet.

It is your ability to acknowledge “Mitakuye Oyasin” — we are all related.

Season’s Greetings

and Thank you


Tanka Wicasa Gift Basket


Tanka Kimimila Gift Basket


Tanka Wacalapi Gift Basket

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The ongoing saga of James Ray, the pseudo spiritual leader whose antics in Arizona has cost him and others dearly is the consequence of a sham artist with bourgeois ideals. He is now on trial for manslaughter from the deaths of three people who paid good money to an imposter in hopes of “finding themselves”..

I realize that people will continued to search for the answers to life and their spiritual being in more ways than one, but the concept of this particular scam is disgusting. The sweat lodge (inipi) ceremony was conceived by Native Americans as a cleansing and honoring purification and the white man’s attempt to profit from this ceremonial practice is a slap in the face to true Native Americans and only promotes the dilution of genuine traditions. For reasons left unstated, people want to take the easy way out with their search for spiritual/emotional health, whether with drugs, meditation, witchcraft, religion, or make-believe, but, any practice that encompasses genuine ceremonies of a specific culture are to be implemented by those of that specific culture.

Former governor of Maine, Angus King who was not a Maine native, was once told by a gentleman when King commented that now that he was governor, he was a Maine native, “Just because the cat had a litter of kittens in the oven doesn’t make them biscuits”. The same hold true here.

One of the thoughts I have (and I do have one now and then) is that many people who attempt these objectives have no culture of their own. We are a country based on a blending of cultures and tradition with nothing finite to grasp on to. This lack of culture and traditions can leave an empty hole in one’s psyche and the need to fill this vacancy results in lackluster results with less than intelligent efforts. Unfortunately, the erosion of cultures and traditions will continue as the human population interacts, marries and blends with a shrinking world and a bloated population.  If you are fortunate to own a culture/tradition, hold them tight as once they have vanished, they will never return.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

I point my peace pipe toward all these directions. Now we are one with the universe, with all the living things, a link in the circle which has no end. It means we were here long before the first white man came, we are here now, we will still be here at the end of time – Indian time. We will live!……Lame Deer

The Wisdom of the Native Americans


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Thermals on the Yellowstone


High Plains


Upper Kennebec River, Maine

Cowboy up

Atlantic breaker

After a hard winter


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