The New Millennium
and Native American Spirituality
We are living in a time of personal and planetary transition. Earth changes, pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, social and political upheavals are just some of the signs of the times we live in. However, as we approach a new millennium there are also positive signs of increasing inner development, compassion, and global awareness.
The profound interest in alternative methods of healing, sensitivity training, spirituality, and the growing interest in environmental issues make it clear that we can no longer remain separate or indifferent. We are starting to understand that all things are inter-connected. We are all linked to our environment. What effects one effects the whole.
As our concern for ourselves and the environment increases we are beginning to seriously look at ancient wisdom with new and encouraging interest. At this time there is a great desire for spiritual understanding and much interest in Native American Spirituality.
Native American Spirituality has no fixed dogmas although it has many traditions. The people that practice it all believe in a universal web of power or energy which supports all things. In fact, the inter- connection of all things is fundamental in the Native American belief system. There is a common energy force that all things share. There is a oneness with the earth. We are all part of a greater whole, with one common destiny.
In the Native American view, there is no separation of nature and spirituality in daily living. It is all one. The consciousness of the Creator lives in the animals, plants, rocks, mountains, oceans and in us, collectively called, the Great Spirit. We see and experience the Creator every time we see a majestic tree, a mountain, a winding river, a sunrise, a shinning star, or each other.
We hear the voice of the Creator every time we hear the birds sing, the the winds blow, the laughter of a child , the sound of falling rain and the cry of the eagle. All is the voice of the Creator. We must recognize Him everywhere and in all things. We seek to contact the Great Spirit that exist in everything, but we cannot make contact until we realize that contact can only be made by respecting Him where He lives now, in all creation. We must respect the earth , ourselves and all creation , for we are all one; all is related and all is sacred.
Let us move beyond the limitations of our past perceptions and develop the strength to meet the challenges of the new millennium together. As we enter this new cycle of change and reach new levels of understanding, it is important to remember that there are many spiritual tools available to help us in our spiritual quest.
It is time for all races to unite and share ceremonies of purification and healing. Information long kept secret is now available to all. Most non- natives do not seek to duplicate the traditional Vision Quest, or the sweat lodge , but desire simply to make use and understand the healing aspects and spiritual power of the ceremonies. They recognize the importance of the ceremonies transformational properties .
One of the empowering Native American ceremonies is the cleansing ritual, called smudging. Smudging is a word used for cleansing with smoke. The purifying smoke of sage, cedar or sweet-grass is ceremonially fanned through the energy field to cleanse vibrations, attract positive energy , healing and protection. Surely, this sacred rite is beneficial for all the people. We, the people, are one family . We, the people , belong to the tribe of humanity . Let us act with respect and unity with all our relations as we hold in our heart a vision of peace and harmony in these changing times.
We are moving from a personal understanding of what is mine, to a universal understanding of what is ours. In the past it was, thatís my family, thatís my house, thatís my land; thatís my whatever. In the future itís going to be: This is our earth, this is our world; all the children are our children. Our elders---that old man over there; heís our grandfather; that old lady sitting under the tree, thatís our grandmother; everyone that is our own age--- thatís our sister or our brother. And thatís the way itís going to be in the coming times, because all is related and all is one; there is no separation in Spirit.