Native Understanding

A Teaching by Ghost Dancer

Many people believe that Native ways are simple and can be learned quickly. This is not only absurd but so far from real understanding. Just as in gaining insights on any subject, the more you seek the more you will find. And when you find the answers you seek, you realize there are so many more questions. 

Most Natives just accept what is, while others, like myself, want to know more, connect more, understand more, and develop more in order to become one with everything. The concept of being one with everything is complex and has deep meaning when you go deep inside yourself to meet and find the real, true you. Then you come to understand that you are like a grain of sand on a beach, or a speck of star dust in the universe and yet, just as important in every aspect as anything else.

When you can feel the pain of those from the past, and the present at the same time, then you are beginning to make a small gain in your wave of light. Any truly spiritual person will tell you this quest is never ending; it is the beginning and there is no end. We as individuals chose what we seek. What we chose in this life, we will see reflected in our next life. Every aspect of life must come into balance. When we do wrong, at some point in time we will have to do right to correct this. And yes, we all know when we do something that is wrong. Our inner spirit tells us this from the get go.

Consider the Rose

Men: Have you ever truly looked at a rose and noticed the many different layers of petals?  Did you know each layer of petals has a unique experience, emotional feeling, a different knowledge, a different concept?  Have you considered why it is a custom to give a woman a rose? What are you actually saying when you do this? Truly stop and think. Did you think maybe she is very complex and her emotions know no bounds? Or is it that you just love her or think she is pretty?  Is this a way of showing respect? Come on guys, tell me what you are thinking here!  

When a woman receives a gift of roses, why does it make her happy? What connection does she feel to this rose? Does she understand the rose is part of her; that she too is as blessed as the rose? It is part of her body! It is a gift from Creator. She guards it with her heart, wits, goals and desires. Yes, it is her womb. You will notice that the woman and the rose are much alike.

Each has a bud where nectar is sprung. Each has layers of petals that must be guarding the real center of her universe. Her womb is the only place a new life can be created. And to get there you must understand every single emotion she has, every experience she has, every desire she has. This makes the rose blossom and bloom so beautifully and radiate that love outward. 

And just as roses come in many colors, so is it with women. Each color represents different gifts and directions, yet they all are connected as a rose, all are the same when it comes to passion, desires, dreams, goals, securities, strength and weaknesses. All want love, respect, balance, life, and beauty in every way. Yes, they all have thorns too. For when you do one wrong, look out it comes with a price.

Consider the Butterfly

Now ladies, have you ever thought about a butterfly and compared it to a man? Why not? Man is like a butterfly. Stop and think for a moment with me. Let’s look at man. We know in his youth he is really a footloose, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants person. We know he has many ambitions, and egos. We know he can be stubborn and bull headed, and just won’t take time to listen.

If you really observe the butterfly, you will see how it will fly against the wind no matter how much the wind blows it backwards and it has to start again. A butterfly will flutter from place to place aimlessly, until it sees a flower to investigate. It will try to love the flower, even if it’s just for a moment. Even when it finds the most beautiful flower that really draws its heart, it will look in other directions. The butterfly doesn’t know why. It doesn’t stop to think about how lucky it is.

Then, at last, the butterfly finds contentment, finds its true nectar of life. It will linger and just drink in the love till it can drink no more. It uses every part of its body to love the flower. Wings, tiny feet, arms, gently caress the flower then it will curl up and sleep with its mind a bliss. 

Now let’s stop and think about all these things. Do you see how deeply you can go inside yourself to find new meanings, concepts, and understandings? What about comparing yourself to a speck of star dust or a meteor? You are part of everything in the universe. And yes, there are untold numbers of universes. So, to understand the depth of Native understanding is to understand that your quest is never ending and always just beginning. We are all so much more than we can possibly fully comprehend. And to understand ourselves is to understand being one with everything that exists.  And just as every second something changes, so does this affect you. Higher understanding comes from seeking it. Acceptance is just that.

Respectfully, Ghost

Ghost Dancer, July 2017 ©

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder well into my eighties. I have lived an ordinary life doing all the ordinary things expected of women of my generation. But through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I have long had a strong interest in writing and genealogy with a special interest in Southeastern Creek Indian history and culture. In my golden years, just when I was thinking “retirement,” some unexpected things happened that led me down a totally unfamiliar path. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the challenges to come. My journey – indeed my calling – led me to a remarkable man, a Mvskoke & Ani-yun-wiya known as Ghost Dancer, hidden away for decades behind bars in state and federal prisons. Communicating daily by e-mail for the next nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost Dancer discussing many common interests with candor and respect. Most remarkable to me was Ghost’s absolute dedication to his spiritual leadership role within the Native population. With loving kindness at all times, Ghost shared many of his teachings, including lessons from within the sacred sweat lodge. A full index to Ghost's shared teachings can be found at GHOST DANCER'S SACRED PATH. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his personal life story in small bits, like pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now with his health a shambles, Ghost Dancer is at last free and has begun putting those pieces together; he wants the world to know the whole truth of his amazing personal journey in the chapters of his book in progress, ALL FOR THE RIGHT TO PRAY. As his friend and editor on JOURNEYS OF THE SPIRIT, I can say this is indeed a story so big that even after these many years, I continue to be astonished as Ghost reveals new details of his solitary walk on the Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving, gifted child, he felt a strong bond with his cultural heritage in a world where family loyalty was a sacred trust and Native roots were kept secret. As a result the callow youth endured many heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. As a young teen, Ghost heeded the call to learn from the great Native spiritual leaders gathered at Wounded Knee. The influence of the elders and spiritual leaders on his young mind was profound but the political conflicts of the moment ultimately cast this loyal young boy as a target of a system determined to destroy him by any means. For the next 40 years in and out of prison, Ghost would struggle to remain true to his calling both as a teacher and an activist fighting for the religious rights of Native Americans. (Note: Currently Ghost is focused on things he must do to regain his health and has put writing the final chapters about the the wrongful convictions that put him in federal prison for the past 28 years on hold. He still has dreams for the future so he will be back!) Ghost Dancer would later introduce me to Walks On The Grass, one of his spiritual brothers and another federal prisoner. Walks’ story on JOURNEYS OF THE SPIRIT is totally compelling, though very different. In LONG ROAD HOME, Walks has shared his decades-long spiritual journey from deep addiction to wholeness. He follows up with ALONG THE WAY and finally, LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE as he prepares emotionally and mentally to transition to life outside after 37 years of incarceration.

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