Featured

An Invitation from E. P. Dixon

I am an elder and a seeker. Many years ago I was given the honorary name, Sings Many Songs by a man called Bearheart, a lifelong friend and leader of Creek, Shawnee, Cherokee, Métis descent. The name was a gift to honor my interest and prayers for his people and my work to help him restore and keep alive the rightful place of the Creek Peoples in the history and cultural fabric of the Southeastern homeland.

I’m an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, just trying to make sense of the world. Being an outsider can be lonely sometimes, but oh, what treasures can be found in most unexpected places. The name “Sings” began to take on a its purest meaning as I reached out for understanding and came to know some remarkable Native warriors hidden in a world of their own. As a writer and editor of sorts, my goal with Journeys of the Spirit is to give voice to two who have so enriched my life and my journey. Perhaps I may add a thought or two myself from time to time.

In the weeks and months to come, my hope is more and more people will come to know, love, and understand these two kind and generous Native elders through their own stories, art, wisdom, humor and insights into worlds few of us can even imagine as we follow their personal “Journeys of the Spirit.”

Ghost Dancer – Known as a “gentle giant,” a wise elder, teacher, artist, and keeper of the old ways, Ghost has a deep understanding of the spiritual and cultural traditions of the Southeastern Native Peoples, as well as the Lakota Sioux and other western tribal People. From his world, Ghost’s Sacred Path, honoring his Muskogee and Ani-Yun-Wiya ancestors, Ghost Dancer has a lifetime of fascinating stories, wisdom and thoughts to share that will expand your world as well.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

Walks On The Grass – Readers will be riveted to each Chapter of LONG ROAD HOME as this delightfully warm and talented man shares an honest and compelling account of his amazing journey. From the first line, “I was born broken,” Walks navigates a path filled with bumps, boulders and wrong turns in search of wholeness. Through the grounding of songs, prayers and ceremony in the Inipi, traditional Lakota sweat lodge, and the support of wise elders and teachers, Walks gradually comes home to his true self. You won’t want to miss it. The fascinating story continues in ALONG THE WAY, a post script to Walks’ spiritual journey discussing in short essays experiences, insights & humor on the “Long Road Home.”

And me, I may have a few worthwhile things to say from time to time. We all invite you to join us and share your thoughts while we learn to navigate our way around the wonderful world of WordPress.

Mine, Nacho’s Cheezy Rice Surprise

Light In the Distance…

OUT DATE- 243 Days and counting – Still gotta eat.

Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Here I am once again sports fans with another installment of “Exactly what I don’t know” and I’m your host, Walks On The Grass.

Well, I have made yet another culinary discovery! See, today I was gonna make a bowl of “These Are Mine Nacho’s,” watch a little football, and kinda chill. It’s gonna be a good dreary day for it but as I was whipping up my amazing cheese sauce I got to thinkin about every other time I make nacho’s. They always end up chipless with sauce and meat left, so I usually just get the spoon. But today I had an “A-ha” moment. What if I put the chips on a bed of rice? Then all the good gooey stuff wouldn’t just make a mini pool in the bowl by the time I scarfed all  the chips. So I ran back to the cell, got me a bag of rice, tossed in some 190 degree water and let it soak while I finished the sauce and heated the chili (with no beans).

When everything was ready, I put about an inch of rice across the bottom of the bowl and then filled it with chips (Tostitos brand). Next up super liberal amounts of mixed peppers over the chips and hidden rice, then the chili, then on went the cheese sauce. Now it’s gone and I’m so full I can barely stand it. I’m gonna tell ya right here and now, I didn’t even pay any attention to the football game. Nope, those nacho’s had my full and undivided attention, and now, well I’ve got a nice rice bowl full of all the gooey deliciousness that had me so mesmerized.

Listen, this is kinda like way too good, so be careful. This is what you will need:

Some chili with no beans

Some Tostito chips  (Doritos will do in a pinch but they are way over rated)

Some white instant rice

Next ya gotta make the super-secret I will never divulge the ingredients cheese sauce. OK, yes i will.

Take some cheddar cheese, about 1 small 4 oz. block, then ya take a half a tub of gouda smoked cheese spread, put it in there, then a hand full of parmesan.  Then ya pour in a little milk, and nuke it for 2 minutes.  Pull it out after 1minute and stir it really well, then finish it. Now pour it on the bowls ingredients and enjoy.

After all the chips with yummy goo on em are gone, you will have a cheesy/chili rice bowl for later. And I’ll tell ya, after my afternoon nap, that’s the plan: Me, the bowl’s remains and some football. Now you can put this one to the test, but the coolest thing is to see the rice in the bowl, a second bonus treat for later. mmmmmmmmmmmmm..delicious…

Self-Worth

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (11)

Ghost Dancer

Talladega Prison, April 30, 2019 – Had another great day at the lodge. There were only three of us again. The others have all been transferred. Instead of several smaller tarps to lap over the framework, we now only have one huge one so, with so few, figuring ways to get the tarp over the lodge is a challenge. The other two brothers are both short and I’m not able to lift my arms upwards, so what we come up with is roll up the heavy tarp and push it up as high as they can. I can get in the middle and lift it up to their head levels. Then they have one on each end and began unrolling it to pull over while I hold the remainder in place to later let down the other side. See! The old man is still good for something.

We have a new brother who arrived yesterday. He is Walks On The Grass. He had to take care of checking in business, so was only able to come sing with me the Creek Spirit Calling songs and the Morning Sun song. He still has to get a medical clearance before he can come in the lodge. He is anxious to learn more of the traditional ways of the Muskogee people. It was good for both of us to sing in our native tongue and talk in our language. It feels so good to finally have someone I can truly talk to in Muskogee. He gave me messages from brothers and members from long ago.

Our ceremony today was based in self-worth. Most times many of us think we truly aren’t worth much – our prayers don’t really matter or our actions don’t really affect anything but ourselves. Oh how wrong that is. If a person truly prays from the heart, they release a powerful vibration of energy into the universe. When a person is truly praying this way they are connected to everything that exists and all the universe joins in with the prayer.

Now many folks think a prayer is supposed to be answered immediately and they get discouraged when it isn’t. Some even get mad. Oh, guess what? You have just failed the test of your faith. See, time is a human creation. It is not Spirit’s creation. Time puts a beginning and an end to something but Spirit has no beginning and no end. And neither do we! So how does your prayer matter? Well, say you didn’t pray for someone or something, then that energy is never put into the universe, and there are no others adding their prayer to yours. So then none of this energy is released either. And let me remind you that love is the most powerful energy there is.

Now on the subject, do you matter? Yes we all matter. No matter your station, position, or situation in life, we each have something to offer to all of the universe, multi-universes, and dimensions. Each of us has power whether we realize it or not. We each have gifts, knowledge, and experiences that can help others. Many people question what their purpose is of even being here, asking what good they are.

This is something each of us should always seek to learn, to know about our individual path. This is done in prayer. This is done in fasting, meditation, and opening your heart to Spirit. We each are unique multi-beings, meaning there are many sides to us – like a diamond. But just like a diamond, no matter what side you show or shine your light on, it takes the other sides to help reflect that light into the world and universe.

We all see the world through different eyes and perspectives. Even though we each are different, we still are one and the same. Each is part of the collective whole. This is your connection to Spirit and to all of life.

Now that so many of our brothers have been transferred, the brothers realize how much harder it is when just one brother is missing from the ceremony. This applies to our prayers as well. It is good to pray alone and we all should at certain times. But it is important to have others praying with you and all praying together as one for the same purpose and cause. These are power prayers. This was today’s lesson.

Respectfully, Ghost

The Eagle

Pencil and Ink Drawing by Ghost Dancer 1993

When you look at this drawing of the Eagle I would like for you to see beyond the art and understand all that was going on that inspired it. In the early 1990’s, I was locked up at the notoriously infamous Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama, commonly known in the system as “The Bottom.”

Administrators of other prisons in the system threatened their inmates to either behave or be sent to Holman. This most dangerous of prisons was a place where life meant nothing to the staff, officials, or other prisoners. This was Death Row and if you were sent to Holman it meant that you would die there. You would never be free! 

“I was maybe 120 lbs. and 6′ 7″ tall” at that time.”

While at Holman I spent years in solitary in a cell the size of your average coat closet. During this time I was working on drafting a proposal to close the loopholes in the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. We had won our fight in federal court and it was signed into law on August 11th, 1978 but the law was filled with loopholes that judges could use to misinterpret the meaning of the law.

Now in the 1990’s we were pushing for a more precise law and I was working with Senators Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Daniel K. Inouye to clearly define the meanings of the wording so that no judge, no court could ever try to put their own interpretation on the true meanings of our religious practices. We had already won several battles in court over this, but we needed the law itself to be stated just right. 

So, it was with a deep sense of justice for us all that this and similar drawings were made. The Eagle symbolizes Truth, Justice and Freedom for all. Traditionally the Eagle is highly honored and respected by all Native Peoples. It was even adopted by the Americans who came here from everywhere else as a symbol of our country.

These drawings are asking what we are doing to our beautiful Mother Earth? to all her children? to our waters, to lands, plants and all life? What are we truly doing about Justice? Or does anyone really care unless it is something that affects them directly or someone they love? 

The Eagle is asking us all to look and see the truth and to stand up for what is right and for those who can’t stand up themselves. See, an Eagle is loyal. So we must ask, are we loyal to our family, loved ones, friends? What about to Spirit? Are we loyal to our neighbors, or those in need?  Or do we walk around with blinders on our eyes and plugs in our ears?

I am the Eagle in the drawing. Through my art my spirit was showing how I feel.

Mvto Enhesse, Ghost

The Rest of the Story: A larger, more exquisite version of this particular image was first done in charcoal and gifted to Ghost’s loyal sweetheart, Cat who corresponded and visited him in prison all those years. That piece was later destroyed in a hurricane. He also did other drawings in pen and ink, but those were all lost as well. Forgotten was the fact that one of those was sent to a co-worker of Ghost’s sister in 1993.  

Ghost & Cat 1990

In early 1994, thanks to Cat’s impassioned appeal, Ghost was finally granted parole after serving 11 years in the Alabama prison system. Later that year, his work as a relentless activist for Native rights, along with other imprisoned Natives, came to fruition when the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 were signed into law by President Clinton on October 6, 1994.

Following his release, Ghost was to enjoy only 15 months of freedom before he was once again charged, tried and convicted for federal offenses he had nothing to do with on the thinnest of circumstantial evidence. He was sentenced to 40 years as a “violent career offender,” a totally devastating sentence, not only to him, but his entire family.

Ghost Dancer’s spirit was far from broken, however, and he made the best of his years in some of the worst prisons in the federal system as a spiritual leader and teacher among inmates of all races. Nor was he a stranger to legal challenges over the years. After the near total destruction of his health and years of legal battles, the courts finally granted Ghost a compassionate release in the fall of 2021. Then the blessings of many small miracles began to happen in his new freedom.

Aunt Hazel welcomes her beloved “Eagle”

By January 2022, Ghost and Cat, now reunited, were able to make a short trip to visit his family, and a joyous reunion it was. Many photos were made which his sister, Judy proudly posted on her social media page. One of the most compelling is this photo of Ghost visiting his beloved Aunt Hazel who has prayed for her “Eagle” all these many years.

These photos caught the eye of Judy’s former co-worker and she sent this picture of the original Eagle drawing she had treasured for nearly 30 years.  Life is indeed full of miracles large and small. ~ Sings

Crying Ceremony

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (10)

By Ghost Dancer

May 7, 2019 – Today our Native brothers had a much-needed crying ceremony. Now most people don’t understand this technique to help heal themselves. It is not done in most lodges, so most who attended sweat lodge ceremonies have never experienced this type of ceremony and very few even know how to properly conduct it.

Let me explain. See, when we have something bothering us and keep it bottled up inside it is like a sore that becomes infected and spreads. And the longer you hold this in you, the more powerful the infection becomes until it blocks you from your spiritual balance, happiness, beauty, and love!

Now most people think Native people don’t cry or show emotion. How wrong they are. Then there is the perception that warriors can never cry or men can’t cry. If a man can’t cry his emotions held inside become a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Yes, this goes for women too. We all must release what hurts inside. Whether it is pain, hurt, frustrations, abuse, loss, doubts, fears, mistakes, depression, and especially your anger! If we don’t release it all, then it starts you on a downward spiral. So, you must let this out.

I always lead by example. I begin by speaking out loud about all that is bothering me. Everyone understands that what is said inside a lodge is never spoken again outside of the lodge. In other words what you hear, you never repeat. We do not gossip! So as I begin, I allow my heart to feel the pain, the loss, the hurt! I feel the pain I have caused others, the frustrations, doubts, disappointments, etc. I cry out to Mother Earth, to help me. I cry out to Spirit to help me; to take this away from me, to make me whole, pure, and balanced with love and beauty. I give all this pain, frustration, hurt, broken hearts, abuse or loss, fears, doubts, mistakes, and depression, all to the stone people. They gladly accept this for their love of us.

When doing these things, the leader, or conductor, should always speak first. This helps those who are more timid, quiet, or even ashamed. Sitting in the dark, where only Spirit can see, tears flow freely as each brother empties out his heart to spirit, leaving him totally empty at first.

Today, I cried for my dad who is slipping away. We never saw eye to eye on lots of things. I know I have hurt his heart, and he has hurt mine. He is my dad and I do love him no matter what and I’m so thankful that I did get to see him a few years ago and tell him that. I got to hug him and talk about the old days when he and I used to do so much together. I cried for all of the family and people who will miss him when he takes his journey, because so many love him. But I also know he does not want to continue living like he is now, helpless and in pain. He would not want that at all. I sang for him today in our ancestors’ way about his following the little people up into the stars back to where hopefully we all go one day.

Once all the crying from the hearts in the circle is over, it is time to fill the emptiness inside with pure beauty and love. It is time for the healing to begin. When new brothers come to the lodge, sometimes they are slow to release their pain and allow themselves to cry. So having everyone around them doing this helps make them feel accepted and truly one of the circle.

Everyone soon learns that lifting all these burdens from the whole group brings true laughter that comes from the heart, soul, and spirit. True joy lights up eyes and faces. Love begins to show towards all things and everyone begins to see the world differently. Why is this so important? Because for those who have suffered so much, hurt so bad, been depressed so deeply, been so lonely and ashamed for so long have now released all of these things truly and become free spirits. Their spirits light up all around them. Yes, even in prison!

I share this teaching with you because we all have problems and burdens we need to release by sincerely crying from the heart. Everyone needs to release these stagnant, poisonous feelings that weigh us all down so that we may become like a butterfly floating freely upon the air, beaming in spiritual love and beauty. No matter where you are, no matter what burdens you, there is no problem that can’t be released.

With respect, Ghost

© Ghost Dancer 2019, 2021

Humbleness

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (9)

By Ghost Dancer

On Being Part of Everything That Is

Nov. 13, 2018 – Just got back from the Inipi ceremony. It has rained on us all day. We are soaked to the bone. Today was our guest week and we had a packed lodge. Since it was so much colder we used 56 rocks. 14 per door. Had a couple of guests who were trying to hightail it out of the lodge on the first door. I had them sitting on each side of me, so I was able to get them to calm down and lay down behind me and just pray. I knew these two would be this way.

Many people who think they are tough or try to act tough, have to learn they must be humble. The lodge teaches everyone to be humble so this was an important lesson for them. There are a lot of politicians and world leaders who I would love to come to the Inipi ceremony with me. They would learn all about humbleness, love, generosity, sacrifice, and compassion.

Today’s lesson was all about learning about ourselves as being part of everything in the universe and our responsibility to recognize and protect all around us. Yes even the weakest, and least wanted. Why? Because just as in a wheel, the weakest spoke will cause the wheel to break. Just as in a tree, a root not being secured will cause the tree to blow down. Just as in life, if we have doubts, fears, we miss out on being all we can be, and enjoy.

Many people have been lied to, deceived, misled by society, parents, schools, and yes, even religion to keep them from seeking to enjoy life, enjoy love, enjoy just being. Nowhere have I ever learned this is wrong. People put restrictions on themselves and try to put them on others. We are not all the same in character, personality, beliefs, or in how we look. If we were, boy would it be boring.

Each of our own spirits must connect to our Creator on a one-on-one basis. Just as a parent has children and they love each of them, but each needs their own specific connection with each parent separately and together as well. We all need to pray and our prayer as one is powerful. But we still need the special attention we get separately. This makes us stronger in prayer to help those who are struggling, those that are weak. We lift them up and protect them while they struggle. We give them our love and support so they know they are not alone. We all have been there.

We all know what it is to be humbled, to be weak, and it is okay. There is no shame in crying out for help, for forgiveness, for guidance and love. If more people would do this the world would definitely be a better place.

On Sacrifice and Humbleness in Seeking Spirit

Dec. 17, 2019 – We had a good lodge today even though we still didn’t get any wood other than pallet wood that burns up way too quick and doesn’t heat the rocks hot enough. Well, at least not hot enough for us. When people hear us say that they really don’t understand why this is so important. We as warriors offer ourselves to our Creator humbly with a willingness to take the pain, suffering, sickness, depressions, whatever we need to do, so that we help our families, loved ones, and all life.

It is an awesome feeling knowing the lodge is scalding hot, yet your body turns to cold chills and you feel no heat because you are one with Spirit and you know your prayers are being answered because Spirit is within you now. Our bodies must be pure, our minds, spirit, and heart, all must be one with Spirit. This is how we attune our vibration to be in sacredness.

So this is the significance of the heat and why it is very important that our fire be strong enough to make the stones red hot and keep them hot for the entire four doors of our ceremony. It is somewhat like going to a vision quest, except when you first go to a vision quest you only sweat for one door and this is for your purification before you begin your quest. Then you go to the sacred area and you begin your prayers. You are fasting, and only praying, you face the elements, everything with no fear. Just total humbleness.

By our willingness to sacrifice in seeking Spirit we show how much we need help and how weak we really are. Without that help we know we cannot make it. Some go around thinking it is they who are strong. They will never receive anything because they did not show true humbleness and acknowledge their need for help. 

 This is today’s lesson.

Respectfully, Ghost

© Ghost Dancer 2018, 2019, 2021

“Love inspires us all to be better than we are, to do more than we would otherwise do, to say what we would not say, and to think what we would not have thought of. Love changes us completely.” ~ Ghost Dancer

Rough Start – So Many Questions

Light In the Distance…

Final Months of the Long Road Home

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

With my long-awaited “Out Date” – August 31, 2022 just months away I have been scrambling to try to prepare for the imminent transition. During the closing months of 2021, I was heartened by the fact that the Covid Pandemic seemed to be over and one by one, the severe restrictions were being lifted. When indoor recreation opened again I found myself back in the band room making music by the hour. It was a good time. My spirit was filled with optimism and great expectations.

In October the court granted my brother Ghost Dancer a compassionate release. He was whisked out the door so fast I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. Then our Native Spiritual Group was allowed to have our first sweat ceremony in nearly two years.  To have this sacred time in the lodge with two special brothers who were leaving was a true blessing. I could see the light in the distance for me and soon I would be leaving too.

Then 2022 arrived and all of a sudden, like Deja vu, the nightmare of Omicron reared its ugly head. Within days there were more than 60 inmates either testing positive or sick as a dog. Although it’s not as much of a killer as the other versions of Covid-19 that have come thru here, it has still put us on lockdown and “modified operations.” So all-in-all my whole world at this time is once again in confusing upheaval.

Gone is all recreation or any mixing of units together. There is no eating in the chow hall. Unit by unit we are going out to pick up a styrofoam tray to go and bringing it back to the unit to eat. The food is invariably cold to begin with and all but a frozen dinner by the time we make it back to the unit.

Now I’m not exaggerating when I say the commissary here is the poorest run store I’ve ever seen. It is always out of most items, never can you get what you order. They say most of your order is “out of stock,” or was it sold to “preferred” customers for a little bonus? I have seen the store be out of such staples as soups or coffee or batteries. This to me is amazing in an environment where soups are what generally keep people from going hungry, coffee, because it’s one of the few things people enjoy it seems, and batteries are needed for the radios you must have to watch television or listen to the radio. It’s crazy that all this has landed at this point, almost as if the world is never gonna get better. I for one am glad I have over the decades learned to get by with as little as I do; it will serve me well once I am released.

I’m still working when they let us go to work but even that is a very unstable factor where we never know from one minute to the next if they are gonna hit the buzzer and announce tool call to make us go in from work to the unit and be subjected to yet another round of nonsense and lockdowns for what reason? For one thing they can’t keep enough people to work in this place so they are always understaffed. And the cruelest cut, the staff they do have try to transfer the blame for all this onto us.  Well, I’m pretty sure it isn’t “us” that brings this crap into the joint since we NEVER leave here. So it’s got to be the cops that bring it in, infecting all they come into contact with. I’m pretty sure the virus doesn’t just jump the fence and infect us, but it’s here and doesn’t seem to be going away, just one variant after another.

I know we will survive, but I also know that ways will be found by the administration to do less and less as the time goes by. Through my own observation I will say it’s prison staff’s nature to be lazy, shiftless and to use any excuse to avoid anything remotely even resembling conscientious work. After all, you the tax payer OWE them the salary they collect just for being here. It doesn’t matter that they don’t deserve or earn their pay. And please believe they have a plethora of canned lies to justify themselves, so never fear, they will exploit the positions of trust that are bestowed on them. That is just a simple innate truth and not a rant or a complaint.

Now it’s amazing to me that in a few months I will be released from the confines of this form of captivity into another lesser restricting type, where in I will be subject to all new rules and have a whole new set of hoops to dive thru and hurdles to jump over. Smile. See, from where I am now I’m doing everything I can to prepare for where I will be, next September, in a halfway house. There are still so many unknowable variables to the equation. I’m not tripping, just looking at my transition like the mental gymnastics that it’s rapidly becoming.  To be honest, I’m rather enjoying “fretting” over each new facet of the whole thing.

Like preparing for any new adventure….hmmmm, where will I get this or that? How will I enlist aid for this and that and what will I need for the other and…and…and… The list goes on and on, all the way down the line even farther than mobile or straight talk? Laptop or desktop? Glasses or surgery? Yeah, no, we won’t be playing with sharp objects around Walks’ eyes – its glasses. Wow, how cool, you were just there for the eye problem, the question and finally the solution. Wish it were all that easy, but hey, it’s helping me get to where I need to be.

I am actually learning and making progress in adjusting to the real world and its problems without having to worry about my next meal, or a bed to sleep in or blankets, pillows mattress, and when I get up in the middle of the night to do the older guy thing, I can rest assured the toilet will be just where it needs to be. Smile. Hey, don’t take anything for granted, and make sure to lift the seat up when finished or put it back down depending on gender assignment or personal preference. That’s another thing I don’t get, but it’s another topic and we will burn that bridge when we get to it.

So, after all that… here we are, 2022. I’m 7 months and some days away from release and I’m going to chronicle the process – all the questions and all the answers, all the “I wonders” and all the “what the %@!*’s.” So stay tuned there my friends, it ought to be “interesting.” Well, I think, or hope my journey is kinda interesting, or at least grows on you and not like a fungus either. Thanks for your support, but most of all thanks for bearing with me. Now buckle up, see ya again soon. Walks

                   OH, SO MANY QUESTIONS

so, who does what?
or rather, who does what to whom?
are you the one doing it?
or is it being done to you?

so, who asks the questions?
or rather, who is the one with the answers?
are you part of the wheel of discord?
or is discord eating at you too like a cancer?

so many saying so many things,
none of which amounts to anything,
blah-blah-blah aimed from the left,
with more blah-blah-blah fired back from the right.

Hmmm… i ponder, then my mind wanders
down the alleys of my conscious being,
then i close my eyes to block out the sight,
of all the nonsense i’m being told is right.

take me to a world where..
white is not sad,
black is not mad,
right is not wrong,
and august isn’t so very long,
i’m just trying to understand,
the questions...oh, so many questions...

© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher January 2022

Abused Boys

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi

By Ghost Dancer

Jan 2020 – Just back from the lodge. We didn’t sweat because of the rain, so we just had a discussion and pipe ceremony in the lodge. There were only three of us, but I wanted to express my feelings today on a much-needed truth about the pain children – boys as well as girls – may have been through. We hear a lot about girls who are abused but boys suffer abuses just as well, and boys also need love and understanding that can help them through. Sometimes society seems to think boys, teenage boys or even young men should be tough and don’t need that care, that love, that healing.

Often boys will strike out in some way because of the pain, sometimes even long afterward, at things or those around them though they do not mean to hurt those they love and those who love them. Many turn to alcohol, drugs, or become something they are driven to. These are pure cries for help. But no one sees that, no one hears the cry of the boy or girl who suffers this way. Sometimes this leads to more problems, such as rebelling against their parents or society, doing things that could be dangerous, or just wrong. Why? Because they are hurting inside. But you can never change a person unless the person wants to be changed. You can never help anyone unless they want help. It is like leading a mule to water but you can’t make them drink.

I knew a boy once who was a promising young mind. Gifted with almost total photographic memory, very talented, hard-working and strong as could be, a natural amazing athlete who loved to compete. When he was a young boy, he could have grown up to be almost anything he wanted to be. But circumstances and bad things happening, he fell into the habit of holding all his feelings about everything inside himself, becoming confused and injured in the head. Life changed so fast and he found himself cast into a world of concrete, steel and chains. Never again would that boy be the same.

That innocent young man, ripped from his family, and life, is just one of thousands in this world. He was a boy who lived in four worlds all simultaneously. Oh, but how could that be? Well the boy lived with his mom in one world. He lived with his dad in a different world. He lived in the harmony of nature with all the natural things. And he also lived in the spirit world, in which none knew he traveled so easily. He knew things he should not have been able to know. He was given gifts that people would frown upon or point fingers at him if they had only known.

Then there was an accident; the boy was hit in the head with a sledgehammer and his worlds all went black. He began blending and mixing up worlds all at the same time. Amid this confusion someone he trusted came to him and asked for help. The boy who believed in honor and family could not deny that request. He knew it was wrong – oh yes! he surely did – and it broke his heart to do it, but he did. And he did it again and again. He dreamed something was going to happen and it surely did. He knew it would be bad, but never could imagine so much as this.  How do I know? I know because I was that young boy, a boy who became a man, and suddenly faced life and death every single day.

That young boy was literally beaten, torn and thrown away by society. For years in prison he was tortured because of his unwillingness to deny his spiritual beliefs, beaten and left to starve, naked, in darkness, having to stand in his own human waste. Still, this young boy would not break his faith. Driven by a promise he made when he was just a boy of 9 years old, to bring back to his family the things that were stolen from their lives: their history, heritage and ways of life. Subjected to every means of torture human evilness could dream, those inside the dark place were the only ones who could hear the terrifying screams. He screamed inside of himself, not letting those who were doing this to him win by seeing his pain. Never did a sound leave his lips so they could rejoice or proclaim they won.

The young boy’s mind let go; his body numbed to pain. The tears he let flow, no human would see. BUT SPIRIT SAW AND REACHED DOWN AND WIPED HIS FACE CLEAN. NO OTHER MAY KNOW WHAT WAS FELT ALL THOSE YEARS, BUT SPIRIT KNEW, AND THE BOY’S HEART WAS HEALED.

 I share this with you all so maybe one day you will truly understand that all people in here are crying if you just listen and open your heart. In the lodge where it is totally dark, men, who are really little boys inside, can release their pain without fear of anyone seeing them or seeing their tears. We cry always for those in the world that no one hears. I empty my heart each and every time to the One who can heal always, every time. LOVE IS THE ONLY CURE I KNOW THAT WILL HEAL THE MOST BROKEN OF HEARTS AND SOULS.

I cannot speak for all the children who have been abused or done wrong. I can only speak from where I have come, what I have experienced, and what I have grown to be. From out of all that pain came a man who knows only love, who only wants beauty and harmony. In this world we all have hidden places inside ourselves, a place we retreat to and say, if only this could be, or if I had of done this or not done that. But let’s face the truth, we are part of all these things – the good, the bad, the future, the past.

We only have to feel love deeply to move on past all the painful memories and tortures within ourselves, to truly come to be more than we can imagine we ever could be! I know, I have done this each and every day for all these years, and so can everyone! Ghost

“Love inspires us all to be better than we are, to do more than we would otherwise do, to say what we would not say, and to think what we would not have thought of. Love changes us completely.” ~ Ghost Dancer

True Brotherhood

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (7)

By Ghost Dancer

Oct. 10, 2017 – We had an awesome ceremony today. As we all know, there has been so much tragedy in the world. We prayed for all who suffer including our own families and friends. Last week we had many non-native guests. These people were curious about the lodge and asked if they could come. The chaplain was not pleased about this, but even though he tried discouraging others from coming, we had a packed lodge again today.

Some of these guests are Christians and they told us they were ridiculed by their Christian brothers for coming to the lodge. They spoke up for themselves though, and explained how they had experienced so much love and sincerely deep prayers in the ceremony and the sacrifice of their own bodies for all the world meant more to them than anything they had felt in their lives.

So, our guests were all back this week including the Buddhists, the Rastafarians, the Muslims, and the Catholic guys. See, the problem is, people who don’t know what we do or what goes on at the lodge can only guess and speculate if they aren’t willing to come and find out. As I have always said ignorance is the cause of all suffering and pain.

When we finished, everyone was totally exhausted and dehydrated, including this old wolf, but the beauty is that together we all experienced true brotherhood. It will take me a day or two to recuperate. After all the rain, we started off with such humidity that we all were sweating profusely before the ceremony even started. Now in case you don’t know, when you have high humidity it makes it easier to dehydrate before you know it so I made sure everyone was paying attention to their water intake.

Sending love and blessings to all, Ghost

© Ghost Dancer 2017, 2021

Prison of Inflexibility

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (6)

By Ghost Dancer

Dec. 2019 – We had a good lodge today. It was around the mid 20’s this AM with the winds blowing at the lodge. Felt nice and fresh, and yes kind of cool too. Most folks now days try to cover themselves with clothing to look like they are in the arctic. Doing this actually increases your chance of catching colds and flu. See when your body has all these clothes on, it heats up, which in turn opens up your pores and allows cold to penetrate into your bones and body.

When we come out of the lodge our pores are wide open. Rather than run and put clothes on, I let my body adjust to the cold and my pores will close. I don’t get sick. Being comfy weakens the body and mind. The rougher it is the better I can condition myself and discipline myself. I know it feels good to be comfy, and yes it is okay to do that some but not all the time. Some of the best times I have had is being half frozen, roughing it in terrible conditions and working through it. Doing what needs to be done.

I love storming weather. Life has many types of storms. If you run away from these storms you will run away from any true problems in life . When we face adversity and see it through, this builds character in us. And when you can stand toe to toe with anything and everything that will make you suffer, hurt, fear, or doubt, then you have gained a knowledge and respect not only for yourself but all that is around you.

It is not winning that counts, it is the fact that you faced your pain or fear and didn’t run from it. This is a lesson of life. We face each season, each day with new problems, and it is up to us to be ready for this, toughen up our minds, body, and spirit to see us through. If you quit on yourself, you will quit on anyone else. If you quit on yourself you will quit on Spirit.

Today’s lesson was about having the courage to step up and face ourselves, our weaknesses, problems, doubts, and fears. Just as we must endure the heat, we must also endure the cold, dry, wet, and strong winds or no winds. We strengthen our bodies, minds, hearts and spirit as one with all and we become one with everything, including our own true selves.

Every warrior is not the same, neither is every person, yet every person is a warrior in their own way. The question is, do you have the courage to face your truths, faults, and make the effort to change? We all must make decisions each day that affects everyone around us. Many have built so many walls around themselves that they live in an extreme maximum-security prison. Why? Because they put themselves there by locking out all the possibilities they could choose! People’s minds become so set in their own thinking, beliefs , fears, doubts, and prejudices, that they are stuck in the concrete of the prison they created.

Stop and thinkif your mind is so set in your way of thinking that you are inflexible, what happens to you? Times change, environments change, conditions, elements and every single day changes. You must change your thinking, your preconditioned ways, if you are to elevate yourself. Yes, we all have roots, but we must be able to bend and flow with the winds of change. Otherwise our roots will be torn out of the ground and we begin die. We become stagnant and lose our capacity to produce fruit from our gifts and talents.

So today look at yourself and see if you really are a warrior. Be a Zena, Hercules, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Osceola , Double Head, Billy Bowlegs, Chief Joseph, or any other warrior.

Respectfully, Ghost

© Ghost Dancer, December 2019, 2021

Accepting Truth & Responsibility

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi (5)

By Ghost Dancer

Today’s lesson begins with accepting the truth of weaknesses about ourselves and working to change the things that we can. Being honest about our flaws is never easy for most folks. We all have flaws that have kept us from truly accepting who we are and what we are, and what we are to become. Many folks don’t like who they are, or what they look like, or what they can’t do, or even what they do. These are all things that we each have the responsibility to try to overcome, correct or change.

Just as we have to accept the responsibility for the things we do, so it is that we have to accept responsibility for things we don’t do. So many times we all sit around saying how we wish we had done this or that, or wish we had another chance to do something over. Well, what is stopping you? Only you! There is nothing that we cannot try to change or try to do over if we just put forth the effort.

Oh, I can hear you saying, but I can’t live my youth over again, or I can’t be a kid again! Really? Shoot I ain’t never going to grow up! I’m born each day to a new day of life, ready to begin totally new. And that is what you must do. Be a child again starting each day new and begin to make the changes you want to make in yourself.

Join me and our group of brothers as we learn today’s Lesson From the Inipi:

We began the lesson on going deeper into our own selves to find the root of our problems and working on becoming better, men, brothers, sons, fathers, uncles, friends and spiritual warriors. To do so we each became a tree and pictured ourselves as this tree. Now, for the tree to be strong it has to have strong roots and the roots must be anchored in solid ground.

The only solid ground is truth and love, so it is very important that we expose our own deepest weaknesses and get rid of anything that is preventing us from growing. When we dig this out we cast it into the rock pit to be taken away by the hot stone people. Only then can we become babies and return to being innocent, pure, and receptive to truth and true love. This allows our roots to become strong in belief, truth, and ourselves, connected to everything.

Next we worked on our trunks or our bodies. This will be what supports us in our walk of life. So we must be willing to learn, to change, to evolve, and grow, not only physically, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and universally. Just as our bodies grow in life, a true spiritual warrior, must grow new and more each day. No matter what our religious beliefs, races, origins, or locations, we must become more and more enlightened with each day. To sit and stay the same is to become like stagnant water. Polluted.

Just as everything around you changes, your concepts, your understanding, your beliefs, must change and grow. We are all here for that purpose – to become so much more, to help others become so much more. Our own energy is supposed to radiate from us and touch everything in every level of existence, every universe, every solar system. We are never too old to learn.

Many people get to a point when they think they know everything they need to know about their beliefs and what life is all about. How wrong they truly are. For if they did know, they would know exactly what is next, how it works, how they affect the bigger picture, the plan that has been there all along. Yet if you ask them they can’t tell you the answers to the universe. Multi-universe. Dimensions.

And the same is also with many elders who get to a point they think they know all they need to know. Boy are they in for a surprise. When we are babies, someone has to look out for us. When we become really elders we become babies again. The circle and cycle of life teaches us all that.

Some say they know what they need to know! Really or is it that they think they do because they are scared of what they might find? Every religion tells you to seek and you will find, but how many people really continue seeking their whole life through? When is it you get to a point that you quit looking for higher enlightenment, knowledge?

So many try to tell me they have a learning problem or they can’t remember anything. Well, I say this: Spirit can do anything for you! What you seek can be shown to you. But first you have to truly seek.

How does a child learn? Does a child just sit and wait for everything to be handed to it? Definitely not! So what makes an adult, or an elder any different? Every being must learn. And continue to learn. Does not nature teach you that?

Hopefully you will learn something from these teachings as well. Ghost

© Ghost Dancer 2018, 2021

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