Walter Littlemoon

Walter Littlemoon passed through my life briefly during a time of personal healing and searching. I carry him in my heart and mind because he looked into my soul and knew me. He honored my journey when I didn’t understand it myself. I remember him as a tall, quiet, gentle man of great intelligence and profound compassion. He spoke softly, humbly and taught much with very few words.

Walter Littlemoon was born at Wounded Knee in 1942. Taken from his family at the age of 5, he was forced into a federal government boarding school. His family, language and traditions denied him. I met him in the early 1990’s when he visited  friends in Florida. He graciously conducted sweat lodges without asking for payment of any kind. Money offered in gratitude for his presence and teaching was given to the destitute community of Wounded Knee. His entire life has been dedicated to restoring his people and his land. I sat in stunned silence when he told us he was not supposed to leave the reservation without official permission. How could that be in a free country?!  Fortunately for all of us, Walter answered to a power higher than any government and traveled where Great Spirit led him.

I will not presume to tell his story for I cannot do him or the Lakota people justice. I hope you will search him out on the internet. You will be blessed.

When I told him I was nervous about doing my first sweat lodge (in summer, in Florida), he very lightly touched my shoulder and quietly said, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.” At his touch, a calm peacefulness spread through me and I entered the lodge. Those words have carried me through many challenging life experiences. I could easily feel the sacredness of Walter Littlemoon’s path; he helped me understand the sacredness of my own.

Even as I struggle to share something of my experience with him, I hear his sweet voice, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.”

“Here” is wherever I am in the moment, whatever I am experiencing in the moment. “Here” is all that I have been in the past, all that I am in this moment, and all that I will be in the future. “Here” transcends geography, ethnicity, gender, religion, politics. Let this be your meditation today:

TRUST  THE  CREATOR.    YOU  ARE  MEANT  TO  BE  HERE.

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Contentment

What is the difference between contentment and happiness?

It is rather simple:  happiness is a response to circumstances outside myself and contentment is a growing or enduring sense of wellbeing and joy within.

I experience happiness when I receive a call from a friend I haven’t spoken with in years or when one of my children or grandchildren gives me a hug or makes me laugh.

I have been growing in contentment for 45 years.  Contentment is that state of being I find in the very core of my being.  Life can be raging all around me but when I stop for just a moment and turn my awareness within I find peace and tranquility.

Where does it come from?  I believe it simply is; it is my natural state of being. The process of “finding” it is really trusting that it is my true nature, learning to experience it, and living from that inner peace rather than letting life bounce me off the walls.

My Country…Sweet Land of Liberty…

Words from a song I learned as a child…A song I have sung more times in my life than I could ever count. It comes to mind this morning, July 4, 2018, as I sit in my rocker sipping coffee. I’m thinking about my family’s history here, which began with my grandparents. I’m thinking about my country’s history, which began when people wanting the freedom to be who they were sailed into the unknown and found her shores. Did you know my ancestors from northern Spain were master ship builders? Basque craftsmen designed and built the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria.

Now my mind wanders forward to those new Americans who fought England for their right to rule themselves. Later they fought each other over whether to be united or separate. We still honor those early Americans when we visit the battlefields and museums that remind us of our own history. Our history matters and it deserves our respect now more than ever.

I need to remember this morning that Americans have never agreed about everything. We have, however, found ways to work together and move forward in spite of our differences and disagreements. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT:

It seems to me that our forward movement has usually been about allowing more people the freedom to be who they are. 

We have stumbled in this process and made unfair decisions along the way. Can anyone overlook our treatment of Native Americans, survivors of slavery and their descendants, Japanese American citizens….the list goes on does it not? And, yes, it takes too long. Many still fight for truly equal rights like Black Americans, women, same-sex couples, and more.

We are not a perfect nation but we are a nation that does not give up. We fight for human rights – not just our own as individuals – but even the rights of those we don’t really understand or relate to easily. I still shake my head when a news report reminds me that the KKK still exists-what?

So, dear hearts, we aren’t going to agree on everything but we all have the right to be heard. Is your voice being heard? Are you speaking out intelligently and without defaming others? Are you calling your reps in state and national offices? Are you voting? Are you?

God bless us all and may we be free to be.

5 Minute Compassion Meditation

Namaste everyone! May you be abundantly blessed as this day unfolds. I am sitting in my rocking chair and re-reading the notes I took while studying an online course titled “ Primordial Sound Meditation.” It is an available through the Chopra Center.

Toward the end of the course is an exercise entitled: Empower Yourself

I stopped and did the 5 Minute practice and knew I wanted to share it. A meditation anyone can do that can benefit the practitioner and others. Oh, the power of 5 minutes! Sit where you can see a clock or set a quiet timer if you like.  Here it is.

Sit comfortable with your hands resting on your heart. Close your eyes. Slow your breath down so that you can feel yourself breathing and you still feel comfortable.

As you inhale, breathe in Compassion for yourself.

As you exhale, breathe out Compassion for others (it might be one in particular or your family, office, country, etc.)

When you finish, sit quietly for a moment and open your eyes. Notice how you feel and allow gratitude.

Blessings!

Peace Is SO Worth It

The longer I live and practice meditation the more convinced I am that it is the most sure path to Divine Love, Peace, and those are the essence of Enlightenment.

Most of you are familiar with this outer from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken:”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by.

And that road has made all the difference.

The practice (remember that practicing is doing something faithfully and consistently until it becomes natural to you) of meditation is one of the roads less traveled. It requires a change in one’s daily routine as well as the insight and willingness to retrain the mind. I find thinking in terms of being consistent, rather than telling myself to “get it right,” allows my Soul to invite me to sit in silence regularly.  As my practice becomes more consistent, the benefits flow more regularly and clearly,

For example, meditation supports my spiritual path of non-judgement. It encourages my heart and mind to see that others are like me: spiritual beings figuring out how to be human. The reading I am drawn to more and more guides me into higher understanding of truths I have known for decades. I also encounter beautiful thoughts and phrases that carry me through the challenges of human life.

One of the core teachings concerning creating a successful life is to become aware of where I put my attention in any given situation. As a result, I became aware that, in the past, I used to take the role of a victim when I was hurting. If only that other person had taken better care of me, been kinder, etc. My years of Hatha yoga and meditation helped me be more honest about my responsibility in almost every situation.

This morning I read a verse in the Dhammapada that made my heart open. It is a verse intended to bring awareness to what I can be doing, not an invitation to turn judgement inward….assessment rather than judgement is the key. I realized that focusing more deeply on the meditation side of yoga has internalized a key truth and that I am beginning to truly live it!

Do not give your attention to what others do or fail to do; give it to what you do or fail to do. (Verse 50)

The result? PEACE of mind and body as well as the deepest awareness of Divine Love that I have ever known. 🙏🏻📿

Oh yes, dear hearts, that PEACE that passeth understanding is SO worth every ounce of effort, every moment I have taken a seat to be still. Please don’t give up. You deserve to live in peace. 💫💖

Train Rather Than Control

Gautama the Buddha, in the opening of his work titled The Dhammapada, states

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.

In this work, the Buddha sets forth a path to joy in simple, succinct verses. So many of our challenges in this human experience stem from how we think about experiences and people. The conditioned mind can make it difficult to discern and embrace the Truth of Who We Are.

In the section of The Dhammapada titled “Thought,” the Buddha says

Hard it is to train the mind, which goes where it wants and does what it wants. But a trained mind brings health and happiness. The wise can direct their thoughts, subtle and elusive, wherever they choose: a trained mind brings health and happiness. (Translated by Eknath Easwaran)

As you probably know, trying to control the mind, the thoughts is fruitless. What works is learning to train the mind to dwell on those things that lift the heart…in the present moment. Everything before now is gone, the past is a memory. Everything to come is unknown. This moment is known. Please seek your well-being moment by moment, breath by breath, thought by thought.

The most powerful tool for training the mind into the moment, and eventually into thought-less moments, is meditation. Simple, clear, gentle times of meditation that lead you into the stillness within where your Soul awaits your awareness.

Blessings dear hearts. AUM SHANTI