“Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“Most people, even in this scientific age, are totally unaware of their bioelectrical nature. Practically no one has the slightest notion of an electrical or energetic connection between his or her body and the Earth.
Nobody learns about it in school. So nobody knows that we have largely become disconnected and separated from the Earth. In developed societies, in particular, we have essentially lost our electrical roots. Our bare feet, with their rich network of nerve endings, rarely touch the ground…
As an analogy, think of a lightbulb with a loose connection. The bulb flickers, shines weakly, or doesn’t light up at all. Many people go through life with flickering or weak health.”
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy – and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others.
~Native American Wisdom
I love these days, the time between festive gatherings and the new year. Of course the “new year” is a human construct, but these days feel like an invitation to pause, to step into shamanic dreaming, to feel the shape of what is to be carried forward and what is to be gently released and left behind.
I love the idea of perpetual creation, that all of this world- including us- is linked to and co-created in each moment by the Mystery that is both within and around us, by the Sacred Wholeness that is both what we are and greater than the sum of all the manifestations.
These are realities I explore in contemplation, feeling their embodiment. When I first wake up, or before I go to sleep, on the bus, or while walking through the park- I start with three deep breaths, watching the inhale, following the exhale, noticing how my attention slows my breath and makes it feel complete. And then, I let my body lead. . . . .feeling an inner and outer unfolding with each inhale . . . letting go into gravity with the exhale and then. . . . pausing at the end of the exhale. . . . dropping into stillness and waiting without straining, allowing the impulse to inhale to arise from deep within.
There, in the pause at the end of the exhale, I touch something, open to something that is always seeking to touch me: awareness of the crack between the worlds of spirit and matter that are not separate but simply two ways of seeing one wholeness that excludes nothing; the taste of an Infinite Love that welcomes and holds us all.
Perhaps in this inbetween place we can breathe and dance together, dreaming a new year of deepening love and life for ourselves, every other and the world ~Oriah; Photo by Karen Davis
O, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every rock and leaf.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
Yellow Hawk, Sioux
You may know them as “shrooms”, “Magic mushrooms”, psilocybic mushrooms, or you may not know them at all. They are a natural plant that, like marijuana, is banned by the U.S. Government. But like marijuana, these mushrooms may not be without medical properties. Like marijuana, they could deserve a place on natural medicine shelves for their ability to treat depression, eradicate mental illness, and improve cognition – not in police evidence rooms.
According to research from the University of South Florida, psilocybin, the active component within psychedelic mushrooms, is able to grow new brain cells—potentially offering treatment for mental illness and improving cognition.
The study, published in Experimental Brain Research, says psilocybin is able to bind to special receptors in the brain that stimulate healing and growth. In the case of these mushrooms, brain cell growth occurs. In mice, the researchers found psilocybin to actually help repair damaged brain cells and cure or relieve PTSD and depression.
Lead researcher, Dr. Juan R. Sanchez-Ramos, tested the effects of psilocybin by training mice to fear an electric shock when they heard a noise associated with the shock. Then, by giving them psilocybin, the mice were able to stop reacting to the noise-trigger much faster than those mice not treated with the mushroom compound.
“The proposition that psilocybin impacts cognition and stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis is based on extensive evidence that serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) acting on specific 5-HT receptor sub-types (most likely the 5-HT2A receptor) is involved in the regulation of neurogenesis in hippocampus,” says Dr. Sanchez-Ramos according to NaturalNews. “The in vitro and in vivo animal data is compelling enough to explore whether psilocybin will enhance neurogenesis and result in measurable improvements in learning.”
Other research also shows that this same compound could greatly help with depression, helping the majority of participants in one study achieve great well-being.
Psilocybin is referred to as a “nootropic” agent, or one that has numerous functions in the brain that can improve hippocampus health. The hippocampus is part of the brain responsible for learning as well as converting short-term memory to long-term memory. New brain cells in the hippocampus from the psilocybin translates into a healthier and sharper brain overall.
The research on psychedelic mushrooms is limited—far more limited than the research on marijuana. Because these mushrooms are known for causing hallucinations, unguarded self-treatment isn’t recommended. However, this plant, like marijuana, does not deserve a place in the Schedule I classification of illegal substances. Like marijuana, the U.S. government has determined ‘shrooms as having no medicinal value’—an obviously-flawed determination.