Medicine Bear Speaks
RADIO INTERVIEW on October 1, 2016
2 hour review of Peace Principles and Iroquios Governance. Click following link to hear the talk.
Summary of Internet Radio Talk
by Medicine Bear, September 17, 2016
TITLE: “History and Application of Traditional Peace Principles”
SUB TITLE: Always work for Peace, Always work for Unity and Always carry a Good Message appear to be simple and easy teachings to guide our lives. We will explore the source, the historical usage and present day application of these principles.
Some of the Original People of Turtle Island had a Peacemaker Story and a culture based on the Peace Principles. There were many tribes living for thousands of years in North America with a wide variety of traditions and cultural models. We are going to explore teachings from the tribes with a Peacemaker Story, more specifically the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nation of upstate N.Y. The more I learn of their culture and model of governance, the more I am impressed.
So let's start at the same place they would start, with the Thanksgiving Address. All meetings, gatherings, forums and ceremony would start with this prayer. It is a means to bring everyone involved to a place of gratitude. Gratitude is a sacred space and these people recognized that this is the only place that rational decision making can occur. They would take a half hour or more to say this prayer before any gathering. This idea is totally out of the box for the time constrained western mind.
The general flow of the Thanksgiving Address goes from the smallest to the largest and does not have a rigid structure. As with many traditional ceremonies the intent is the core thing and the form is flexible. Here is one example of the general flow.
A Thanksgiving for the people of the world, the waters, the beings of the waters, the insects (creepy crawlers), low growing plants, 4 legged (animals), the standing nations (trees), the elements of the sky (the winds, the clouds, the thunders and the rain), grandmother Moon, our brother the Sun, the world of Spirit, the Creator and finally a call out to all that is.
A good way to share this prayer in a circle is to have each person give one element in a sunwise movement around the circle. The facilitator can prompt each person with their element of the address as their turn comes up.
Here are a few links. You can search on youtube for “Thanksgiving Address Iroquois” and go from there. Note that Jon Young has many online teachings that are foundational. Also many talks by Jake Swamp, a Mohawk sub chief.
The Peacemaker Story is from one or two thousand years ago. It is a 9 day story that the Haudenosaunee would tell once a year. The summary is that the Great Peacemaker came to the five tribes of upstate NY who were in terrible warfare. Over a 40 year period he brought them together and they evolved “The Great Law of Peace” as a system of governance. I will relate a 10 minute summary of this story. Again there are several youtube videos available.
Always work for Peace. This Peace is the Great Peace that exists between your heart and the natural world. It is a place of silence and gratitude. From this inner peace you reach out to interact with the world.
Always work for Unity. Unity is what makes consensus possible. When you can completely release your opinion on something to keep the group together.
Always carry a Good Message. This means no gossip. You don't say bad things about people and you work out any problems directly with the other person.
This is a quick summary and we will have a deeper discussion of these principles. The Peace Principles are insanely simple and insanely difficult for the western mind to adapt. Without an intact cultural basket to hold these principles it is difficult to embrace them. The best place to start is with your family or a small group of friends. Over a period of time they will change your energetic signature and the way you interact with those around you.
Gratitude will be another topic of discussion.
I have a couple of historical quotes to read from Native Elders.
We can also talk about what it means to be an Elder in modern society.
I would like to thank Jake Swamp, founder of the Tree of Peace Society, for the teachings he has shared and for his humility. May his spirit soar.
Peace and Blessings,