Manataka® American Indian Council
By Grandmother Selma
Many of our traditional, cultural and spiritual teachings have been lost or suppressed due to the influence and forced co-existence with dominant society and it's implied and or regulated expectations.
Our Creator and the spiritual world at large have protected some of the ceremonies and some of the traditional ways, beliefs, teachings, and concepts by placing them with some of the elders to keep them "under raps", safe, accurate, pure, secure and intact.
Individuals complain that many do not understand our traditional values and ways. Some that lack that understanding are of our " own peoples", even greater numbers are of dominant society.
The elders are willing to teach these gifts and assist with the inner walk to understanding. If they are approached in an honorable fashion and they read sincerity in not only the words, but also the walk of the professed talk.
Elders have a wise window in their heart and in their heads......it allows them to "sense" another's sincerity thru patterns of speech, attitudes of energy and how the individual walks what they profess thru talk.
Those who seek and request in an honorable fashion will be exposed to the traditions as a small child is fed small bites, a little at a time. The elder will observe as to whether the " food" has been accepted...chewed well... and understood. If those small
bites are not incorporated in to that individuals walk, they will never receive a full course meal.
Even an elder will not spoon feed to the point of choking the recipient who is unwilling or unable to digest. This is why one of the basic lessons they must master is personal self discipline ! Without it they will never understand or " see" beneath the superficial surface of the teaching Many an elder has been the subject of criticism due to this.....and actually that very criticism is a " good thing". Part of the elders purpose is to get the individuals attention and cause them some discomfort. They " squirm" a little and question themselves and their limited view which ultimately causes them to think ! Those actions of avoidance eventually lead the individual to adjust, attempt change and trigger their personal emotional and spiritual growth.
The elders can learn from the criticism they receive from "outsiders" as in each criticism there is at least a grain of truth, along with the opportunity to better understand the individuals who levy judgment. An individual who is constantly passing judgment on others is essentially exercising externalized self judgment and lacks acceptance of themselves. Criticism is not an effective "weapon" against an elder who knows...lives and walks their traditions...it actually makes them stronger ...adds to their depth of character and aids them in being more effective.
Often the criticism comes from unlikely sources, those amongst our own culture. One of the most common is " why would you share traditional teachings or ways with those of different color or culture " ? It usually isn't worded quite that politely, but that is the essence of their verbiage. Each must answer that criticism in their own way, but personally I fail to see that it is even a valid or reasonable concern.
If you were Baptist and someone came to you who was not Baptist, seeking accurate information...struggling to learn and understand your beliefs and convictions as a Baptist....if they decided to " convert " and become a Baptist who actually lived their life based on those beliefs you shared......would you say they " stole" your spirituality ? Why would you not be flattered and honored ?
The traditional way, the ancestral way
is alive somewhere within every beating heart
and no-one can "steal" something that is usually freely given
or shared if the request is presented in an honorable fashion.
The " old way", the " red road ", the "traditional walk"
is not about being " Indian", it is about being of " the people "
of being " a human being".
It comes from our ancestral memories,
from our DNA coding, from what we were taught.
How we were raised, but also, what our hearts tell us
and what Creator has designed and directed us to do
not do, be and not be.
Our lives, actions and walk are a reflection of the voice of the wind.
The melody of the rushing water, the lessons observed from all the four legged's.
The strength of the up right standing ones, the humility of the creepy crawlers
The unlimitless of the winged ones, the depth of the finned ones, the records of the stone people
The vastness of the heavenly bodies and the grounding and creative forces of Earth Mother.
until later I leave you with a hug....
A Short Biography
SELMA A. PALMER
(SOARING PAW 'N HOOVES CAWLEY)
Gram Selma is the Administrator of Ocali Nations Intertribial, a Florida native American Indian intertribal organization, and is of Navajo/Apache descent. Selma was born of the traditions and she has dedicated her life to the continued study of the same, having been blessed to be a student of many well known and respected Elders and Tribal Leaders.
She has served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Native American Education. From 1996 to 1998, she was honored and appointed as a Peace Elder for Wolfsong, an indigenous world wide elders council. She has also served on powwow committees and on Board of Directors of various Native American oriented organizations.
Recently she has been honored by having some of her traditional crafts purchased by the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Since 1990, Selma has dedicated herself full time to "perpetuating" and assisting others in the perpetuation of the traditional oral teachings, sacred traditions, ceremonial concepts and prophecies of "the people" (all Native Americans). Selma has shared "Circle of Life" classes for thirty years. She is a licensed minister and spiritual counselor of non denominational status.
Selma Palmer, biologically a Cawley, being the daughter of Robert Harris Cawley , who was adopted as an infant by the Palmer's of Georgia and of Una Johnston (maiden) of West Virginia.
Selma can be contacted thru The Ocali Nations Int. Inc., P.O. Box 2316, Silver Springs, Fl 34489
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