Manataka™ American Indian Council
The Spirit of Peace
by Norman Cordova
As we walk along our path in life we encounter many spirits. These spirits are not new but ancient. They have existed through time and will continue to exist long after my walk in the world has come full circle.
Life is an encounter with spirits. We may not choose which ones we meet, but ultimately we are able to choose which spirits we keep company with. Many spirits we can encounter as friends, yet there are others which may burden us and weigh us down taking life from us. In my own life, walking the red road has helped me to understand the difference between the two. The ceremony of the Inipi has also helped to strengthen my own spirit and ultimately my own ability to choose which spirits I keep company with.
In all cultures the spirits we encounter have names. For example, at times we may encounter the spirit of joy, the spirit of disillusionment, the spirit of hope or the spirit of confusion. Perhaps these spirits are carried to us through another; such as an inspiring and good person or perhaps a manipulative and mean one. For me, when times are difficult or confusing, I look for the Spirit of Peace to guide and lead me. What I have found is that the Spirit of Peace is a good guide and a good help.
How does one cultivate and grow with the Spirit of Peace in one’s life? The Spirit of Peace lives in all situations, yet to cultivate and grow it within one’s own life, there must be a place of quiet and introspection. In my understanding, this is because the Spirit of Peace comes quietly and slowly. One must be patient and slow oneself down while waiting for this spirit. Otherwise the rush and noise of the world will capture the senses not letting one listen to the Spirit of Peace.
In the quest for Peace, the imagination is a wonderful friend and help. In making difficult decisions, a person can spend time imagining what could be if various choices are made. During a quiet time using the imagination this way, one can be present to the movements of the spirit. While meditating on a decision, often one will sense the Spirit of Peace accompanying one choice over another. If the decision is indeed a good one, this Spirit will accompany small steps made in the direction of that decision. Ultimately, the decision will result in an increase of Peace in one’s life. Decisions which move away from the Spirit of Peace will bring a restlessness, discomfort and agitation to one’s spirit.
The Spirit of Peace does not promise that life will exist carefree or easy. On the contrary, the Spirit of Peace may lead to difficult and hard choices. The difference is that the Spirit of Peace will strengthen one and give one the resolution to carry through. The Spirit of Peace does not promise wealth or stature or even greatness. Those are the promises of other spirits. In the end, the Spirit of Peace will only promise to give one thing, itself.
Norman Cordova is a New Mexican who grew up in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains. He grew into a man guided by the lessons and teachings of his grandfather. Every day is another day of learning. Norman has visited Manataka many times over the years.
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