Introduction To The Native American Teachings

The purpose of this article is to give a general background of knowledge of one of the oldest forms of Spirituality to exist on Earth.
Their beliefs were in existence long before Christianity and served the people who practiced them in good stead through many centuries. Although the main teachings will be from a North American Native point of view, the actual practices and beliefs were commonly held in many indigenous tribal cultures throughout the world including Hawaiian, Celt, South American Natives, Russian Shamanic cultures as well as many other societies like the Australian aboriginal tribes. This would indicate the common thread of belief and spiritual practice among a variety of people whom had no common connection before the advent of the last two centuries advancements of communications and travel.

The advanced teachings of the “Nature Philosophy” were usually taught by the Medicine people to their sons and daughters, or to any young person in the community who showed a deeper awareness of all  life around them and expressed an interest in finding deeper truths of life. If sufficient interest and proficiency was shown, the young man or woman was adopted by the Medicine Teacher and initiated into the teaching  of  the “Natural Way,” which included the arts of healing and special mental training, including what is referred to today as psychic perceptions and to the uninformed that which is called magic.

All of these teachings were given verbally and the student was required to commit them to memory and when the time came for them to assume the role of teacher they passed these teaching on through a rich tradition of oral communication.

“The Indian made an effort to know of spiritual things from his own observations of nature, because all truth can be found in Nature. There is a spiritual beauty in the realization that the world has been deliberately made or created, and is in perfect balance ecologically, and that is not by chance. Lastly, it is based upon spiritual revelation of the truth to the individual. When it happens for you, you then KNOW… and no one else can tell you otherwise
 -ELI Gatoga, Cherokee (1914-1983)

In his observation of Nature, the Indian not only enjoyed the beauty that abounded in his environment, but was also aware of an overlying spiritual feeling that exists throughout all of creation.

Native American cultures were characterized by an intimate relationship with nature. The Great Spirit was perceived as the divine power that created the world. The religious beliefs and practices of the Native Indian tribes included Shamanism, Animism, Totemism, Fetishism and their rituals and ceremonies led by a Shaman, centered around hunting and animals. The creed or doctrine of these belief systems held that intelligent spirits inhabited all natural objects and every object is controlled by its own independent spirit. Spirits inhabit the sky, stars, sun, moon, rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, the animals, insects, fish, stones, flowers and birds.  Animals, refer to Power Animals,  are singled out as powerful manifestations of the supernatural, including those seen in dreams or Vision Quests. Lesser spirits inhabited stones and plants and viewed as ‘spirit helpers.

Here’s one of the philosophy for the Native American:

Philosophy To Myself

” I will think about what kind of person I want to be when I am an Elder.

I will start developing myself now to be this person.

I will walk with the Great Spirit and the grandfathers at my side. I will develop myself to remain positive. I will develop a good mind.

I will examine myself daily to see what I did good and what I need to improve. I will examine my strength and weaknesses, then I will ask the Creator to guide me. I will develop a good mind.

Each day, I will listen to the Creators voice in the wind. I will watch nature and ask to be shown a lesson which will occur on my path.

I will seek out the guiding principles, which guided my ancestors. I will walk in dignity, honor and humility, conducting myself as a warrior.

I will seek the guidance of the Elders so that I may maintain the knowledge of culture, ceremonies, and songs, and so that I may pass these on to the future generations.

I choose to do all these things myself, because no one else can do them for me.

I know I cannot give away what I don’t have, so I will need to walk the talk.

I will think about what kind of person I want to be when I am an Elder.

I will start developing myself now to be this person.

I will walk with the Great Spirit and the grandfathers at my side. I will develop myself to remain positive. I will develop a good mind.

I will examine myself daily to see what I did good and what I need to improve. I will examine my strength and weaknesses, then I will ask the Creator to guide me. I will develop a good mind.

Each day, I will listen to the Creators voice in the wind. I will watch nature and ask to be shown a lesson which will occur on my path.

I will seek out the guiding principles, which guided my ancestors. I will walk in dignity, honor and humility, conducting myself as a warrior.

I will seek the guidance of the Elders so that I may maintain the knowledge of culture, ceremonies, and songs, and so that I may pass these on to the future generations.

I choose to do all these things myself, because no one else can do them for me.

I know I cannot give away what I don’t have, so I will need to walk the talk. ”

The native american teachings show us that nature itself holds tremendous wisdom that can benefit Humanity, if we learn to recognize it.

Thank you for reading,

Love and Light,

Eddie

Sources: warpaths2peacepipes.com

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