Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Native American Medicine Path

People tend to think that if one wants to be taught the native American medicine path they must be at least part native American. Well, that is not completely true. What one must do is to find a medicine man or woman of a tribe that believes their religion is for everyone. So even though the medicine men and women of many tribes don't accept non-native Americans to teach their path to, many do. So, Just like finding a Guru or teacher in India one must search for the right medicine man or woman to learn from and to be taught by.

There are many things that people all know about Native Americans but there are a lot of things most people don't know about what a medicine path is. Though in some specifics it varies from tribe to tribe there are some things that all share in philosophy and religion. Though this might seem strange to you, you will learn more about what the medicine path is from watching "Pocahontas", the Disney cartoon and "Brother Bear" another cartoon than almost any single experience you might have in a city or suburb. But to really enter the medicine path is a full commitment much like becoming a nurse or a doctor or a priest or minister. However, entering the medicine path one is becoming a Priest-warrior, which is an attitude that one brings to everything.

I was taught a Blackfoot-Sioux path by a medicine man in Northern California. Later I met a Karoc medicine man that I enjoyed Sweating with in the sweat lodge. Myself and four other friends eventually did a four day vision quest each of no water no food on the north fork of the Trinity River in Northern California. This changed each of our lives in many ways.

This was in the early 1980s. Today, I saw a Crow and in my mind I said to it, "Is that you?" The Crow said, "NO. It isn't me." My original teacher identified with seeing through the eyes of Crows which was one of his abilities because of his affinity with them. So this conversation actually meant, "Is that you?" Answer, "Of course it's me."
and more it means, "are you a medicine
incompetent or what?"

This begins to take you into the world of a medicine path with someone who has actually studied with a Medicine Man or woman and is competent to actually teach you something meaningful. Now, most of you might think such a path isn't real or useful. However, I think the best way to say this is this is: how many people still live all over earth now use a similar system?" And the fact that it has kept their tribes alive without going extinct over 40,000 years until organized religions and technology brainwashed people into believing something else. Were the new technologies and religions better? That's hard to say, "I would say both yes in some ways but no in others." It's like asking are automobiles good? I would say they are good because people can get themselves and their goods where they want to faster but at the price of Global Warming and the potential death of everything on earth alive. It is sort of like this. What most of the world has now is better in some ways and worse in other ways. But we are usually only taught about the good changes and seldom the real price paid.

This is the best way to say it. There is a price we pay for everything and if we are not told the full price (which we never are) we might make a different choice yesterday, today or tomorrow.

In these insecure times worldwide understanding more about the medicine path might save your life. For it is a way to survive without houses, cars, or jobs within society if it ever comes to that. I'm not saying to give up everything that you believe that works for you. However, if something isn't working for you it may be time to try something else whether that something is a religion, a relationship or a job or even a career. It is not worth being alive if there is no joy in your life. It is my belief that that is a given. Do you stay alive and sacrifice for you kids even if there is no joy? That is entirely up to you. I decided long ago that my pain meant nothing if my kids weren't okay. No pain I might have would be as bad as I would feel alive or dead if my kids lives weren't okay. So like you I sacrificed sometimes a lot for my kids always.

The problem today is that most people only push paper and cannot actually do anything real. They cannot actually defend themselves physically or mentally. Maybe a relative of theirs can but that relative might not be there for them all the time.

So, for me, in 1980 finding a medicine path was about learning a better attitude to survive no matter what, as 1980 was a lot like now with 9.6% unemployment nationwide. Now, however, I'm financially secure. This wasn't as true in 1980 when I was only 32 and raising my son and two step kids out in the country in Mt. Shasta, California(near the Oregon Border). So, finding a medicine man to learn from seemed important then both from a spiritual point of view and from a survivalist point of view.

When I look back now what I learned the most important things that come to mind are just how really alive and how many different abilities and senses we actually have but just don't use if we live in Cities or suburbia. However, the beauty of all this now for me is that once you develop these medicine senses, if you keep in the right states of mind even in a city or suburbia you will keep these senses as long as periodically you visit the wilds and the wilderness to recharge your spiritual and wilderness batteries so to speak.

The most important things for me, however, I learned through my vision quest of no water no food for four days. in one of my prayer visions after the second day of no water no food 5 miles from the nearest person in a bear wallow on the Trinity River was when I became a 50 foot high Golden Dragon that breathed out fire on thousands of people. What amazed me then was that the fire I breathed out upon people did not burn them but enlightened them and if they were sad or not they all then began to smile with the joy of enlightenment!

When I began to write more after I almost died in 1998 and 9 I believe my writings that I publish are the fire breath of the dragon enlightening people and making their lives better in the short and long term. It is one of the reasons why is the name of my new website.

Also, when I later studied Tibetan Buddhism in California, Oregon, India and Nepal, I learned of a branch of Tibetan Buddhism called Drukpa Kagyu which means Dragon Kagyu. There is also a humorous Crazy Wisdom figure in Tibetan mythology called Drukpa Kunli. If you know anyone from old Tibet ask them to tell you Drukpa Kunli stories, they are really funny and enlightening in a Crazy Wisdom way!

Note: Added May 24th 2013: During my vision quest in 1983 I was in a bear wallow at the side of the North Fork of the Trinity River about 5 miles from the nearest human being. I saw a mated pair of Bald Eagles flying overhead and every day a Mama wood duck and all her babies swam past my point in the River and went down stream for food and every day at dusk she and her babies swam upstream to roost in the rushes out of danger at night. I found I could eat the sunlight off the water with my eyes and mind in this state to fulfill any need I had for water without drinking it. One night it rained and I didn't have a tent with me so I took my tarp and put it over a large 6 foot through fallen Cedar Tree and crawled under the tree to get out of the rain. I also had sweet grass in braids that I burned as incense as I prayed. The second night into the quest I became a 50 to 100 foot tall golden dragon (which at the time was pretty terrifying and overwhelming in a unbelievable way). But when I breathed fire out on everyone I saw it didn't harm or kill them or burn them up. Instead it made them smile and become enlightened and their heads glowed with the enlightenment they needed to stay alive and to keep their kids and friends and family alive too on into the future for thousands of years.

When my vision quest was over this lead in the next year to meeting a Tibetan Buddhist Student who was an American (I was telepathically directed to pick him up because he was hitchiking by the Tibetan Lama who had given me "The Thousand Buddhas Empowerment" in Ashland, Oregon. He introduced my family to 5 or 10 very powerful Tibetan Lamas in Oregon and California. Within two years after many initiations I was directed inwardly to take my family to India, Nepal and Thailand through Japan(where my last lifetime was from 1933 to 1945) there. I along with my family was given the "Kalachakra Initiation" by the Dalai Lama along with 500,000 others there from Tibet, Nepal, India and surrounding areas as well as about 10,000 westerners like me from places like Europe, North and South America, and Japan etc.

So, the Native American Medicine path led me to a Path of Compassion in the Tibetan Buddhist Path. So, the Dragon I became in my vision quest I guess I already was all along and still am. Understanding this is very freeing and empowering for me and hopefully for you as well. I am very grateful for my amazing Native American medicine path teachers for teaching me to become who I already was and but didn't know it yet before the vision quest.

Note: Within the last couple of years I learned that Drukpa Kunley is a real person from Bhutan:

Drukpa Kunley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Drukpa Kunley (1455 - 1529), also known as Kunga Legpai Zangpo, Drukpa Kunleg (Tibetan: འབྲུག་པ་ཀན་ལེགས་, Wylie: 'brug pa kun legs), and Kunga Legpa, ...



Cynthia Kay said...

Enjoyed your story. It is true many Native Americans did adopt others who were not members of their band, group, or tribe. Your vission quest was interesting you saw a crow. From what I have read you again the crow abilities and strengths. Another example Quanah Parker on his vision quest came in contact with a bear. He gains his stregths through the bear's abilities. Check out my new book available on my publisher's website
Thank you sincerely, Cynthia Kay Rhodes

Unknown said...

Great initiative. Can you do something on Tibetan Medicine?

intuitivefred888 said...

My experience with Tibetan Medicine in Dharamshala, India is sort of limited. My stepdaughter who was 12 then and my son who was 10 then in 1986 in January had gotten ill(stepdaughter in New Delhi with Deli Belly). We took a train to Dharamshala because I knew tropical diseases would drop off naturally in the mountains of the Himalayas. We also met a Tibetan Healer called Dolma in Dharashala who had many of the restaurant size mayonaise glass jars full of things that looked like rabbit droppings but were herbs separated into different clean jars. She was known to heal many people even with cancer and she gave some herbal medicines to my stepdaughter and son and they were okay within a day or two. So, taking them to the mountains and to Dolma worked at that time. This is what I know about Tibetan Medicine so far from personal experience. Though I knew Chagdud Tulku and he covered some of my Tibetan Buddhist Initiations I didn't go to him as a physician even though he was a reknowned Tibetan Doctor.